Goan delicacies

Posted by Shakesh Singh On 12:44 AM

Goa is famous for its seafood, the 'classic' dish being Goan fish curry and rice. Apart from a Curry preparation fish is also fried and sometimes picked. Kingfish is probably the most common item, on the menu, but pomfret, doumer, shark, tuna and mackerel are hot favourites as well. Among the excellent shellfish available are crabs, prawns, tiger prawns and lobster. Other seafood includes squid and mussels. Goa's luscious coconut and fish based dishes draw in people from all over the world.


 Goan Fish Curry

A popular version of fish curry in Goa is the Ambot-Tik which literally translates to Sour-Spicy. The sour comes from the use of the petals of the tart 'Kokum solam'. Known to be a cooling agent and honoured for its medicinal value, the red-coloured fruit of 'Kokum' is the real king of Goan cuisine.

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 mango and kokum are added in process. Later, fish is added and is cooked till ready. The dish is a hot favourite of all seafood lovers.

 Fish Recheado

Recheado means stuffed in Portuguese and in this recipe, a fresh whole fish, usually a mackerel or pomfret, is slit down the center and stuffed with a spicy red paste, after which it is shallow fried. Mackerel Recheado is one of Goa's most famous dishes. Other fish can be used is well. The fiery-red Recheado masala made of kashmiri red chilies, garlic, cumin, peppercorns and tamarind is ground into a smooth but thick paste using vinegar. It is very versatile and can be used to prepare many other Goan seafood dishes. The Recheado masala can be made and stored in an airtight container for months as the vinegar in it acts as a preservative.

Prawn Balchao

Prawn Balchão is another Goan favourite. Brought to Goa by the Portuguese, Balchão originated in Macao, where it is called Balichao. Balchao is a method of cooking either fish or prawns in a dark red and tangy sauce. Balchao is almost like pickling and can be made days in advance without reheating. The traditional Balchao uses a paste made from dried shrimp known as 'galmbo' in Konkani spices and feni(see below. This paste is added to fresh prawns, onion, spices and oil to prepare a prawn balchao. Balchao is often bottled and eaten as an accompaniment in meals. But many people leave out the dried shrimp paste as this lends a fairly strong fishy flavour to the dish.

- Pork

Pork is a popular meat available in Goa. Though the Hindu's and Muslims of the state don't eat pork because of religious constraints. it is widely popular among the Christian community and is in the main dishes of any festival or celebration. Vindaloo and Sorpotel are among the most famous pork dishes of Goa along with their spicy chourico sausages.



Pork Vindaloo
Pork is a must for any festive occasion in Goa and the most famous preparation is the vindaloo. There are diverse interpretations of the etymology for this word one being 'vinho' for wine, 'alhos' for garlic (Portuguese), 'viande' and 'aloo' for meat and potato (French and Hindustani). It is a spicy concoction, lots of red chilies, garlic, cooked with chunks of pork, Goa vinegar, and hard palm jaggery and is best enjoyed with plain boiled rice.

Sorpotel

Sorpotel is unarguably the essence of Goan Christian cuisine. Adapted from the Portuguese dish of Sarabulho, it is served traditionally at Christmas and on feast days. Sorpotel is one of those classic dishes that truly highlights the melange of Goan and Portuguese cultures in the cuisine of this state - Goan because of the generous use of spices; Portuguese because of the use of vinegar, which is hardly seen elsewhere.

Sorpotel is prepared from pork, liver, heart and kidney, all of which are diced and cooked in a thick and very spicy sauce favored with red chilies, cinnamon, cloves bathed in tangy toddy vinegar, which is needed to balance the strong taste of pig's blood: another traditional ingredient of this revered dish. The Blood is not used in recent versions of the dish as it is not to eceryone's taste. Sorpotel, like balchao, keeps for several days, and is actually considered to taste better if left for three to four days before being reheated.

Chouricos (Spicy Goan Sausages)

Chouricos are spicy pork sausages, which owe more than a passing debt to Portuguese culinary traditions. Goan sausages are prepared used well salted and spiced cubes of pork. Once they have been made, the strings of sausages are dried in the sun and then hung above the fire where they are gradually smoked. Traditionally they are eaten during the monsoon, when fish is scarce. To prepare them, they are soaked in water and then usually fried and served with a hot sauce and rice.

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