Goa is one of the most sought-after destinations in India, both for domestic and foreign tourists. The state boasts a beautiful coastal terrain and rich history, with various monuments and heritage sites, making it an ideal location for travellers. Additionally, the state has a unique and diverse spectrum of local cuisines. However, tourists previously had to travel to specific spots to find an authentic local flavour, as these cuisines were only available in a select few places in Goa. To address this issue, latest reports suggest that Goa has made it mandatory for beach shacks to serve traditional dishes, sparing travellers the trouble of searching for authentic local food. Beach shacks dotting the shores now offer local cuisine alongside the abundance of Chinese and Indianized American junk food that was once prevalent in the area.
Travellers visiting Goa can indulge in a unique culinary experience that blends Portuguese, Konkani, and other Indian traditions. Goan cuisine is famous for using fresh seafood, aromatic spices, and coconut, resulting in a delightful platter of flavours. We have curated a list of some of the most mouth-watering Goan dishes that you must explore.
Goan Fish Curry is a classic dish from the Indian state of Goa, made with fish cooked in a delicious and spicy coconut-based curry. It is typically served with steamed rice and is famous for its tangy and spicy flavours. This dish perfectly blends sweet, tangy, and spicy flavours, making it a must-try for anyone who loves coastal cuisine.
Vindaloo is a popular Goan dish, a tangy and spicy curry made using marinated pork, vinegar, and a blend of spices. The dish has a rich and bold flavour profile. The Goan vindaloo has its roots in Portuguese influence. In Madeira, a subtropical climate in Portugal, the locals developed a unique style of cooking called 'Carne vinha d'alhos,' which is meat marinated with garlic and wine. The Goan chefs replaced the original wine and vinegar with spiced and Kashmiri chillies, and the name "vindaloo" originated from the evolved version of "vinha d'alhos."
This dish is a flavorful and aromatic delicacy made with either chicken or lamb. It is known as Xacuti, or Shagoti in Goa, and has its origins in the Harmal village of Pernem Taluka, Goa, where fishermen communities commonly prepared it. The dish is prepared using roasted spices, coconut, and poppy seeds, which results in a thick and rich gravy that adds to its unique taste and flavour.
Sorpotel is a traditional dish of Portuguese origin, which is usually served during festivals and celebrations. It's a spicy stew made with pork, liver, and vinegar. The dish is also popular in northeastern Brazil. The name 'Sarapatel' means confusion, referring to the mixture of ingredients, which includes pork meat and offal, such as heart, liver, and tongue. In the past, pork blood was also used, but it's rarely included in the current version of the dish due to the difficulty in obtaining pure blood. The meat is first parboiled, then diced and sauteed before being cooked in a spicy and vinegary sauce.
This is a traditional dessert from Goa that consists of 7 to 16 layers of creamy pudding made with coconut milk, sugar, and egg yolks. Quite popular around the Christmas season, the dish is prepared using caramelised sugar, which gives the dessert a rich flavour that sets it apart from other sweets.
Feni is a spirit that is locally distilled using cashew apples or coconut sap. It has been in existence since the 16th century and is known for its high alcohol content. It can be consumed neat or used as an ingredient in cocktails. The term "feni" is derived from the Sanskrit word "phena," meaning froth. This refers to the bubbles that form when the liquor is shaken or poured into a glass.
Sannas have their origin in Goa, Damaon, Mangalore, Bombay and Vasai, and they vary in their preparation with ingredients used by different ethnic and religious groups. These delectable steamed rice cakes are made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk, and they are a popular accompaniment to curries. Sannas are a favoured delicacy during festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Samsar Padvo, and Makar Sankranti.