Blend of tangy and spicy delights

Blend of tangy and spicy delights

Blend of tangy and spicy delights


Chef Anuj Mehta, who works in a popular Goan restaurant in the City, explains that it is the blend of the two major communities (Hindus and Christians), who live in Goa, that produce ‘culinary wonders’. “The ever popular pork vindaloo’ is a result of this combination,” he says. “Goan food,” he says, “is simple, but one has to bear in mind that most, though not all, of it is chilli hot, spicy, and pungent.”
With over a hundred recipes, the cuisine sure comprises popular dishes like the vindaloo, rechado, caldeen, xacutti and balchao, which can make any foodie go weak in the knees. Out of the lot, Anuj enjoys the sorpotel, a popular gravy, which can be teamed with many items like rice, sannas etc. “It is tangy and spicy at the same time. Plus, I like the way it tickles my taste buds,” says Anuj.

Some of the most common ingredients used in the cuisine are coconut, bagdi chillies, onion and garlic, Goan vinegar and tamarind. And they are easily available in the market. Anuj says, one of the easiest dish that can be prepared at home is the caldeen, a sauce mostly made out of coconut and green chillies and is a Goan speciality. “It’s very easy to make it because it doesn’t involve roasting and is not tedious to prepare, unlike most other recipes,” he adds. Ask him to pick one dish without which a Goan meal is incomplete, he says, “‘pork sorpotel’ without any doubt.”
When one thinks of Goan food, the first thing that comes to mind is the pork or the seafood delicacies and not the vegetarian cuisine.

“It’s not totally true. The speciality of Goan cuisine is that most of the popular recipes can be served vegetarian, either with a paneer, or potato or mixed vegetables,” he explains.
But things like proper portioning of raw materials, the right time to add Goan vinegar or tamarind and of course, using  authentic ingredients are some of things that Anuj says one must keep in mind while cooking Goan food.  Many Goan families prefer making these dishes at home as the City offers very few places with an out-an-out authentic Goan menu.

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