Goan food falls into the rich tradition of the Konkan coast, happily complicated and enriched over the years by an exotic blend of sea, spices and a multi-cultural heritage.The culinary wonders of Goa include more than just lip-smacking platefuls of the freshest catch from the sea. A unique blend of richness and simplicity, traditional Goan treats make great edible souvenirs for the food savvy traveller.
So the next time you are in Goa, make time to stop by a bakery or a grocery store to stock up on these food souvenirs that will help you recreate Goan flavours at home!
Painstakingly prepared with each layer being baked separately, bebinca is a slice of soft, yummy goodness. This this decadent Portuguese-inspired dessert can have from five to fifteen (or more) layers—depending on the time and ingredients at hand. A slice of of bebinca (available in bakeries across Goa), garnished with almonds and served warm with ice-cream, is a delicious combination hard to resist!
Crunchy, sugar-glazed, deep-fried dough curls, kulkuls are great fun to to eat. As making them is pretty labour intensive, in most Goan homes, the entire family helps in making it. These golden brown, buttery sweets are just the thing to satisfy that craving for something savoury yet sweet.
A well-loved delicacy in Goa, perad is nothing but traditionally made guava cheese. Ripe guavas are high in pectin, which is why perad has the firmness of regular cheese. A gorgeous reddish brown in colour, this delectably soft sweet has a heady aroma and is totally yum. This Goan delicacy can be used in desserts or simply eaten with toast.
Bolinhas is a delicious coconut cookie with an exquisite contrast between the crunchy exterior and the soft, crumbly inside. This heavenly teatime treat can be enjoyed through out the year, but these much-loved cookies have a place of pride on a Goan Christmas platter. With hints of vanilla, they taste incredible when dipped in hot chocolate or topped with jam, leaving you wanting more!
A sticky, sweet and thick pudding made from coconut, jaggery and rice flour, dodol is another very popular dessert in Goa. While this sweet is also very popular in other countries South East Asia, the one made in Goa is unique due to a special kind of local jaggery that is used in its preparation. Dodol’s preparation also requires consistent and vigorous stirring for many hours, but this is one sweet dish that is totally worth the effort.
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Chorizos are spiced sausages that burst with flavour when you fry them. Similar to the sausages of Spain, chorizos made in Goa use plenty of spices, garlic and vinegar. They come tied in strings of 50 or 100 that can be cut as per requirement. Chorizo chilly fry and chorizo pulao are popular Sunday lunches in many Goan homes.
7. Molho and Balchao (Goan Pickles)
Made from fresh sea food, coconut vinegar and a variety of freshly ground spices, molho and balchao just get better with age. These pickles are a brilliant and tasty way of preserving seafood for when they are scarce during the monsoon months. Fiery red, with delightful sweet and sour notes, molho and balchao go well with any rice dish and can also be enjoyed on their own with bread or crackers.
8. Authentic Goan Masalas with Toddy Vinegar
The star ingredient in the most Goan dishes is their unique masala. A finely ground paste of spices, herbs, salt, and sugar with a generous splash of toddy vinegar, these masalas are a must in traditional Goan recipes. Must try Goan spice mixes include: Recheado, Cafreal, Vindaloo, Sorpotel, Xacuti and Ambotik.
9. Kokum Squash
A much-loved summer drink, kokum sherbet is extremely popular among the residents of the Konkan region (it grows nowhere else in the world!). Derived from the dried peels of the kokum fruits, the kokum squash lends a sweet and sour fruity flavour, and a gorgeous red colour that just adds to the appeal of this unique revitalizing drink. It is also an exceptional cure for those uncomfortable bouts of acidity.
While it is tough get these traditional Goan delights outside the state, this startup delivers them straight from Goan homes to yours.