Stocking Up for the Monsoons
Summer is the time when we look forward to a number of feasts lined up in very village or to the regular weekly market. Some feasts may be a small village celebration while with others it is a huge congregation of devotees. It is also the time to stock up for the monsoon months, the occasion marked by festivals like Purumetache fest in Margao and Our Lady of Miracles (Milagres) in Mapusa.
People keenly wait for the feast to stockpile food and other necessary ingredients. People throng to these annual feasts to buy varieties of produce to see them through the monsoon season. These include chillies from Khorjuve, Morji, Aldona and the long variety from Moira. In the south, chillies from Khola which has received a GI tag are a favourite for their aroma and pungency. It is also time to stock different types of local beans, coriander, grains and brown rice. Purchases are also made to present as gifts to family members and relatives who make visits during the summer vacation.
When fish is in short supply during the rainy season, one can fall back on varieties of dry fish such as mackerels, sardines, Bombay duck and tiny prawns which people purchase during these feasts and especially during the famous Friday market at Mapusa.
Feasts are the right time to buy homemade products like papads, shandge (made from sago) ghouns (made of sweet potato), rice noodles, pumpkin wadi, rice and wheat wadi, mouthwatering pickles of mango, tendli, lime and other fruits. Value added products of raw and ripe jackfruit are also familiar during the feast as also kokum and dried tamarind.
Though living in the new age, making provisions is still in vogue, although many products are available round the year as they are sourced from different geographic locations. Still, the fun and festivity of Purumetache fest brings people together for the sheer quality and flavour of Goan savouries and condiments.