This haven of relaxation – Goa, is equally a hotspot for gourmands. When in Goa, all one thinks of is indulging in good food and what better way to enhance the experience than to enjoy local Goan dishes- many of Portuguese origin. From the popular mutton xacuti to a basic xitt-kodi and a pork vindaloo to a prawns balchao, you can get them all. But the trick lies in knowing the best places in Goa to savour the authentic flavours. My top ten recommendations to enable you to try the best of Goan food.
Pork Amsol at Bhatti Village, Nerul
Pork Amsol or Solantulem is a traditional tart, tangy and light curry made with pork chunks and kokum. This flavoursome curry can be paired with rice or poee and makes for a delicious meal. Generally enjoyed in Goan homes, Bhatti Village serves an authentic, home style one, with distinct flavours that are truly lip-smacking.
This spicy preparation with a special marinade made with spices and coriander, which lends it the characteristic green colour, while the chicken is pan seared or fried, is a delight for the taste buds. Although widely available across Goa, it is a must try at Lucio, where Chef Peter serves a rustic one bursting with the characteristic flavours.
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This street food is something every carnivore enjoys. Local spiced pork sausages, served with Goan bread, are available all over Goa. The version at Casa Sarita, the Goan cuisine restaurant, is a true delight.
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These melt-in-the-mouth pancakes, which are stuffed with spicy chicken and pan-fried, are a treat you cannot miss in Goa. The closest you can get to relish the ones any Goan home maker prepares, is at House of Lloyd.
A spicy preparation of clams with dry coconut, this is a typical dish relished in Goan homes. Try the mouth-watering one at O’Coqueiro and it will have you come back for more.
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This Saraswat Goan delicacy made with sprouted moong and a myriad spices, is worth indulging in. Soi does justice to this dish and a few bites and your taste buds are sufficiently tickled.
Nothing is more comforting than a well-made creamy potato spinach soup in olive oil. With palate-pleasing flavours, this one at Alfama, gets you off to a good start.
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A simple preparation of fried prawns with oodles of onions, tomatoes and chilly, this is a side dish at every meal in most homes. This place recreates the home experience.
This fleshy fish, stuffed with a spicy red vinegar-based masala, is a treat you owe yourself when you are in Goa. Fiery and delicious, this one is bound to land you in a food coma.
Bebinca is not all there is to sweets in Goa. This Portuguese sawdust pudding, with a quintessential creamy texture is a must try. The one here is deeply satisfying and a great way to round off your meal.
Food critic, features writer and columnist, Mini Ribeiro is a qualified Journalist, from IIMC New Delhi. She specialises in the Food & Beverage and Hospitality space. As an established food & beverage writer, Mini currently contributes to several leading English publications across the country – Asian Age, Hindustan Times, Sunday Financial Express, Hotelier India, Go Getter and Vistara inflight magazines and Rediff.com. She also has her own You Tube channel called Mini’s Food Fundas. Fond of cooking, Mini enjoys experimenting in the kitchen with various cuisines, with Indian regional food, being her favourite. She has recently started, a platform for home talent, called 'Flavours from Home', an initiative which aims to make women who are passionate about cooking, entrepreneurs.