Due to its history as a Portuguese colony, the state of Goa, located on India’s west coast on the Arabian Sea, blends the finest elements of both Indian and Portuguese cultures. While soaking in Goa’s rich cinema, music, and even architecture, take a moment to sample some of its most delectable dishes.
Goan fish curry with rice is one of the most popular and oft-consumed dishes in Goa. Curries are made of coconuts, spices, and vegetables, which the fish is then marinated in and cooked until ready. Some variations of fish curry will incorporate raw mango to give the dish a sweet and sour kick. Because Goan fish curry is quick, simple, and cheap to prepare, consider making the dish yourself in the kitchen of your vacation apartment or wherever you find accommodations.
Characterized as a Catholic food because of its Portuguese cooking style, chicken cafreal was first introduced to the region by African soldiers serving under the Portuguese government. That colorful history aside, chicken cafreal is known for being dry and spicy, as it is prepared with garlic, chilies, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, and a bevy of other spices. Once these ingredients are ground into a paste, the chicken is then added, then left to marinate over night. Once ready, the chicken is fried until the paste is dry and is served with salad or rice.
If you crave something sweet, you cannot go wrong with bebinca, a multi-layered cake made with coconut milk and ghee, a type of clarified butter. Traditionally, bebinca is comprised of sixteen layers of pudding, and its lengthy preparation time is due to each layer needing to be fully cooked before the next layer is added. Ghee—which is used throughout the cooking process to keep each layer moist—makes up the final layer on top. You can experience this rich dessert in most Goan restaurants, but also expect to see it at celebrations like births and weddings, as well as major holidays like Easter and Christmas.