While the cuisine of Goa consists of characteristics of different cultures that the region came in contact with, Goan cuisine basically has two separate traditions influenced by Hinduism and Christianity. Besides, the blend of these traditions results in some interesting dishes, a notable example of it being the Pork Vindaloo. Portuguese culture, like every other aspect of life in Goa, also has a strong influence on Goan cuisine. Though simple to cook, Goan cuisine is known to be chili, pungent and spicy.
Influences on Goan Cuisine
Goa is blessed with more than a hundred kilometer long coastline, the effect of which can be easily seen on its food. A typical Goan meal consists of sea food and generally uses coconut oil for cooking. People belonging to different religions have their own specialties.
Items made from rice, fish and coconut are generally present in every typical Goan meal. There is a variety of seafood available in Goa such as prawns, crabs, pomfrets and lobsters, which are used to make soups, curries, pickles and fries. Coconut milk, made by grating the white part of a coconut, is also an important cooking ingredient while tamarind and red chilies are also widely used.
Method of Cooking
Goan cooking is simple yet demands a lot of time as the ingredients require proper grinding before preparation. The ways of preparation used by different communities are slightly different from the other, which lends it its uniqueness.
The Christians prefer to add vinegar to zing up their cuisine while the Hindus use tamarind for the same. People from north like to grind spices and coconut individually while those from southern part of the state grind these together.
Different people also vary the ingredients a bit to add their own special touch. Coconut is a main component of most of the dishes although it is absent from some of the popular delicacies such as sopa grossa, vindaloo and caldo.