The food in Goa is a true reflection of its rich culture and heritage. It is a perfect mixture of its Hindu foundations, the 400 year Portuguese rule and contemporary techniques. The core ingredients of Goan cuisine are seafood, coconut milk, paste and rice. Due to the pleasant tropical climate, the use of various spices, zests and flavors is eminent in each dish. Another important ingredient in Goan Cuisine is the use of Kokum, which gives the food over here a distinct taste.
Since Goa is very popular tourist destination among both foreign and domestic tourists, the food over here has an international feature. It is an ideal blend of east and west. Hence, the food in Goa plays an important role in the economy and tourism industry of the state. Goan cuisine is incomplete without fish. Therefore, most of the popular dishes over here have fish in some way or the other.
During the Portuguese rule, they brought new ingredients to the country such as potatoes, tomatoes, pineapples and guavas from Brazil to Goa. However, till the late 20th century, most of these ingredients were not acceptable by the Hindus. Another important component of Goan Cuisine influenced by the Portuguese was the use of chillis in the dishes. Prior to the Portuguese rule, none of the ingredients mentioned above were used in the food before. Seafood in Goa
Situated next to the ocean, Goa is known for its fresh seafood. A typical Goan dish is unfinished without the use of fish and rice in it. The most popular fish used in Goan cuisine is Kingfish, locally known as Visvan/ Vison. Other types of seafood such as Shark, Pomfret, Tuna, Mackerel and Shellfish like Prawns, Lobster, Crabs, Tiger Prawns, Squid and Mussels are also very popular over here.
Since Goa has two major religions prevalent in the state – Hinduism and Catholicism, the cuisine in Goa is greatly influenced by them. Famous Hindu Cuisines in Goa
Hindus in Goa prefer food that is less spicy and hence, they use Kokum and Tamarind for acidifying the food and Jaggery for sweetening it. The core components in their food is fenugreek, mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafetida and coconut oil. Hindu Cuisine in Goa mainly features vegetables, pumpkins, bamboo shoots, gourds and so on as their main ingredients. Here are some popular Hindu dishes in Goa:
- Uddamethi – A curry based dish with Fenugreek and Fish (usually mackerel)
- Dhabdhabit – A spicy side dish made with fish
- Kismur – A side dish consisting of dried fish, usually mackerel or shrimps, with coconuts and onions
- Tondak – A popular dish made with cashew nuts and beans
- Khatkhate – A stew made with mixed vegetables
- Solachi Kadi – A hot spicy coconut curry with Kokum
Famous Catholic Cuisines
- Different types of Papads and pickles
Catholic Cuisine in Goa is greatly influenced by the Portuguese, Konkani, South Indian and British Cuisines. Here are some popular Catholic dishes in Goa:
- Ambot Tik – Spicy cury made with fish
- Arroz Doce – Portuguese version of Kheer (sweetened rice made in milk)
- Balchao – Prawn or Shrimp curry
- Canja De Galinha – An original Goan dish made out of chicken and rice
- Chamuca – Portuguese version of Samosa
- Chourico – Spicy Pork Sausage
- Croquttes – An appetizer made out of beef
- Xacuti – A curry prepared with grated coconut and chicken/ lamb
- Sanna – Goan version of Idli (rice cake)
- Vindaloo – A very popular Portuguese spice curry
- Bebik or Bebinca – Pudding eaten during Christmas
- Different types of Halwa such as cashew nut halwa, mango halwa, banana halwa and pumpkin halwa.
Other popular dishes include Cashew nut laddoos, Khaje, Nevryo, Peda, Puran Poli, Mangane, Sakhar Bhat and Payasa.