Goa, the smallest state in India is a place that offers all kinds of fun to its tourist. It is well known for its beaches, carnivals, churches, and much more. But, what if I was to tell you that Goa is also famous for its cuisine?
Well, the Cuisine of Goa is widely known for its unique blend of Portuguese and Indian traditions. This has led to the creation of a very unique cuisine in Goa that many people love to devour. The Cuisine of Goa is famous for its variety and for being extremely lip-smacking. It has a flavor that will make your taste buds dance with delight.
However, when you know some facts about the Goan Cuisine, you will be able to understand how different cultures, traditions, and invasions have had a great impact on this cuisine. In this blog, we will discuss 10 lesser-known facts about the Cuisine of Goa that might help you better understand the cuisine of the beach paradise of India.
The Cuisine of Goa is a blend of Portuguese and Indian traditions
The Cuisine of Goa is a blend of Indo-Portuguese and Indian-style cooking. The Goan cuisine is influenced by both the local Goan food culture and the food of Portuguese colonists who settled in Goa during the 16th century. The majority of these Portuguese settlers were Christians and Catholics, who brought with them many spices, recipes, and techniques that were different than those used in Europe at the time.
While the Goan cuisine is influenced by both the local Goans and the Portuguese, several other communities from the neighboring states also have an impact on the Cuisine of Goa such as the Malayalis (Keralites), and Maharashtrians.
A typical Goan meal is more than just typical
As we know Goan cuisine is influenced by a blend of Portuguese, Indian and local flavors. The cuisine has been persuaded by many cultures, which can be seen in the use of ingredients like coconut oil, ginger, mustard seeds, and curry leaves for making the majority of the Goan dishes.
A typical local Goan food plate consists of Rice, two vegetable items, and some kind of meat. Sometimes they even have seafood as part of their diet. The most popular dish is Vindaloo which is made from pork or chicken marinated in vinegar, garlic, and spices before being cooked and served with rice or bread. Other than that you will also find several vegetarian Goan dishes that are a part of a vegetarian Goan meal such as Paneer Tikka Masala (paneer cubes marinated with spices) or Saag Paneer (spinach cooked with paneer cheese).
The popularity of Goan cuisine can also be attributed to its famous local dishes like prawn curry, and xacuti with rice. Other popular dishes include risotto, seafood stews, pork stews, and chicken curries.
A Keralite family runs Goa's most beloved Café
Café Chocolatti, one of the most famous restaurants in Goa is run by a Keralite family and it serves traditional Goan dishes like xacuti, prawns, sorpotel, and much more. Cafe Chocolatti was also featured on Zomato’s list of the best restaurants in India.
Goa has a very rich gastronomic history and it’s no surprise that it has become an important tourist destination in India over time. The state offers various cuisines from around India as well as from around the world. If you’re visiting Goa anytime soon, make sure to sample amazing local Goan food at Café Chocolatti as some of the famous food in Goa is available here.
Goa’s famous Vindaloo wasn't originally from Portugal
You may be surprised to know, but vindaloo which is one of the famous food in Goa wasn’t originally from Portugal. The word “vindaloo” comes from the Portuguese “vinha d’alhos,” which means wine vinegar, and garlic in English. As the Goan cuisine is influenced by majorly Portuguese colonists, this particular dish was also invented by a Portuguese chef who worked for Dom Pedro.
On his visit to India in 1810, he created this dish using local ingredients like chilies, potatoes, vinegar, and garlic as well as spices imported from Portugal such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom. Hence, while vindaloo may be a dish that follows a Portuguese style of cooking, it wasn’t invented originally in Portugal but was uniquely created in India.
Goa’s first bar & restaurant was the Souza Lobo at Calangute beach
The first bar & restaurant in Goa was Souza-Lobo which offers some of the most famous food in Goa. It was incepted in 1932 by the grandfather of Jude Lobo (Owner of Souza Lobo).
Jude Lobo’s grandfather’s dream was to start a restaurant to serve authentic Goan dishes to customers in Goa. This dream became a success in 1932 and the restaurant soon gained popularity among locals as well as foreigners visiting Goa.
Jude took over the management of the restaurant after his father’s death at the age of 16 and since then there is no turning back. The restaurant still owns its rich heritage and reputation and because of being located at the picturesque Calangute beach customers get to enjoy a good view.
Goans seem to be the first to introduce sausages and puddings
The local Goan food cuisine is a blend of Portuguese, British, and Indian cuisine. Due to this, the local Goan food is the culmination of multiple cultures and traditions. The impact of these multiple cultures and traditions in the Cuisine of Goa has led to the introduction of a lot of unique dishes.
There is a widespread rumor that Goans were the first to introduce sausages and puddings to the world. Considering how the local Goan food culture is, this seems pretty possible. However, there is not significant enough proof to justify this. But, on the other side, this is something not many of us would know since this majorly remains a local secret.
Sorpotel is a native dish of Goans
Amond the many Goan dishes part of the Cuisine of Goa, Sorpotel is a spicy pork dish that originates from Portuguese cuisine and is another most famous food in Goa. The word sorpotel means ‘hot pot’ in Portuguese.
Sorpotel is a local Goan food that can be served with rice or bread to make it more filling and flavorful. It is usually made using different types of meat like pork, beef, or chicken but the most common version of this dish uses pork. The main ingredients used to make this dish are vinegar, garlic, onions, red chilies, and salt.
Be it a special occasion or a festival, without the presence of Sorpotel on the food table, any party in Goa is incomplete. Hence, Sorpotel happens to be a native Goan dish in Goa.
Sannas and Patoleo are popular Goan delicacies
The Cuisine of Goa is mainly known for its seafood, but there are certain local delicacies and Goan dishes that are very popular such as Sannas and Patoleo but not all know of them.
Sannas is a dish made out of rice flour, coconut milk, and sugar. It is also known as sannasee or sahug in the Konkani language. It’s eaten during Christmas but it’s available all year round at most restaurants in Goa.
Patoleo is a sweet dish made out of coconut, jaggery, and flour. It is a delicacy mostly made on special occasions, however, you may be able to find it at select restaurants during non-festive periods.
A special dish called Khatkhate is served during festivals
Khatkhate is an assorted vegetable stew prepared in Goa. It is also commonly called Khatkhatem and is a famous food in Goa. It is made during all festivals and religious events. A festival or an occasion would be incomplete without khatkhatem. This stew is very nutritious as it is made with different vegetables.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and learning about some lesser-known facts about the Cuisine of Goa. Goa is one of the primary states in India where tourists from around the world love to travel and spend their vacations over the years. While we have read above that Goa is not just famous for its beaches but also its heritage-rich cuisine, exploring Goa for its food culture should be on your agenda on your next visit.