Sunday, 13 May 2018

INDIA: Goan Cuisine, Influenced By Numerous Cultures.Traditional Cooking Methods Provide Unique Tastes And Aromas.

Goan cuisine consists of regional foods popular in Goa, an Indian state located along India's west coast on the shore of the Arabian Sea.

Rice, seafood, coconut, vegetables, meat, pork and local spices are some of the main ingredients in Goan cuisine.

The area is located in a tropical climate, which means that spices and flavors are intense.

Use of kokum is another distinct feature. Goan food is considered incomplete without fish.

It is similar to Malvani or Konkani cuisine.

The cuisine of Goa is influenced by its Hindu origins, the four hundred years of Portuguese colonialisation and the Muslim rule that preceded the Portuguese.

Goan cuisine is influenced by numerous cultures that it came into contact with over the centuries: Portuguese, Arab, Brazilian, African, French, Konkan, Malabar, Malaysian and Chinese.

The three main communities of Goa Hindus, Muslims and Christians — also contributed to the cuisine. This blending of native cultures and foreign is reflected in Goan cuisine.

The major foreign influence came from the Portuguese. This started in 1498, when Portuguese explorer Vasco De Gama came to Goa.

The Portuguese started trading with India and brought with them an assortment of goods, including vegetables and spices like potatoes, chillies, tomatoes, cashew nuts, passion fruit and more.

They also brought pork, beef, bread, vinegar and other meats. The local cuisine and recipes were transformed, leading to the changing food habits and lifestyle of local Indians.

New dishes were introduced, like pork vindaloo, prawn balchao and pork feijodda.

Goan Hindu and Christian food are distinct from each other. Christian Goan cuisine draws influences from Portuguese, Konkani, British, Saraswat and South Indian cuisines.

Every Goan dish has four important elements: sweetness, sourness, spice and salt.

Hindu Goan cuisine can be quite different from Christian Goan cuisine, but it still contains these elements, and makes use of tamarind and kokum, while Christians use vinegar to get a tangy flavour.

Goans tend to love cooking as much as they love eating. Although modern cooking methods have taken over, many Goan households still make use of traditional cooking methods, like cooking in a clay pot on a wood fire, using a varn or grinding stone to grind spices.

A dantem or hand-mill for grinding cereals, and brass utensils for cooking desserts.

Traditional cooking methods provide unique tastes and aromas. Regardless of the cooking method used, the freshness of spices is fundamental, and is achieved by pounding the spices with muscle power and patience.

Goan cuisine is incredibly rich and delicious. Fish curry and rice are the staples of Goan cuisine.

The most common fish on the menu is Kingfish, followed by tuna, shark, pomfret, mackerel and doumer.

Pork and seafood dishes are also prominent. Some specific Goan specialties are fish Recheado, fish Caldeirada, fish Caldeen, prawn Balchao, pork Assad, caldo verda, bebinca and sorpotel.

Many Catholic dishes are either similar to or variants of their Portuguese counterparts in both naming or their use of ingredients.

The cuisine is mostly seafood inclined, the staple foods are rice and fish.
Kingfish - vison or visvan is the most common delicacy. Other seafood delicacies include pomfret, shark, tuna, and mackerel.

Among the shellfish are crabs, prawns, tiger prawns, lobster, squid, and mussels. The food of Goan Christians is heavily influenced by the Portuguese.

The Portuguese introduced potatoes, tomatoes, pineapples, guavas, and cashews from Brazil to Goa and consequently India.

The chili pepper is the most important aspect of Goan cuisine, which was introduced by the Portuguese and became immensely popular as a very important spice for wider India cuisine.

None of these above mentioned ingredients were used in Goan cuisine before the advent of the Portuguese.

The Portuguese also introduced beef and pork to the converts of Catholicism, which were and still are considered a taboo by some of the Hindus of Goa.

However it is common to see people of either faith enjoy delicacies of the other.

Hindu cuisine in Goa is mainly pescetarian and lacto-vegetarian, but lately the younger generation have taken up a taste for chicken & mutton, which was not common before.

Hindu cuisine mainly uses less heat, tamarind and kokum for souring, and jaggery for sweetening.

