Foods in Goa
Goa is a mix of east meets west, which is not only represented in the goa culture but also in the style of cooking. If you visit any rural area, the locals can be seen cooking in the clay pots on firewood. Though modern conveniences are available, the conventional food preparation is preferred as it adds an additional smoky flavor to any Goan dish. The degree of heat varies amongst Goan recipes from mild to explosive. Goans have a miscellaneous platter ranging from prawns to sausages, chicken to beef, and numerous vegetarian dishes. Its broad sweep of unique approaches to cooking is the consequence of historical events. Go Goa and enjoy the mouthwatering Goan food and drinks, famous Goan cuisine and delicious Goan dishes.
Consequently, Goan cuisine is predominantly influenced by religious of Christianity and Hinduism. Over time, cooking methods have been blended together and allowed to simmer, producing an authentic selection of delicacies. Both religions emphasize that food should be served only if it is tasty and fresh. Presentation is paramount to Goans as they often share their food, especially during feasts, where food is distributed among neighbors.
Some of the significant specialties of Goa are listed below :
This is Goa’s most famous sweet. This dessert is a multi-layered cake made from egg, coconut milk, sugar and ghee. Cooking a perfect bebinca is considered an art form. A lot of patience is needed at the time of its preparation as the next layer can only be added once the previous layer has been cooked. Each layer is cooked in the oven until it has a light fudge consistency. This can be eaten hot or cold and is traditionally served at Christmas.
Ambot Tik :-
In Konkani, ‘ambot’ means spur and ‘tik’ means spicy. As the name suggests, the dish is slightly sour and pungent. It is a delicious gravy dish that is usually prepared from dried red chillies, peppercorns and tamarind. The fish used is normally shark or catfish and it tastes great with plain steamed or boiled rice.
Crab Xec Xec :-
Sea food is easily available a Goa’s ideal location is on the coast. This curry is made from grounded coconut, coriander and dry mixed roasted spices, which are added to crab meat. The thick coconut gravy dish is usually served with rice or bread.
Fish Curry Rice :-
This is the staple food for Goans and is known as xitt coddi in konkari. The curry is usually yellowish-red in color due to the presence of chillies and turmeric. The tangy and spicy dish can be cooked with a variety of fish, although mackerel is one of the favourites. The dish is served with steamed white rice and is the traditional Goan meal.
Chicken Cafreal :-
This spicy chicken made from coriander, lime, green chillies, peppercorns, and mint. It can be cooked in oven or pan roasted. The dish originated from Africa and is usually accompanied by green salad.
This is Goans local alcoholic drink with strong aroma. The word ‘feni’ derives from the word ‘fenn’, which means froth. In fact, a good feni, when poured in a glass produces a little froth, which is an indication of the superior quality of the product. There are two types of feni, one is made from coconut and the other is made from cashew. Coconut feni is less popular and is made from the ssap of coconut palms. Cashew feni is made from cashew apples, which are manually crushed and allowed to ferment. Traditionally, there are three grades of Goan brew. Urrac is the product of first distillation, Cazulo is the product of second and Feni is the product of third distillation.
It is a rich stew which is made from pork although sometimes liver, heart and kidney are also added. Preparing sorpotel is a long procedure: first the meat is parboiled, finely diced, fried and then cooked in spices and vinegar. Sorpotel usually tastes better on the 2nd and 3rd day, after it is prepared, once it has had time to mature.
Mushroom Xacuti :-
It is a Goan speciality that is extremely hot and spicy. It is usually prepared with chicken but tastes good with mushrooms as well. The dish is prepared with dry roasted coconut and various spices. It goes perfectly with bread and can be enjoyed with plain boiled rice too.
Mackerel Reacheado :-
This dish is prepared by slicing a cross section of the fish and it is stuffed with red hot chilly masala called ‘reacheado’. Reacheado is made from red chillies, spices, ginger, garlic and ground with malt vinegar. The fish is them pan fried.
White, fluffy bread that is made of coconut and finely ground rice flour is mixed with toddy, which is then fermented and steamed. These are usually served at parties and special occasions and can be eaten with most curries, especially sorpotel or simply a cup of Indian tea.
Goan Sausages :-
These sausages are made from pork meat and fat that has been loosely diced. The strings of sausages are marinated in pickling spices and then sun dried. They are usually served with pulao rice or in bread. These sausages are very popular at feasts.