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The cuisines of Goa

The cuisines of Goa

Goa with its unique mix of culture, history, landscapes, is an interesting place when talking about the cuisine it offers. It is a heaven for foodies and has exclusive menu of eatables be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian. Goan cooking holds expertise in every arena of cuisines. Because Goa has a diversification of various religions like of Hindus, Muslims and Portuguese, which is why cooking here is very much eccentric from rest of India. Those who love Goa's beaches, eventually fall in love with Goa's food too.
Goa abounds in seafood offering a wide variety of fish, crabs, lobsters, prawns, oysters etc. Goan cooking although is simple, the addition of spicy, tasty and pungent spices makes it even more divine. Goa food is known for the grinding and mixing of spices as well as constant churning and stirring that eventually adds to the explicit taste.

Sea food
The popular sea food here is the fish curry and the rice. Kingfisher fish along with mouth watering variety including pomfret, doumer, shark, tuna and mackerel are famous in Goa. There are excellent shellfish  like crabs and tiger prawns and other sea food comprising of squid and mussels.
Usually the local cooks add a lot of spices and its the thorough seasoning that adds the flavor to the curry. But for the sake of visitors, there are also restaurants where cooks prepare food with little or no spices. Food in that case is generally fried, grilled or cooked in garlic sauce.
The most famous and widely eaten dish is ambot tik which includes a slightly sour curry. It can be prepared using fish or meat, but fish is more usual. Caldeirada is a little flavored dish in which the fish or prawn is cooked into a kind of stew with vegetables, and further flavoring is done with wine. Racheido is another delicious dish that uses complete fish, stuffed with a red spicy sauce. The sauce is called Balchao which is cooked in advance and reheated for four days until it is ready, to be used.

Meat preparation is popular along with seafood and is amongst the most eaten food in Goa. Sorpotel is the most famous of all meat dishes and is prepared from pork. The liver, heart and kidney are all sliced and cooked in a thick, seasoned sauce flavored with feni. Sorpotel can be kept for several days like balchao and is considered to taste better if left for three-four days before it is reheated. The traditional way of preparing meat is known Xacuti and is cooked in coconut milk.
Goan sausages are prepared with additional amount of salt and spiced cubes of pork. Chouricos are spicy pork sausages and involves drying in sun. After having been dried, they are hung above fire where they are slowly smoked. Sausages are usually eaten during monsoons when fish is not available. During the preparation it is soaked in water and when ready, it is well served with hot sauce and rice. Cafrial is a method of cooking, used with chicken, where meat is marinated in sauce of chillies, garlic and ginger. Thereafter it is dry-fried, resulting in a dry but spicy fish.

Coconut which is immensely grown in the area, is used in almost all food preparations including making and baking of breads. The locally eaten, “sanna”, are steamed rolls made with rice flour, ground coconut and coconut toddy. Sanna can be eaten with any Goan dish.

Bebinca is the most popular sweetmeat in Goa and is prepared by layering coconut pancakes. It involves a difficult art where the cook has to be precise while cooking each layer to the right limit. Dodol is yet another dish eaten during the Christmas. It is prepared using rice flour, coconut milk, jaggery and cashew nuts. Another favorite of Goan sweets is Doce which is made with chick peas and coconut. 
The most popular drink of Goa is feni which is prepared in the region and widely consumed. There are two ways of preparing it with coconut and cashew nuts. Feni does not take much time to ferment and distill which is why it can be consumed straight after it is ready. When kept for years it takes a better taste and is usually mixed with Coke or Pepsi.

Goa is sometimes also known as mini India representing the distinct cultures in one small place. It is not only a paradise for beach lovers but also a solitary adobe for foodies having large appetite and taste buds. 

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