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Xacuti, Sorpotel and Fish Curry Rice may have acquired cult status in Goa for foodies, but desserts are an equally important part of a Goan meal and across the Portuguese inspired Christian cuisine and Hindu Saraswat cuisine, there are options galore. Of course, coconut and cashew nuts are common to most of the desserts. From puddings to custard and dry sweets to cakes, there is a lot to choose from. And yes, there is more to desserts in Goa, than just the layered, Bebinca or the Marzipans and Walnut Drops, during Christmas, which we all know about. On your next trip to Goa, try these. Here are my top 5 recommendations.
Manganem at Café Azul, Cidade de Goa, Dona Paula
Although a popular Goan Hindu Saraswat dessert, Manganem made of the roasted split gram, sago pearls, jaggery and coconut, this payasam-like dessert, is hard to find on restaurant menus. Café Azul does a delicious one, reminiscent of one prepared in a typical Goan Saraswat household.
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Alle Belle at Nostalgia, Margao
These delectable pancakes made of flour, milk and eggs with a coconut, jaggery and cashew nuts filling, are relished for breakfast or tea time. The ones offered here, are delicious and satiate your sweet cravings. It is indeed difficult to stop at one, as this place serves an authentic version, quite similar to what is prepared by mothers and grandmothers in Goan homes.
Serradura at Kokni Canteen, Panjim
The Serradura here, is spelt ceradura and may sound strange, but boasts of a top-notch taste, just the way it should be. This simple ‘sawdust’ pudding is exceedingly well-made and the proportion of whipped cream and crushed Marie biscuits is just perfect. Extremely creamy, it simply melts in the mouth and leaves you wanting for more.
Date and walnut cake at Café Central, Porvorim
This cake may not have Goan origins, but for some reason, is immensely popular with the people here. A must-have on any feast, this simple cake is a delight for the taste buds and Café Central, an old and popular bakery, offers one of the best ones, affordably priced. Not too sweet, one can actually taste the dates and the walnuts. Have a slice!
Caramel custard at Longuinhos, Margao
This Portuguese-style casual dining place is known for its authentic delicacies. Not only are the snacks and main course offerings a treat, but the Caramel Custard here is sweet, creamy and wobbly, just as one makes at home. It is indeed the perfect way to round off a meal. An indulgence truly worth succumbing to.
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.