Goan (Goa, and it’s vicinities, India) cuisine is a melange of Konkan, Portuguese and Arabic influences. While Goa’s two major communities—Hindus and Catholics—both make liberal use of spices and seafood, Catholics use coconut vinegar, beef and pork—ingredients introduced by the Portuguese. The colonisers also introduced bread-making techniques and foodstuffs brought from other international colonies such as chilli, cashew nut, guava, pineapple, tomato and potato. Their dishes were given local twists: the spicy vinegar-infused vindaloo is a Goan version of a Portuguese meat stew cooked with garlic and wine (vinho e alhos). Here are five ways to discover how locals use spices and fresh produce to create mouth-watering dishes.
Take a spice plantation tour
Several spice plantations clustered around Ponda in south Goa offer an introductory tour, followed by a traditional lunch. This is an interesting way to learn about the organic cultivation of spices such as pepper, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg; trees such as cashew and areca nut; and fruits such as jackfruit, custard apple, mango and pineapple.
Goa has several excellent restaurants which represent the culinary diversity of the state. Among the best is Panaji’s Mum’s Kitchen, which offers a mix of familiar dishes like xacuti (a curry with coconut, spices and poppy seeds), balchao (a fiery tomato-chilli curry) and cafreal (fried chicken marinated with spices).
Cook like a Goan
If your passion for food goes beyond eating, enrol yourself at the Siolim Cooking School to discover local culinary secrets. The classes are conducted at Siolim House, a heritage hotel in Bardez. Participants are taken to a market, introduced to local spices and ingredients, and given insights into the cultural and religious importance of food. They are also taught well-known Goan dishes such as chicken cafreal, pork sorpotel (a spicy curry of vinegar and chillies), xacuti and fish curry. Siolim House also runs cooking holidays for hotel guests.
Happy eating and traveling
Source of this article is Happy Trips here.