Long sandy beaches and limitless places to party… that’s what one generally associates Goa with. But there is a lot more to the place, especially when it comes to exquisite dining. If you are planning a trip to the beach state, these are the dishes you cannot afford to miss.
Balchão: A special pickle made with prawns, pork or fish, lots of red chilli and roasted, ground spices! This fiery Goan dish originated in the Portuguese colony of Macau.
Cafreal: Prepared with chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, chilli, mace and coriander, Cafreal is like Portuguese grilled chicken.
Caldeirada: This is a thick stew made by layering vegetables and seafood in a tomato-based sauce.
Caldin: A coconut-based, slightly sour and thick curry made traditionally with any fleshy fish or occasionally, with prawns.
Chouriço: A spicy sausage made with pork, vinegar, chilli, garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric and other spices. It’s usually eaten with bread or pao.
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Recheado: Recheado (pronounced Ray-shaad) is a very spicy filling used in cleaned and gutted fish such as mackerel or pomfret and eaten as a starter dish or snack.
Sanna: Sannas are spongy rice cakes made with ground rice flour, toddy or vinegar and coconut palm sap and then steamed like idlis. They’re served with sorpotels.
Sorpotel: Sorpotel is a spicy legacy left behind at Catholic homes by the Portuguese. It’s traditionally made with pork and offals, and best had with sanna on the third day after cooking.
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Vindaloo: The Goan trademark dish, vindaloo or vindalho is a fiery curry made with plenty of red chillies, vinegar and marinated pork or beef. It’s hot and tangy taste is meant for the brave-hearts; but if you cannot handle spices, it can be made less spicy.
Xacuti: Pronounced ‘sha-koo-tee’, this is usually a chicken curry made with coconut scrapings, and secret spices that every Goan cook guards with his life!
(With inputs from Lonely Planet India’s Goa travel guide.)