When we talk about Goan cuisine the tempting ideas of that mesmerising taste and liberal use of spices, Coconut, rice, and seafood will take hold of our senses. The use of Kokum and Vinegar is another phenomenal feature of Goa’s cooking style.
The cuisine is deeply rooted in Konkani culture and was designed by its Portuguese colonial influence.
Goan cuisine is diverse and offers exceptional flavours. Portuguese-inspired Catholic cuisine is something extremely delicious, but that’s not all.
Goan Saraswat cuisine is equally delightful and popular not only for its vegetarian cuisine but also for its non-vegetarian delights, mainly fish and chicken.
Goan Cuisine Origin
Goa is a state found on the West coast of India and was previously colonised by the Portuguese for about 450 years. Due to this Portuguese persuasion, you find that the curries of Goa are very unique and incredibly tasty.
The Portuguese brought chilli peppers to India and there began a love affair that has lasted for centuries. Thanks to the abundance of coconuts, seafood, fresh spices, vinegar and rice, the cuisine is a mix of different flavours. It is a cuisine strikingly different from other Indian dishes, perhaps due to the European look and taste of some dishes, perhaps due to the sometimes generous addition of toddy and feni.
Goan cuisine is a rich combination of its history and environment. Being located in a tropical part of India, right along the coastline, you’ll find a lot of seafood, rice and coconuts. Its position on the Indian Subcontinent, of course, leads to a tradition of curries and complicated combinations of a multitude of spices.
Let’s begin with the 10 most loved and time-honoured dishes that live in the hearts of the Goan people. Also if you are a tourist you shouldn’t miss this list of incredible Goan things!
1. Goan Churico
Goan Churico is the Portuguese cousin of the famous Spanish sausage. Indian and Portuguese influences are strong, with pork being the meat of choice. The sausages are flavoured with vinegar, garlic, chilli, and spices like turmeric, cumin, ginger, and cinnamon which make them even spicier. The Churico
sausage is made from large chunks of boneless pork that have been sliced or minced and heavily salted. The minced meat is dried in the sun for a day or two. Then a mixture of spices, ground red pepper, palm vinegar and feni, a local liquor, is added. After filling the casings, the resulting sausages are again dried in the sun or slowly smoked.
Usually served in a curry, boiled or fried, accompanied by white rice or fried potatoes and sometimes a boiled egg. The slices can be simply cooked with onions and vinegar.
2. Recheado Mackerel
Recheado mackerel is a seafood delight from Goa! Crispy Fried Mackerel
A fish appetiser in Goan seafood is the thali, which is usually made with oily deep-sea fish like mackerel (bangda) that is marinated and stuffed with spicy recheado masala. Covered in oven-baked semolina, it’s then fried in a pan until crispy on the outside and soft and flavorful on the inside.
Fish filled with the typical Goan spice paste is loved by all Goans. Bangdo is the Konkani word for mackerel.
Recheado Masala is spicy, tangy and slightly sweet. It is most commonly used as a stuffing for fish such as mackerel, pomfret, or even squid!
This is a very versatile Goan seasoning, it can also be used as a marinade like these grilled chicken drumsticks or as a spice paste to flavour dishes like Goan squid or stuffed squid. The spicy taste of the spice paste and the deliciously spicy taste of the mackerel just go together perfectly.
3. Alle Belle
The Alle Belle is the childhood memory of every Goan. Thin, fluffy pancakes that melt in the mouth and are filled with a mix of coconut and jaggery make these pancakes tasty.
Coconut and Jaggery with cardamom or nutmeg flavour is a classic Goan sweet combination. The jaggers used in this recipe are not your usual light cane jaggery. A special pyramid-shaped palm jaggery, also known as Madachem Godd by the Goans, is used for the filling of these pancakes. This dish works well with some hot tea but you can serve it with coffee or even as it is.
Goan Palm Jaggery has a deep, rich, almost chocolate flavour. These pancakes are just that – simple and delicious! The outer shell is soft and smooth with a bouncy texture filled with the most delicious moist filling.
4. Goan Meatball Curry
The juicy meatballs in a creamy sauce taste great for young and old alike. If you’re hosting a small party, most will be drawn to the beef and meatball curry. They can be praised for “delicious meatballs” and the authentic blend of rich spices and coconut texture
The meatballs are smothered in a lightly spiced creamy coconut curry for the ultimate convenience.
This curry is packed with flavour and pairs perfectly with plain steamed rice and flavorful pulao peas. Those who don’t like rice go well with Goan bread (poee) or rolls.
All ingredients are readily available in Goan local markets and this Dish is most celebrated on occasions. This easy-to-make Goan Meatball Curry is hearty and mouthwatering, with a creamy sauce and soft, delicious meatballs.
