Goa is best known for its beaches, climate and food. These are influenced by Portuguese and native cultures. The staple food of the people of Goa is rice and fish curry. Most of their dishes use coconuts, rice, fish, pork, meat and local spices like kokum. And if you want to try the chicken in a completely new flavor, here is a list of dishes that will be a treat to your taste buds:
Goan Squid Fry
It is one of the most consumed seafood in Goa. Young and old thoroughly enjoy this soft and tender seafood dish with a glass of chilled beer.
Squids are soft and they provide a crunchy taste after fried. It has a tangy flavour. It can be enjoyed as a good starter and also as the main dish with roti or rice. After you spend a tiring day at the beach, all you need is Goan Squid Fry with a pint of beer.
It is Goa’s most loved and one of the famous dessert. Bebinca is a multi-layered cake. It uses egg, caramelised sugar, coconut milk and ghee. This dish was brought to Goa by Portuguese but Indians made it even better by adding their own ups and downs.
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 of the seven-layer is cooked in the oven until it has a light fudge consistency.
Goan Fish Curry
The main ingredients of Goan Fish Curry or Xitti Kodi are a decent-sized Pomfret and raw mango. It is a staple diet of every Goan and is loaded with various spices along with coconut.
This Goan Fish Curry is a warm and tangy fish curry that is cooled with coconut milk. It’s a perfect Indian seafood curry recipe to warm up with! The mingling of the spices with the coconut milk works beautifully to bring out the mild sweetness of the fish, creating a delicious fish curry with nice warmth and a fun tangy kick.
Xacuti or Shagoti is a curry with complex spicing. It includes white poppy seeds, sliced coconut and large dried Kashmiri red chillies. Kashmiri chillies give intense hot flavour and also give colour to the dish. This is one of the most popular Goan Food.
It is usually prepared with chicken or lamb. The gravy prepared for this dish typically includes local spices like black pepper (meerya), chilli, turmeric, onion, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, etc.
Goan Pork Vindaloo
‘Vin’ comes from the word ‘vinegar’ and ‘ahlo’ means ‘garlic’ in Portuguese. The dish consists of pork, onions, chillies, garlic along with vinegar and spices. Masala is prepared using the chillies and other ingredients and is then mixed with meat and vinegar. This mixture is stored overnight and is then fried to serve.
Chicken Cafreal is always made from whole chicken legs, flavoured with the spices(cardamom, cinnamon) and herbs(cumin, coriander leaves) and then shallow fried. It is usually accompanied by potato and lime wedges.
It is like the tandoori chicken of Goa, except for its green colour.
Sarapatel or sorpotel’s ingredients include meat and offal, which varies from pork to lamb and even beef. The meats are first parboiled, then diced and sauteed before being cooked in a spicy and vinegary sauce. Sometimes people also use the animals’ blood for boiling.
Sorpotel is often accompanied by “sanna” – a spongy, white, and slightly sweet steamed rice and coconut. People also enjoy this with bread, rice, or in a bun(as a sandwich).
Shark Ambot Tik
Ambot means sour and tik means hot and spicy. This is another Portuguese influenced delicacy from Goa, made with fish that has fewer bones. Shark is used because it has chunky flesh with just a single bone. You must try Ambot Tik if you are a lover of hot, spicy and sour gravies.
Feijoada – Red Beans with Pork
Salted pork, masala and red beans are combined and fried to prepare this dish. Coconut milk is added to give it a unique flavor and thicker consistency. Basically, this dish is a stew of red beans and pork. It can be served with rice.
Sorak curries are one of the most basic curries which a majority of Goans make at their homes regularly, especially during monsoon.
Extremely local ingredients like Cucumber tree fruit (Bimli), Tamarind paste (Imli) and Kokum skin(Mangosteen) are used in its preparation including green mango powder or lemon juice to give it a sour taste.
This dish is rich with coastal flavors and spicy with the fresh grounded roasted spices. Ingredients include black pepper, mace flower, clove, mustard seeds, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds,tomato, onions, etc. Softshell crabs are used which have shells soft as eggshells.
These are spongy steamed savoury rice cakes. A sweet version of this can be made using jaggery called ‘godachi sanna’.You might confuse this dish with idli but it is different from idli.
The specialty of the Sana is that the batter is fermented with some toddy which is nothing but fermented coconut milk. They are best eaten when soaked in chicken curry.
‘Recheado’ means ‘stuffed’ in Portuguese. This is a pomfret infused with a tangy paste or gravy and fried with onions till crisp and golden brown. Fishes like mackerels and silver pomfrets are stuffed with masala(gravy) and shallow fried.
This is a famous sweet dish from Goa also known as ‘karanji’. It is prepared especially during festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi and Diwali. These are basically sweet small balls made of flour which are stuffed with coconut, sugar, cardamom and almonds.
Bolinhas(pronounced bolinyas) are cardamom flavored coconut and semolina cake-like cookies of Goa. When they come out of the oven, they are a little crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. They are a heavenly tea time treat which can be enjoyed throughout the year. They literally crumble and melt in your mouth.
Rava Fried Fish
This fry is different from regular fish fry as the batter is made from semolina. The semolina coating makes the outer surface crisp and the inner flesh succulent and soft. Tamarind and lemon are used to give tangy flavour and vinegar helps in subduing the smell of the fish.
Fonna kodis’s ingredients includes coconut milk, water, tefla or schezwan pepper, kokum, carom seeds, turmeric and red chilli powder, etc. It is garnished with coriander leaves and mustard seeds and usually eaten with rice. It can also be eaten cold. It is believed to help with digestion.
Samarachi Kodi is a dry prawn curry. It is usually prepared during monsoons. Main ingredients are dry prawns, onion, coconut, tamarind and tomatoes. To give it typical flavor and texture, coconut milk is also added. Samarachi kodi is best served with hot rice and pickle.
Prawn Xeque Xeque
Its an exotic dish prepared using prawns, coconut milk, tomatoes, green chillies and onions. It can be accompanied with sannas, dosas and fugias. This dish is a fusion of chillies and tamarind, i.e. spicy and savoury.
These are turmeric leaf cakes mostly prepared on the western coast and other Indian Ocean islands. It is made of grated coconut, rice and jaggery. It is cooked by wrapping and steaming in turmeric leaves. This sweet dish can be consumed along with tea.
It is a vegetable stew prepared by mixing toor dal and chana dal with various vegetables like green beans, potatoes, carrots and drumsticks. This dish is famous among the Konkani community of Goa. The stew is served with rice after adding ghee on top of it.