The Indian beach paradise of Goa, on the western coast of the Indian subcontinent, is a haven for every type of beach lover. Since Goans utilize their immediate surroundings for sustenance, it is understandable that being located right next to the Arabian Sea, Goans utilize all the fish sources in the sea for everyday meals. Dominated with locally grown spices, flavors, and herbs, Goan cuisines are extremely palatable and unique in their taste. The food in this beach town is not just about seafood and Portuguese influences, they are a beautiful combination of international and domestic flavors which create a flavor-packed meal.
If you are in Goa and are looking to get the real taste of the city then the best way would be to try out the local cuisines. But what should you go for? Check out these delicious.
Top Most Delicious Dishes in Goa
Goan Fish Curry
Goan fish curry which is locally known as Xitti Kodi is a staple diet among the Goan population and tourists. Made with a variety of spices, herbs, and coconut, the flavor profile is further multiplied with the presence of raw mango that adds tanginess to the whole dish. The star of the dish remains a medium-sized piece of Fresh Pomfret and raw mango. In some places, people also use kingfish which is equally delectable. Traditionally the side dish for this fish curry remains steamed white rice and the curry tastes better.
Chicken Cafreal is one of the signature spicy dishes of Goa. Introduced in Goa during the Portuguese rule, this chicken dish is a must-try for every spicy food lover. The chicken is made by marinating the chicken overnight or more in a marinade made out of main coriander and a host of other spices. The use of tamarind adds a touch of tanginess to the whole cuisine which makes it different from other fried chicken and gravy dishes. You can pair this dish up with your choice of bread or Rice.
Kalputi is a very traditional and unique way of using the entire body of fish that is utilized and nothing is wasted. Fleshy parts of fishes like the head and fillets are used in creating traditional and famous seafood cuisines. The remaining unused parts of the fish are lightly ground up and cooked together with mild spices and grated coconut. The fish used in this dish is made out of snapper sea bass and kingfish that are found easily and in abundance in Goa. This Goan main dish goes well with freshly made Rotis or Paos and doesn’t forget to be extra careful about fish bones.
Goan Pork Vindaloo
Unlike many other Goan cuisines, the traditional Pork Vindaloo is not that spicy but in fact, it is extremely tangy. The term Vindaloo is a Portuguese word meaning a meat dish made out of pork, wine, and garlic. The flavor profile of pork vindaloo has evolved over the years and additions like Kashmiri Red Chilli has been added and the wine is replaced with vinegar. The traditional and locally prepared Goan Pork Vindaloo is packed with fragrant spices, herbs and does not contain potatoes. It is made at every festival like Christmas, Easter or New Year.
Chicken Xacuti is another one of the most popular dishes of Goa. Packed with aromatic flavour this check dish also contains herbs like Kashmiri Red Chili, poppy seeds, anise seeds, and maize flower. The Xacuti or the Shagoti successfully captures the tropical essence of the natural Konkan coast of Goa. It is also a way of exemplifying the beautiful combination of local food traditions and Portuguese influences. The chicken in a traditional Xacuti is moist, juicy, super succulent, and cooked to perfection in deliciously aromatic gravy which is packed with complex flavors.
Shark Ambot Tik
Don’t get alarmed by the name of this local cuisine. Small regular-sized baby sharks are easily and regularly available in the coastal regions of India. This seafood dish is made after the thick skin of the shark is removed and the remaining singular cartilage-like spine is cooked to perfection. This means there are no bones in this variety of fish making it a much-loved delicacy among adults as well as children. Just like many other fish varieties, not only is shark ambit delicious but it is also packed with fatty acids and omega 3.
Sorpotel is a red meat curry that enhances the tangy and spicy flavor. The root of this dish goes back to the Portuguese era which has now been accepted and evolved as a household favorite in the Konkan regions like Mangalore, Goa, and Maharashtra’s East India community. Goan Sorpotel is made using pork but sometimes it also uses beef, mutton, or chicken. The preparation of this curry starts days prior where the meat is marinated in vinegar and Chillies which needs a lot of time for the meat of your choice to fully absorb the flavors.
The word Feijoada comes from a Portuguese term meaning beans and is sort of a stew consisting of Beas, beef, and pork. This gravy dish is flavor Packed, spicy and tangy red which is made using a combination of red beans and beef or pork sausage which kind of looks like a non-vegetarian Rajma dish. This creamy dish is spiced up with tamarind and coconut milk. It is easy to make, one-pot healthy solution as it is vegan and gluten-free. Best served with Chapatis or your choice of bread or steamed white rice.
The food of Goa is a beautiful amalgamation of years of history and the past is depicted through ingredients on a plate. Vegetarian, non-vegetarian, or seafood meals makes Goa a paradise for foodies and non-foodies alike.