5. Goan Kulkuls
Kulkul (pronounced as Kalka) is a fried sweet snack. It is prepared by Catholic Indians (Mangaloreans, Goans and East Indians) for Christmas. The balls are shaped like Italian gnocchi shaped like a fork. They’re also made by rolling out the dough thinly, then cutting it into 2-inch squares and pinching the opposite ends together to form a shell. The cake consists of only 6 basic ingredients and contains no eggs. Flour, coconut milk, butter/ghee, sugar, wheat cream (rava, for crunchiness), and a pinch of salt, then fry until golden brown.
KulKul is also known as Kidiyos (worm) in the local Indian dialect. They look like a worm or a caterpillar. This snack’s textured ridges are achieved by sweeping it over a clean fork or new comb. If you look at the pictures below you will notice the difference in the bumps using the fork and comb.
6. Goan Mushroom Xacuti
Here is a delicious Goan Xacuti dish that is made with freshly roasted and ground mushrooms and spices. It’s the perfect accompaniment to hot steamed pulao or buttered sandwiches for lunch or dinner. Xacuti Mushroom or Tondak Mushroom is an authentic Goan traditional recipe.
The recipe is optimal when prepared with wild or forest mushrooms. The Goan Xacuti Mushroom recipe is easy to prepare. First, all the ingredients must be sorted. Then grind the ingredients listed below to make the sauce. Next, sauté the chopped onion, tomatoes and mushrooms and add the sauce. Boil, salt and garnish with coriander leaves.
7. Goan Chicken Vindaloo
Vindaloo is a Portuguese-inspired Goan dish made by boiling meat with spices and vinegar. There are many legends surrounding Goan Chicken Vindaloo. This curry comes from a melting pot of Portuguese, Goanese and British influences. The name “vindaloo” is a twisted version of the Portuguese dish carne de vinha deal, which means “meat marinated in garlic and wine.”
Goans modified the dish by adding Indian spices and cooking it in vinegar instead of wine. This is how the fiery, spicy red Vindaloo curry was created. Vindaloo
The sauce is hot and tangy, full of savoury, slightly sweet and salty flavours. It is gluten and dairy free.
8. Khatkhatem (mixed vegetable curry)
Khatkhate is a mixed vegetable stew from Goa. Also pronounced khat khat, it is a popular dish in Goa. It is performed during all religious holidays and ceremonies. A festival or occasion would be incomplete without khatkhat. This stew is very nutritious as it is made from a variety of vegetables. The mixed vegetable stew known as the Goan Hate Recipe is prepared without oil. YES! This is an oil-free recipe and contains no onions or garlic. It’s also vegan.
Khatkhate is a mixed vegetable stew from Goa. Also pronounced khatkhat, it is a popular dish in Goa. It is performed during all religious holidays and ceremonies. A festival or occasion would be incomplete without khatkhat. This stew is very nutritious as it is made from a variety of vegetables. The mixed vegetable stew known as the Goan khatkhate recipe is made without oil, this is an oil-free recipe and contains no onions or garlic. It’s also vegan.
9. Ambot Tik
Ambot Tik Curry is a classic hot and spicy fish curry from Goa!
A filling meal starts here – Goan Prawns and Goan Shark Curry. Unlike most Goan curries, this Ambot tik hai curry doesn’t contain coconuts. So it’s a great option to do if you’re running out of freshly grated coconut and still want to make a delicious Goan dish! It is best served with Goan steamed rice/steamed rice, sannas (Goan steamed rice cakes) or even Pao/Pav (buns).
A popular fish for this curry is the shark. The spiciness of this curry is well balanced with tamarind and vinegar as the base of the tart ingredient.
10. Samarachi Kodi
Before the wedding, the bride’s family gathered to prepare this heroic dish, one of many, and gave a feast to those in need and asked them to bless the bride and groom.
Spices are dry-roasted until they fill your kitchen with an exotic aroma. The dish is usually prepared with spices such as pepper, cloves, mustard, dried coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin, cinnamon, and star anise, which is ground into a portion of pasta with tamarind, coconut, and a mixture of dried red chillies.
You get a sweet and sour curry and a fun texture between soft biscuits and fresh shrimp, without forgetting the crunchiness of dried shrimp. No wonder grandma’s hearty meals, albeit on special occasions, included this hot and spicy fish curry.
The fun part of all the mentioned dishes is some or the other way connected with some time-honoured stories! Some of them are connected to the fun memories of childhood too! And if we were able to make that bridge between the present state and emotional state of mind don’t forget to leave your comments down.