The cuisine of Goa is a delicious reflection of its history and heritage. It is influenced by its Hindu origins, four hundred years of Portuguese colonialism, and modern techniques. No other cuisine in India can claim such contrasting influences.
Seafood, coconut milk, rice, and local spices are main ingredients of Goan cuisine. Being a state with a tropical climate, the spices and flavours are intense. Use of kokum is another distinct feature.
Goan food is considered incomplete without fish, Rice and fish-curry is the staple of most Goans. Taste it once and you will know why!
Kingfish (Vison or Visvan) is the most common delicacy. Others include Pomfret, Shark, Tuna and Mackerel. Among the shellfish are Crabs, Prawns, Tiger Prawns, Lobster, Squid and Mussels.
The Portuguese have had a pronounced influence on Goan cuisine. They introduced Potatoes, Tomatoes, Pineapples, Guavas and Cashews. But the most significant contribution is the introduction of the spicy Peri-Peri Chilli, which is the most important part of Goan spices.
Goan cusines includes a wide variety of preparations:
- Fish curry called Humann and rice, also known as Kadi or Ambot
- Fried fish
- Fish Suke or Dhabdhabit – Dry spicy preparation of fish, eaten as a side dish
- Fish Udid Methi or Uddamethi – Type of curry consisting of fenugreek and mackerel. A vegetarian version of this dish is also prepared using hog plums (or anything sour and tangy such as pieces of raw mango) and fenugreek
- Kismur – A type of side dish normally consisting of dried fish (mostly mackerel or shrimp), onions and coconut
- Dangar or fish cutlets
- Kalputi – It is a dish prepared normally from the head of a large fish, onions and coconut
- Bhaji or Shak made of different vegetables and fruits
- Tondak, made of beans and cashew nuts
- Different varieties of sweets made of rice and lentils, like Payasu, Patoli, Madgane and Kheer
- Different varieties of pickles and Papads
- Solachi Kadhi - A spicy coconut and kokum curry
- Ambot tik – A sour curry dish prepared with either fish or meat
- Arroz doce – A Portuguese derivative of kheer (sweetened rice)
- Balchão – A curry based on a traditional sauce from Macao, made from shrimp, aguardente, laurel, lemon and chilli
- Canja de Galinha – A type of chicken broth served with rice and chicken, and is originally a Goan recipe
- Chamuça – A Goan derivative of the samosa
- Croquettes – Beef cutlets and beef potato chops that are common snacks
- Feijoada – A stew brought by the Portuguese
- Roast beef and beef tongue – Popular entrees at Goan celebrations
- Sorpotel – A Goan meat, liver, tongue, and blood curry that is made from pork and is very spicy. Eaten with sannas or pão bread
- Xacuti – Goan curry made with roasted grated coconut with pieces of chicken or beef
- Samarein Chi Kodi – Goan curry made with fresh and dried prawns
- Patoleo or Patoli – A dish of turmeric leaves stuffed with rice, dal, jaggery, and coconut
- Sanna – A dry rice cake, considered to be a Goan variant of idli
- Solantule Kodi – A spicy coconut and kokum curry
- Vindaloo – A spicy curry where the name is derived from the Portuguese term for a garlic and wine (vinho e alho) marinade. This is popular in the West, particularly the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. Unrelated to aloo (potato)
- Bebik (Bebinca) – A pudding traditionally eaten at Christmas
Cashewnut laddus, Nevryo, Khaje, Revdyo, Peda, Puran Poli, Sakhar Bhat, Mangane, and Payasa are other well-known dishes. Also, there are several types of halwa like Dali Kapa (halwa made of red gram), Cashewnut Halwa, Mango Halwa, Banana Halwa, Dodol, Pumpkin Halwa, and others.