As soon as someone mentions Goa, all one can think of is beautiful beaches, the Sunburn festival and lip-smacking Goan delicacies. Influenced highly by the Portuguese, you’ll always want to have more of everything. Keep reading for some of the best out of the land of Goa.
For me, the first thing that pops into my mind thinking of Goa is this sweet, subtle, opulent and sublime pudding. Made with flour, egg, sugar, coconut, nutmeg powder and butter, Bebinca is heavenly! Traditionally, the pudding is supposed to be a seven layer affair, but you can play around with that. Once you’ve had a bite of this divine dessert, you won’t be able to stop yourself.
This particular dish is made with either lamb or pork. If you’re going the traditional way, I’d suggest you be a little careful, as a lot of people use the animals’ blood for the curry. The usual curry is made using a lot of spices and a dash of vinegar. The meat is first chopped and parboiled then sauteed then added to the gravy. On festive occasions, the sorpotel is served with sannas; spongy rice cakes that are steamed and savoury in taste.
Buttery, little doughy sweet treats are something Goans distribute on family occasions. The dough includes milk, butter, sugar, white flour, egg yolk and vanilla essence. If you have one piece of this deliciousness, I bet you’ll surely desire more.
Spicy, tangy, and bursting with flavour, this Goan delight is made using prawn, but you can use pork or lamb as well. Balchao is quite similar to pickle as it can be cooked well in advance and stored. Enjoy this with Indian flat bread or hot rice. Not for the faint heart as the curry is very spicy.
Usually prepared with chicken or lamb meat, this distinctive curry is prepared with white poppy seeds, grated coconut and large dried red chillies. You can devour this deliciousness with naan or rice. I’d personally prefer naan as the gravy is thick and yummy for sure!
Grilled in a spicy, green marinade this is one thing you’ll find cooking at the beach shacks, and you seriously do not want to miss out on it. If you’re in for the real deal, gorge on a plate of this with some fizzy drink and good company or in solitude if you like. If you’re home and want to try something different that gives tingles to your taste-buds, cook it up!
Typically Portuguese taken in by the Goans, this is a black bean and pork stew. An alternative to pork is lamb and if you feel fishy, try it out with shrimps, prawns or any local fish. Again, this opulent stew is spicy and full of aromatics. Enjoy it with some flat bread or enjoy small portions of it just the way it is. Any which way, you’ll fall in love with it.
Tea time treats in Goa is always a novelty when there’s a fresh batch of bolinhas being made. Sweet, rich, coconutty, divine cookies that will warm you soul up instantly. Talk of soul food and here you have the humble yet sublime bolinha. What else do you need while facing the waves and the beach and reading a good book?
I’ve had the opportunity to taste this dried shrimp preparation at my grandmother’s house a lot of times. Though, she’s not Goan. It is like a dry fish salad if I may put it that way but mostly used as a side dish or accompaniment to a hot plate of rice and curry. The shrimp is crunchy, and the spices are just perfect. You’ll end up eating Kismur more than anything else on your plate. The best part? Making it at home is very easy!
This savoury side dish is very popular in Goa. Made with coconut milk and kokum water; this tangy, sweet, savory liquid will make a place in your heart forever. you can enjoy this solo or have it with rice. Nonetheless, I’m sure you’d ask for more servings. Making this soup at home is also quite easy as the ingredients can be found in almost any Indian state.
Crab Xec Xec
Goa without a crab curry? How is that even possible? Here’s the crab xec xec, a traditional Goan preparation that you cannot miss at all! Warm and hot spices combined with the soothing coconut milk helps blend in all the flavours. This delicacy is just so yummy! Imagine the succulent crab meat and the ambrosial gravy with some hot rice. Isn’t that just mouth watering?
It’s spicy, it’s sour, it’s red, it’s made with shark meat, and it is just DIVINE. There’s nothing much to say when it comes to the Ambot Tik. For all the foodies out there who love trying everything and anything out, this is a sure venture out of the comfort zones of your taste buds. I promise you, It’s worth a try.
This is the Goan take on the Chinese rice cake. These heavenly looking round spongy cakes are made with rice flour and are a necessity in every festivity. You can relish these beauties with a spicy gravy both vegetarian or non-vegetarian as the sannas will keep the spice in check.
This is another Portuguese-inspired dish generally made with pork, but you can substitute it with chicken or lamb. It is derived from carne de vinha d’alhos which means meat marinated in wine and garlic. Just as much as the look of this scrumptious preparation will make you salivate. As most of the Goan curries, this is also quiet spicy but a sure shot hit among everyone.
Recheado is a spice mix that is found in any Goan house. It is spicy and tangy in taste. The recheado masala is used to stuff fish like Mackerel and Pomfret which is then shallow fried in a skillet. The fish is kept whole so you can enjoy this solo with a little rice and some gravy to go with it.
Another sweet treat from Goa, this particular one is made in a lot of different countries as well. In Goa, it is prepared with coconut and jaggery. The texture is like firm jam, more chewy and nutty in taste. The sweet is made specially during Christmas but you’ll find it in any food supply shop in Goa. Hopefully, you can order it online too now!
Rava Fried Fish
Crunchy and crisp on the outside, light, soft and ambrosial on the inside. Anyone who loves fish, will surely love this dish. The rava used to coat the fish gives it that crispy exterior and the spice marinade punches flavour into the fillets. Get it cooking and you’ll see the fish vanishing from the plate in no time.
This sprouted moong curry is a specialty during festivals and fasts. Due to the thickness of it, it can be devoured as it is or eaten with Indian flat bread. This particular preparation is very common at the temples in Goa. The spices added to the sprouted and boiled lentil balances with the blandness and gives the dish body. Brownie points for it being healthy as well!
Hooman is a fish and prawn curry made especially in Goa. The spices used are of the warm kind and thus the dish is mellow and sapid in taste. All the spices work in harmony with each other. You won’t find one flavour overpowering the other. Served with steamed rice and some deep fried small fish, this is a staple curry in Goa.
The shagoti can be made with poultry as well, but this is a vegetarian version of it. This dish particularly uses two types of chillies that are found in Goa itself. One is the red chilli called Sukki Mirsang and the other is Tarni Mirsang which are small green chillies. These chillies are quiet spicy, and thus grated coconut is used to balance the zing. Enjoy this with hot rice or flat bread.