The Dual-Inspired Goan Cuisine

Going to the state with Goa tour packages and sampling its local cuisine can elevate the experience of travellers to a whole new level. The food here is a mix of local and traditional styles, and is influenced by the Portuguese and British styles. As the region lies on the coast, seafood is the most important aspect of the cuisine. Coconut, for the same reason, is the second-favourite ingredient in most Goan dishes. In South India, rice is the main grain that is grown and consumed, and so is the case in this state. Another important part of the food here is the liberal use of spices; something for which the entire region is renowned for in the world. We can classify the cuisine into two sub-types: Indian and Colonial. The state is famous for feni, which is an alcoholic beverage, distilled from the juice of cashew nuts.

 

Indian

 

Traditionally, the Indian-influenced food consisted of seafood, but not terrestrial creatures. The contemporary population has in fact developed a taste for other meats as well. People earlier consumed animal products like milk, ghee, butter, yoghurt, but not egg; however, this too has changed now. These kinds of dishes are soured with kokum and tamarind and sweetened with jaggery. Fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves are some of the hugely-used flavouring substances. It is less hot, less spicy and less oily than preparations from other parts of India. Onions and garlics are used somewhat sparingly, making the items less aromatic. A lot of lentils and vegetables like pumpkins and gourds are consumed by locals in plenty, and the fat used for cooking is generally coconut oil.

 

The Chinese influence is also apparent, for instance, in the Malabar fish curry. In it, sardine is cooked with onions and lady-fingers, and served with rice. Uddamethi is made with mackerel and fenugreek or in some variations with hog plums or raw mangoes. Dried mackerels, onions and coconuts are used to cook kirmur, which is eaten as a side dish. A popular vegetarian food item called bhaji is made using different mashed vegetables like peas, potatoes and cauliflowers. Another widely-consumed vegetable dish is tondak, prepared with beans and made rich by adding cashew nuts. Payasu, kheer, patoli and madgane are the sweet-dishes, generally made using rice, milk and lentils.

 

Colonial

 

The colonial-influenced cuisine mostly consists of non-vegetarian dishes with generous use of pork. A well-loved pork dish is sorpotel, which also uses giblets. Meats are first parboiled, then cut and sautéed, and finally simmered in a sauce of spices and vinegar. Fluids of animals are also utilised; for example, in cabidela, where the meat is cooked in its own blood. Balchao is made with prawns and cooked in a gravy of tomatoes, chillies and vinegar. Feijoada is cooked using beef, various types of beans, carrots, cabbage and tomatoes. Chicken or lamb is cooked in a gravy spiced with poppy seeds and red chillies to make xacuti. The most popular curry dish of Goa is vindaloo, made with lamb or chicken, and in some variations potatoes are also added. Many other dishes can be sampled while availing Goa holiday packages, such as patoleo, cashew laddus and khaje.

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