Swaying palm trees, long sandy beaches, music, dance, and party – the magic of Goa is all pervading. This beautiful state is located on the Arabian coast and it is only natural that Goan cuisine is rich in seafood. Talk to the locals and you will realise that the rich food culture of this little state goes well beyond the fish curry. The colonial heritage and colourful history is reflected in the food of Goa. These are a few dishes there are quintessentially Goan and yet remain favourites with tourists and visitors of the state. If you are at one of the many restaurants in Goa or dining with Goan friends, do not give these dishes a miss.
1. Pork Vindaloo
No Goan celebration is complete without a Pork Vindaloo which is a modified form of a traditional Portuguese dish. The addition of vinegar and red chillies give this pork dish a spicy and tangy twist.
2. Chicken Xacuti
The Chicken Xacuti is another of Goa’s signature dishes. The chicken is cooked in a number of spices including poppy seeds, carom seeds, fennel seeds, black pepper, cumin seeds, and red chillies. The use of coconut balances the heat from the spices and makes it a fabulous Goan delight.
3. Ambot Tik
Squid, catfish, mackerel, prawn – whatever be your favourite seafood, cooking it as the spicy and sour Ambot Tik makes it the perfect accompaniment to steaming rice. The addition of spices, tomato, and coconut lends it its flavour.
Feijoada may be Brazil’s national dish but its origin is definitely Portuguese, and its Goan version is simply scrumptious. Black or red kidney beans are soaked overnight and slow cooked to give it its flavours. The beans are served with smoked sausages and fried bacon.
Goan Caldeirada is an adaptation of the Portuguese fish stew. It is essentially a fisherman’s favourite made with the catch of the day. Vinegar and fiery spices make it tangy and irresistible at the same time.
6. Pork Sorpotel
Apart from the Vindaloo, the Sorpotel is perhaps one of the most loved pork dishes of Goa and is usually included in Christmas and Easter feasts. The pork is cooked slowly in vinegar and tamarind and spices reflecting the Konkan influence in Goan cuisine.
Spending Christmas in Goa? Attending a wedding in Goa? Dining at The LaLiT Golf & Spa Resort Goa’s amazing restaurant Corta’s? Or simply craving a delicious dessert in your hotel room in Goa? Do not miss Bebinca – the seven-layered pudding cake that simply melts in your mouth. The secret ingredient in this dish is the use of coconut milk which makes it spongy and smooth at the same time.
Visit a traditional Goan home and chances are you will be served Bolinhas de Coco with your tea. These Goan coconut cookies are sweet and crisp and make great use of the local favourite – coconut. Each Goan family guards its Bolinha recipe with fierce passion.