Due to its coastal location, Goa is renowned for its abundant supply of fresh fish and seafood: tiger prawns, lobsters, red snapper, lady fish, squid are often found on restaurants menus and definitely worth sampling.
Local cuisine can be split into two distinct camps. In Konkan Hindu dishes, creamy coconut milk is infused with aromatic herbs and spices and often served with locally caught fish and fluffy white rice, while the Goan Catholic dishes are typified by the use of vinegar, pork and beef.
In addition to these local cuisines you’ll find a great variety of international dishes available and an exciting fusion scene is rapidly immerging.
Here are just a few of the most popular Goan dishes to try during your holiday:
Pork Vindaloo - A very hot and spicy pork curry, flavoured with red chillies, ginger, garlic and spices ground in vinegar. Traditionally Goan Pork Vindaloo was a mild, sweet and sour curry, commonly served in the Goan home at Christmas, New Year and Easter.
Chicken Cafreal - Portuguese style grilled chicken infused with spicy green chillies, peppercorns, garlic and ginger.
Chicken Xacuti - A popular dish cooked with coarsely ground coconut, red chillies, poppy seeds and spices.
Feijoada – A Portuguese bean stew with either curried pork or beef served with rice
Goan Sausages – A chorizo like sausage made from pork marinated in Goan spices.
Goan Fish Curry - The staple dish of Goa, it is a coconut based dish flavoured with red chillies and fresh fish or prawns usually served with fluffy rice.
Prawns Orly – Battered Prawns with coriander.
Prawn Xacuti - A popular dish cooked with coarsely ground coconut, red chillies, poppy seeds and spices.
Fish Caldine – Fish in a very mild yellow Goan curry.
Fish Thali – Fish with curry and rice.
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Vegetable Xacuti – As with the chicken or prawn xacuti it is made with fresh coconut, red chillies, poppy seeds and spices.
Vegetable Caldine – Vegetables in a very mild yellow Goan curry.
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Desserts & Cakes
Bebinca - A traditional multi-layered cake made from a rich mixture of coconut milk, sugar and egg yolks.
Dodol - This is very sweet and traditionally eaten at Christmas. It’s made with rice flour, coconut milk, jiggery (sugar cane) and cashew nuts, served cold in slices.
Doce - Made with chickpeas and coconut, this is another firm favourite.
As imported wines and spirits can be particularly expensive in India due to hefty import taxes, local spirits and beers are often a popular choice for tourists visiting Goa. India produces a wide range of spirits including various brandy, whisky, vodka, rum and gin. Indian wines though can be of poor quality as the industry is still very much in its infancy.
Kingfisher Beer - A Goan curry is best accompanied by the local beer Kingfisher. This light lager is readily available throughout the state with the most common type being Kingfisher Premium.
Feni - A local spirit with an acquired taste, made from either cashew or coconut palm sap which is then fermented and distilled to around a 30% proof.
Please drink responsibly and remember that other guests, as well as locals, may keep much earlier hours than you.
Lime Soda Sweet and Salty - A deliciously refreshing drink, perfect to combat dehydration. It can be served with or without the salt.
Kokum Juice - Made from the kokum fruit, this red coloured juice can also be served with salt and/or sugar.
Green Coconut Water - The end of a green coconut is sliced off so that a straw can be inserted with the coconut husk forming a natural cup.
Sugar Cane Juice - Mobile roadside stall squeeze sugar canes to produce a think yellow/green refreshing drink.
Goan cuisine on the blog
Have these dishes tickled your taste buds? Why not sample our cuisine-based blog posts?