Visitors to Goa tend to think that food and drink in Goa means the famous fish, curry, rice and feni package. And for most Goans these are indeed the three basic necessities of life -- fish, curry and rice. They combine to make a heavenly daily meal for the average Goan.
Most people who sample Goan cuisine, enjoy this different and unique style of food which has a distinct and unique combination of spicy flavours. A Goan values his food as much as he does his daily siesta (break).
The traditional way of cooking in clay pots on firewood continues in most rural areas of Goa. This style of cooking adds an additional smoky flavour to the food, highly valued by Goans.
Despite the two schools of cuisine traditions influenced by the respective religions of Hinduism and Christianity; there are some meeting points that present an interesting harmony. This blend of various cooking styles and influences is what makes Goan food so unique among the cuisines of India.
With a wide variety ranging from prawns to sausages, chicken to beef, and numerous vegetarian dishes, Goan cuisine is able to satisfy even the most finicky gourmet appetites. Goa has some magnificent culinary delicacies like the prawn balchão and sorpotel which have become famous around the world.
Goan food is simple but most, though not all, of it is chili hot, spicy, and pungent. Items made from rice, fish, and coconut abound in nearly every Goan meal.
Seafood such as prawns, lobsters, crabs, pomfrets, clams, ladyfish, mussels, and oysters are used to make a variety of curries, fries, soups and pickles. Besides fresh seafood, dried and salted fish dishes are also highly prized by Goans.
On our last visit to Goa during the monsoon we were delighted to find that there were plenty of good restaurants still very much in business despite the rains.
Here are two we really enjoyed.
Just off the Colva/Vasco Road. Betalbatim Tel: 832 288 0061
More than a decade ago, Mrs. Martin started cooking for local taxi drivers who needed to pass the time while waiting for foreign clients who were eating at more upmarket institutions. The secret soon got out, however, and now she presides over one of the best restaurants in the region. The menu here is extensive, and the seafood superb. Highlights include fish caldin, (cooked with coconut and spices), fresh lobster, big pomfret, or red snapper.
We were there during the world cup and the restaurant ad really entered into the spirit of things with big screens, staff in football kit and footballs as decorations - this time of year 90% of customers are locals who know little about football yet truly got involved.
Another busy out of season restaurant is the trendy Peppers in Margo the local market town in South Goa.