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"Bringing together the Nawabs, Marathas and Portuguese cuisines in one kitchen is the Goan cuisine. Though fish, feni and rice still remain at the core, a lot more has emerged in the menu card. From the beach shacks to elegant restaurants, no one can afford to miss the Goan cuisine. And with so much spice and aroma in the air, even you can’t afford to miss it."
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The Goan Cuisine

If you are visiting Goa this vacation, expect to taste some exotic and spicy dishes. Goan cuisine is a mix of a lot of cultural influence. Right from the early Hindu and Muslim rule to the extended period of Portuguese domination - all have had an impact on the cuisine of Goa. Basically, there are two schools of cuisine that can be found in Goa. The first one is influenced by the Hindu religion while the other one from the Chritianity. The Hindu cuisine hardly picks up anything from the Portuguese style of cooking whereas the Christian cuisine picks up tips from the Portuguese as well as its overseas colonies cuisine.

Usually fish, rice and feni are the only items that a first time visitor can think of as Goa's food and drink. This perception is absolutely correct since no Goan can ever do without any of these three items. Infact, sea food finds a place in each of the Goan meal, in one form or the other. Prawns, ladyfish, mussels, lobsters and oysters make up a whole variety of sea food items. Pork is another item that is used widely to prepare a lot of non vegetarian dishes.

Ingredients

Goan love a hot, spicy and pungent food therefore a plenty of ingredients are used to give that tantalising taste. Some of the ingredients that are used on regulkar basis include kokum (a red coloured sour fruit), red chillies, coconut milk, tamarind and palm vinegar. Then, there are also a variety of chutneys that add that extra bit of taste to the food.

Cooking Style

The cooking styles of Goan are also hugely responsible for making the dishes extremely delicious. While in the urbane area, modern method of cooking has replaced the traditional one, the villages still continue with the old method of cooking. Clay pots and firewoods are used to cook food in the rural areas of Goa. This method of cooking gives what is widely known as the smoky flavour to the Goan food.

Few Exotic Preparations

Pork Vindaloo - In this, pork is seasoned with wine vinegar and garlic. Vinho stands for wine while alho means garlic. Originally it was a stew, however, in Goa, palm sap vinegar and local spices add a distinctive taste to the dish. Vindaloo can be made with other chicken and meat items as well as with prawns.

Sorpotel - This dish was originally prepared for some special occasions. It is prepared by cooking boneless pork along with toddy vinegar. Spices like cumin seed, cinnamon, red dried chillies, clove, garlic, ginger, green chillies and pepper are also made use of in preparing this non vegetarian delicacy. An interesting thing to note about Sorpotel is that it tastes much better on the third and fourth day, after it has been reheated every day.

Chicken Xacuti - This one will be loved by those who prefer a spicy preparation tremendously. The dish makes use of plenty of spices like nutmeg, corainder leaves, red and green chillies, ginger and cloves. Additionally tamarind and lemon juice make up for a pungent curry. The recipe can also be made with mutton.

Fish Curry - Grounded coconut is mixed with red chillies, peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric powdre, garlic and ginger to make a fine paste. Sliced onions, tamarind juice and green chillies are added along with a cup of water and salt. The mixture is cooked and dried mago and kokum are added in process. Later, fish is added and is cooked till ready. The dish is a hot favourite with the Goans.

Bibinca - Goa is popular for its sweets and cakes and Bibinca is one of them. It is prepared making use of coconut milk, flour, sugar, coconut juice, eggs and ghee. It is delight for your taste buds if you like sweet itmes a lot.

Other Famous Preparations

Vegetarian - Mushroom Tondak, Khatkhatem, Sushelle and Karathiacho Kuval. The first two are gravy dish while the last two are chutneys.

Non Vegetarian - Chicken Cafreal and Beef Rolls.

Sea Food - Dry Prawn Kismur, Kalputi, Crab xec xec and Fried Fish.

Deserts & Sweets - Dhonos, Christmas Cake and Dodol.

Portuguese - Fish Caldinha, Sopa de Camarao (prawn soup), Fish Caldeirada and Fish Recheiado.


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