The history of Goan sweet can be traced back to the colonial era when Goa was ruled by Portugal powers. The Portuguese brought with them their own culinary traditions, which were further decorated with some local Indian ingredients and Cooking techniques to create this exquisite culinary version that is now known as Goan cuisine.
Many of the Traditional Goan sweets have a Portuguese influence such as Bibinca, which is so similar to the Portugal dessert called “Pudim Flan”. Other sweets such as Dodol and Patoleo, are believed to have originated in India and were adapted to include local Goan Ingredients like Coconut, milk, and jaggery.
Goan sweets are often made using local ingredients such as coconuts, cashew nuts, and rice flour, while Goa land is blessed with their abundance.
Let us begin with the Top 10 Goan traditional sweets made during festivals and special occasions, such as Christmas, Diwali, and Ganesh Chaturthi, so that this festive season you can lovingly share them with your Friends, family and naibours.
Goan Dodol recipe with step-by-step photos. Dodol is a popular Goan sweet that is soft and sweet with a pudding-like texture. It just melts in your mouth, leaving an explosion of flavours on your mouth palette.
Dodol is mainly made from ragi (nachni), coconut and palm jaggery. This is an ancient soft Goan that is produced all year round. Goans make it delightful and sweet especially at Christmas! Dodol is an essential part of dessert in Goa.
Dodol is made from coconut milk, jaggery and rice flour. For Dodol to melt in your mouth, you need to use the right proportions of ingredients. The cashew nuts also add to the great flavour of this popular Goan sweet.
This classic dessert is ready-to-eat and sold in Goa’s markets and shops all year round, but Christmas is a particularly busy time.
Goa’s famous Fenoris sweets are very popular with everyone. They are traditional Goan Sweet/Faralem products that have been followed and traced from Goa since their ancestors.
To Crispy Layered Sweet Pure and taste incredibly delicious, and their texture contains flakes, crunchy & drenched in sugar syrup. These puris can be a treat for friends and family on any festive occasion; especially for Diwali.
Fenori is white, but some add food colouring to give them a floral look. Coloured Fenoris look lovely like beautiful Roses with the layers displaying pretty rose petals.
Fenori is widely famous in other parts of Maharashtra with the name “Chirotta ” looking more beautiful when the layers come out very well. This depends on the number of thin rolled dough layers or chapatis used to layer them. More chapatis, the more beautifully layered fenori. A plain fenori is easier to prepare, whereas coloured femoris require some more time and patience, otherwise it’s just fun to prepare them.
There are many traditional Goan delicacies and Bebinca, also known as the Queen of Goan sweets, is an integral part of most celebrations in Goa, be it Christmas, Easter, weddings or christenings. Making the bebic requires a lot of patience as each layer has to be cooked before applying the next one and so on.
Receptura Bebinca is a delicate dessert prepared during a holiday in Goa. It’s like pudding with 7 layers. It depends on roughly how many layers you want to make.
This layered pudding is made from flour, eggs, sugar, coconut milk and cardamom nutmeg and is an essential ingredient that calms the mind and patience.
It is made with rice flour and sprinkled with fresh coconut and jaggery for special festive occasions. Letri is a string hopper but has a slightly different way of preparation and serving.
Letri (Fios de Ovos) is a gastronomic delicacy introduced by the Portuguese. It is one of the traditional Christmas sweets, unpopular and slowly disappearing. The sweetness of coconut bread accented by candied egg fillets called fios de ovos, l
Letria or angel hair. They consist of egg yolks sprinkled with thin strips of sugar syrup. After cooking, they take on a light golden colour and are removed with a slotted spoon. The coconut and bread candies are made in the same easy-to-combine syrup and then sprinkled with egg strands. An elegant dessert is deliciously delicious with the goodness of coconut, nuts and raisins.
The Goan Letri process is a bit long and tedious and you need extra hands to help you. Previously, rice was washed and dried and then ground into a fine powder to make this dessert. But these days people prefer to use ready-made rice flour, and that’s just as good as the traditional method.
Goan Patoleo Recipe or Goan Patoli is another traditional Goan sweet dish. Patolyo is mainly prepared on festive occasions in Goa, Mangalore and various Konkan regions.
The taste and aroma of turmeric leaves are just amazing. Turmeric leaves grow abundantly in India during the monsoons. Turmeric leaves are known for their Ayurvedic properties. They are great for your body and their smell when steamed would be so aromatic and beautiful.
Goan Patoleos are most commonly prepared for special occasions such as the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15th. It is also India’s Independence Day. Also on Sao Joa on June 24th and on Ganesh Chaturthi. On all these occasions this Goan Patoli or Goan Patoleo is prepared and shared with friends and neighbours.
6. Alle Belle
Alle Belle is a traditional Goan pancake filled with delicious coconut and palm tree filling. These pancakes are made on Shrove Tuesday, hence their name Shrove Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.
Alle Belle is a delicious Goan snack loved by kids for its soft texture and thin, melt-in-your-mouth pancakes filled with coconut and jaggery, making these pancakes truly delicious. This sweet pancake dish isn’t as commercialised as other popular Goan dishes, so you’ve probably rarely heard of it unless you’re from Goan.
Perad/ Guava cheese is a fudge-like sweet made with guavas and sugar with a touch of lemon. Like jam or preserved guava, cheese has a long shelf life. It is a very traditional recipe and one popular, sought-after Kuswar delicacy in Goa. Kuswar is a term used to refer to Christmas goodies of the Goan Catholic community.
It is an exchange of assorted snacks and sweet trays with family, friends, and neighbours on Christmas day.
It is a delicious appetiser and tastes yummy when paired with cheese. Cut same-size small squares of cheese and guava paste and serve on crackers.
It is a sweet and fruity filling for puff pastries.
Goan/Mangalorean version of idlis, i.e. spongy steamed rice cakes. It is made from a batter consisting of ground red rice and freshly grated coconut. The rice and coconut are ground using toddy (fermented coconut water). The batter is then fermented and steamed.
Traditionally, toddy is used for fermenting this, but we have used yeast instead as it is easily available and acceptable to all.
You can enjoy it for lunch or dinner with any spicy Curry of your choice.
Doce means ‘sweet’ and grao ‘grain’ in Portuguese, is a Goan sweet that requires very few ingredients but a lot of patience and a tremendous amount of stirring.
Doce/Chonya Dal Doce is a very popular Traditional Goan Sweet made for Christmas and weddings /festive occasions. Doce is made with simple basic pantry ingredients like Chana dal/Bengal Gram Coconut and sugar.
Doce is soft and delicious fudge that requires a lot of patience to prepare though it’s worth the effort put in. Doce is sold in bakeries and sweet shops in Goa and also in a few places in Bombay.
10. Baath cake
Baath cake is a very traditional Goan Christmas sweet and is primarily a part of the Christmas Kuswar platter.
The Baath cake is rich in coconut flavoured with rose water which gives it a wonderfully nutty and floral fragrance at the same time. Besides its heavenly taste and aroma, the cake is also very moist and tender.
Baath or Batica is the traditional Goan Coconut Cake. This Cake is also called Batk or Baathika.
For Goan Christmas sweet recipes, this Batica is very commonly made at most houses. Check here to make Goan Baath Cake Recipe with desiccated coconut and semolina (rava).
Over time, Goan sweets have become a popular part of the state’s culinary heritage, and many local sweet shops and bakeries specialize in making these traditional treats. Goan sweets are not only enjoyed in Goa but also in other parts of India and around the world as in Today Goan sweets and Cusine is being introduced to the Global Audience.