It uses asafoetida, fenugreek, curry leaves, mustard, and urad dal. It is not very spicy; less onion and garlic are used.

It also includes more vegetables, such as lentils, pumpkins, gourds, bamboo shoots, roots, etc.

Hindu cuisine is less oily and the medium of cooking is coconut oil.
Many parts of coastal Karnataka such as Udupi and Dakshina Kannada have adopted the Goan lacto-vegetarian cuisine, whereas few major parts of Uttara Kannada have adopted the pescetarian cuisine.

Favourite Goan Hindu Dishes Are:

- Humann. Fish curry and rice, also known as kadi or ambot

- Fried fish

- Fish suke or dhabdhabit. Dry spicy preparation of fish, eaten as a side dish

- Fish udid methi or uddamethi. Type of curry consisting of fenugreek and mackerel; a vegetarian version of this dish is also prepared using hog plums or anything sour and tangy, such as pieces of raw mango.

- Kismur. A type of side dish normally consisting of dried fish mostly mackerel or shrimp, onions, and coconut

- Dangar. Goan fish cutlets.

- Kalputi – A dish normally prepared from the head of a large fish, with onions and coconut.

- Bhaaji or shak. A term for stews, Curries, stir frys made from different vegetables and fruits

- Bhaji. Fried Fritters with Besan batter. Different kind of bhajis can be made by changing the vegetable used with Besan. Popular bhajis include those containing onion or chilies.

- Khatkhate.

- Varan. A lentil preparation often made with coconut milk tempered with mustard, hing, curry leaves, and chilies, served as an accompaniment to rice for the Naivedya, prepared during all Hindu festivals, and an integral part of wedding feasts.

- Tondak. A dish made with beans, cashews, etc.

- Various varieties of sweets made from rice and lentils, such as payasu, patoli, madgane, kheer, etc.

- Various varieties of pickles and papads.

- Solachi kadi. A spicy coconut and kokum curry.
Catholic cuisine in Goa is a fusion of Indian and Portuguese cooking styles.

Vinegar made from the toddy of local coconut trees is used to give the zingy taste to the meat dishes.

Popular Goan Catholic dishes are:

- Ambot tik. A spicy and sour curry prepared with fish

- Arroz doce. A Portuguese derivative of kheer or sweetened rice custard.

- Balchao. A curry made with prawns/shrimp

- Bebik. A pudding traditionally eaten at Christmas

- Cafreal. A masala marinate mostly used for chicken or fish made from coriander leaves, green chilies, and other spices.

- Canja de galinha. A type of chicken broth served with rice and chicken, which is originally a Goan recipe

- Chamu├ža. A Goan/Portuguese derivative of the samosa

- Chouri├žo. A spicy pork sausage

- Croquettes. Breaded and fried shredded beef rolls, a common snack among Goan Christians and the Portuguese

- Feijoada – A stew brought by the Portuguese. It is made with meat - beef or pork, beans, and cabbage.

- Patoleo or patoli. A dish of turmeric leaves stuffed with rice, dal, jaggery, and coconut.

- Roast beef and beef tongue. Popular entrees at Goan celebrations

- Ros omelette. An omelette drowned in spicy chicken or chickpea gravy and served with pao a Portuguese-Goan bread.
- Samarein chi kodi. Goan curry made with fresh and dried prawns.

- Sanna. A dry rice cake, a variant of idli

- Solantule kodi. A spicy coconut and kokum curry

- Sorpotel. A very spicy pork dish eaten with sannas or pao a Goan bread.

- Vindaloo. A spicy curry made with pork, chicken, or lamb. The name is derived from the Portuguese term for a garlic and wine vinho e alho or vinha d'alhos marinade.

This dish is popular in the West, particularly the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand; not related to aloo or potato.

- Xacuti. Type of curry made with roasted grated coconut and pieces of chicken or lamb.
Cashew laddus, nevryo, khaje, revdyo, peda, puran poli, sakhar bhat, madgane, and payasa are other well-known dishes.

There are several types of halwa, such as dali kapa - halwa made from red gram, cashew halwa, mango halwa, banana halwa, pumpkin halwa, and dodol.

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