For vegetarians and vegans holidaying to Goa, you'll find a great range of dishes to suit your needs.
There's always an anxiety for vegetarians and vegans when they head on holiday. A new language and differing stances on dietary requirements mean that finding a suitable vegetarian or vegan dish can be something of an uphill struggle.
In Goa however, and much of India for that matter, the ease of locating vegetarian or vegan fare is very easy, and the rewards will be undeniable, such is the quality of the range of vegetarian and vegan dishes which adorn the menu of many a Goan eatery.
A fine example of vegetarian cuisine in a Goa hotel
India is home to around 500 million resident vegetarians, which is nearly eight times the population of the entirety of the UK! A number of Hindus choose to acquire a vegetarian diet, as they believe it minimises the hurting of other lifeforms, while many other Hindus choose to also exclude eggs alongside meat in their diets.
Thus, the concept of veganism, vegetarianism and non-vegetarian is acknowledged throughout India and found in practically all restaurants and amongst all hotel buffets. Goa in particular, due to its fine tourism infrastructure, caters brilliantly for vegetarians, with almost all restaurants featuring a good spread of vegetarian dishes.
Vegetables for sale in a market in Panjim
It's incredible how delicious India's vegetarian dishes can be, often when just using the likes of pulses, vegetables, spices and grains. Many of India's famous meat curries can easily be substituted for pulses or vegetables, so you won't even have to sacrifice experiencing authentic Indian cuisine to pursue a vegetarian or vegan diet.
There are numerous hotspots for sampling Goa's offerings of quality vegetarian food, but we recommend trying Navtara, who have locations in Panjim and Margao, and Tatos, who you can find in Panjim.
A selection of vegetarian starters at a spice plantation in Ponda
There are numerous dishes to look out for on the menu of all restaurants you visit in Goa, with many vegatarian or vegan-friendly dishes a mainstay of the majority of eateries in the state. As a tasty vegetarian starter, try ordering paneer tikka, cottage cheese marinated with tandoori masala and grilled, or hara bara, spinach, green pea and potato kebabs made into tasty cutlets.
Panipuri is another popular vegetarian starter or snack, consisting of a round and hollow crisp ball which is filled with a combination of ingredients such as chutney, chilli, chaat masala, potato and chickpeas. They're a popular street food snack that's delicious and filling.
Of the many main dishes to order during a vegetarian dinner, cauliflower caldin is one of our favourites, a coconut curry typical of Goa served with delicious, fresh cauliflower and rice. Originating from the state itself, this dish is readily available across numerous restaurants, and is even easy to recreate at home.
One of Goa's most famous dishes, xacuti, a delicious curry flavoured with complex spicing and the likes of dried red chilies and coconut, is usually served with chicken or lamb. However, arguably the most delicious vegetarian twist of this dish is mushroom xacuti, a dish retaining all of the tasty flavours afforded by the spices, but using mushrooms as a substitute for the meat.
Are your taste buds ready to be tantalised? Start planning your foodie escape to Goa now by paying a visit to our accommodation collections.
What is the food like in Goa (including special diets)? Read more