This Fun and frolic is in Goa’s genes. Travel, late night parties and good food; these are the three things that make Goa come alive. That’s why Goa has such a brilliant spread in cuisine. Every morsel seems mouth-watering. Of them, we have selected a few for your perusal.
Next time you are in Goa, do remember to try them out, because Goa’s cuisine is not just mouth-watering, but it also reflects its rich history and heritage.
Keep in mind that while it has huge Hindu origins, it was also under Portuguese rule for four hundred years. Hence the cuisine has taken the best out of each influence and made an unbelievable amalgam of tastes. No other cuisine in India has such rich and contrasting influences in their cuisine.
While seafood is in plentiful, special dishes of meat also abound, apart from vegetarian delights as well. Their preparation is also unique.
Have these with the refreshing local drinks, and your trip to Goa will be complete, full with Portuguese history and Konkani culture. That is when you sit on the beach and enjoy life.
GOAN PORK VINDALOO
A standard element of Goan cuisine derived from the Portuguese carne de vinha d’alhos (literally “meat in garlic marinade”), a vindaloo is a dish of meat (usually pork) marinated in vinegar and garlic. The basic structure of the Portuguese dish was the Portuguese sailor’s “preserved” raw ingredients, packed in wooden barrels of alternate layers of pork and garlic, and soaked in red wine.
This was adapted by the local Goan cooks with the substitution of palm vinegar for the red wine, and the addition of spices. It evolved into the localized and easy-to-pronounce dish “vindaloo”.
The British Indian version of vindaloo calls for the meat to be marinated in vinegar, sugar, fresh ginger and spices, then cooked with more spices. Then, spices are added.
- 16 dried Kashmiri chilli peppers, stemmed and seeded
- 1 (1 inch) piece cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 6 whole cloves
- ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- salt to taste
- 2 pounds boneless pork loin roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 4 onions, chopped
- 10 cloves garlic, minced, or more to taste
- 1 (2 inch) piece fresh ginger root, minced
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 green chilli peppers, seeded and cut into strips
- ¼ cup white vinegar
How To Make Goan Vindaloo
- Mix the vinegar, 1/2 of the sliced onions, ginger garlic paste, cinnamon stick, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and salt in a bowl.
- Blend to a smooth paste.
- Add sugar and mix well.
- Add the chicken pieces and mix well to coat evenly.
- Keep aside to marinate overnight.
- Heat butter in a pan.
- Add the remaining onion and fry until transparent.
- Add the chicken pieces, water and tomato puree.
- Cover the pan with a lid and simmer over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Cook till the chicken is tender.
- Serve as a side dish to pulao, naan or roti.
Per Serving: 264 calories; protein 19.7g; carbohydrates 9.2g; fat 16.4g; cholesterol 53.7mg; sodium 50.7mg.
THE SAGA OF ‘BEBINCA’
There is enough of Portugal in Goa, yet, and the influence is quite stark. It is generally believed that ‘bibik’, more commonly known as ‘bebinca’ was also a Portuguese-influenced dessert which was invented by the Portuguese nuns in the 17th century just like other confectioneries of the doces conventuais.
One of the nuns from the Santa Monica Convent was called Bebiana who invented a seven-layered pudding using leftover yolks to symbolise the seven hills of the old city of Goa and Lisbon. Then she sent this pudding to the priests, who were impressed by the flavours of the dessert but suggested she increase the dessert’s size to accommodate at least a dozen layers.
One of the nuns from the Santa Monica Convent was called Bebiana who invented a seven-layered pudding using leftover yolks to symbolise the seven hills of the old city of Goa and Lisbon.
Now, in her honour this pudding is known as Bebinca. It boasts from seven to as many as sixteen layers. This sweet delicacy is present at every blissful occasion from wedding,
Christmas or any occasional feast. Bebinca will always have a delightful place in the Goan culture.
- 250 ml thick coconut milk (the first extract of coconut milk)
- 6 egg yolks (keep the whites for making cake Or marzipan)
- 175 gms refined flour
- ½ cup ghee at room temperature(clarified butter) + 1 tbsp ghee for the bebinca batter
- 200 gms sugar Or as required (I prefer less sweet)
- 1 t/s nutmeg powder
- 1 t/s cardamom powder
- few flaked almonds (I haven’t used)
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence (optional)
- a pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°C exactly fifteen mins before baking. Grease a round tin or loaf pan with 2 tbsp ghee.
- Take a mixing vessel, combine coconut milk and sugar. With the help of an electric beater, beat until sugar dissolves.
- Add one egg yolk at a time and beat until they all mix nicely.
- Now add flour, 1 tbsp ghee and salt. Beat all nicely.
- Pour ½ cup of batter and bake for 25 mins.
- Now spread some ghee over it with the help of a brush. Sprinkle little cardamom powder and vanilla essence if using.
- Bake again for fifteen mins. Again spread ghee, cardamom powder and vanilla essence.
- Continue greasing and baking with ½ cup batter until all batter is finished. Bake each layer for fifteen minutes.
- For the last batter spread ghee, sprinkle, cardamom, nutmeg and vanilla essence if using. Add flaked almonds if using now. Bake the last layer for 20-22 mins.
- Allow to cool completely. Unmould the pan gently with a tap from behind. Slice bebinca and serve warm or cold with a dollop of ice cream.
Chicken Xacuti Recipe is a delicious chicken curry from Goa. Made with freshly roasted spices, this chicken curry is eaten along with pav by the locals in the region. You can serve it along with rice instead, which makes an equally good combination.
Chicken Xacuti Recipe is essentially a Goan style chicken curry packed with flavours. Xacuti is actually pronounced as ‘shakuti’ derived from the Portuguese word ‘chacuti’.
Made with freshly roasted spices, this chicken curry is eaten along with pav by the locals in the region. You can serve it along with rice instead, which makes an equally good combination.
- 1 kg Chicken
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- Paste 1 for marination:
- 2 inches Ginger
- 10 Garlic flakes
- 1/2 bunch Coriander
- 5 Green chillies
Paste 2 for Xacuti Masala:
- 1 tsp Groundnut oil
- 2 Onions, sliced
- 2 Green chillies
- 1 Ginger (1 inch)
- 5 Garlic flakes
- 1 large Coconut, grated
- 1/2 bunch Coriander
Paste 3 of Xacuti Masala:
- 2 inches Cinnamon
- 3 Cardamoms, peeled
- 1 tsp Aniseed
- 1 tsp Black pepper corn
- 1 tbsp Poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp Coriander seeds
- 8-10 Kashmiri red chillies
- 1 Star anise
- 1 Maize flower
- 1/4 piece Nutmeg
- 1/2 inch Turmeric
- 2 tsp Groundnut oil
- 2 Onions, sliced
- 2 Green chillies slit
- ¼ cup Water
How to Make Chicken Xacuti
- Add salt and turmeric powder to curry-cut chicken.
- Add paste 1 of ginger, garlic, coriander, chillies and marinate for half an hour.
- To make paste 2, heat oil in a pan and saute sliced onions, green chillies, ginger, garlic for 3 minutes.
- Add 1 grated coconut and saute for another 5-7 minutes. Once onions are crispy, keep aside.
- To make paste 3, on a dry pan separately roast cinnamon, cardamom, aniseed, black pepper corn, poppy seeds, coriander seeds, Kashmiri red chillies, star anise, maize flower, nutmeg, and turmeric.
- Make Xacuti masala by grinding together paste 2 and 3.
- For the final preparation, heat oil in a pan and add onions and green chillies.
- After one minute add the marinated chicken pieces.
- After two minutes add Xacuti masala and water. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Serve hot with bread or rice.