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, bread, pork and local spices are some of the main ingredients in Goan cuisine. Use of kokum and vinegar is another distinct feature. Goan food is considered incomplete without fish.
The cuisine of Goa originated from its Konkani roots, and was influenced by the 451 years of Portuguese rule and the Sultanate rule that preceded the Portuguese. Many Catholic dishes are either similar to or variants of their Portuguese counterparts in both naming or their use of ingredients.
Goan prawn curry, a popular dish throughout the state.
The cuisine of Goan people is mostly seafood-based; the staple foods are rice and fish. Kingfish (vison or visvan) is one of the most commonly eaten varieties of fish. Other fish varieties include pomfret, shark, tuna, sardines, 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 use of vinegar, for example, is very prominent, specifically toddy vinegar, which is made from coconut sap that is retrieved from stems, and is then left to ferment for four to six months.
Introduction of new foods
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; it was introduced by the Portuguese and became immensely popular as a very important spice for wider Indian cuisine. The Portuguese also introduced beef and pork, meats that were and still are considered a taboo by Hindus of Goa. These two ingredients make up one of the national Goan dishes called sorpotel, which is made from beef and pork. Sorpotel is one of many dishes that allow Goans to distinguish themselves from Hindus, who do not eat beef, and Muslims, who do not eat pork.
Fish suke or dhabdhabit (सुकें) – Dry spicy preparation of fish, served as a side dish
Fish udid methi or uddamethi (उद्दमेथी) – 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 (किस्मुर) – A type of side dish normally consisting of dried fish (mostly mackerel or shrimp), onions, and coconut
Varan - A lentil preparation often made with coconut milk tempered with mustard, 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 with beans and cashews as the primary ingredients (तोंडाक)
Different varieties of sweets made from rice and lentils, such as payasu, patoli, madgane and kheer. (गोड्शें)
Sorpotel – A very spicy pork dish eaten with sannas or pão (Goan bread – spelled the same way as in Portugal)
Vindalho – A spicy curry traditionally made with pork. The name is derived from the Portuguese term for a garlic and wine (vinho e alho or vinha d'alhos) marinade. Contrary to popular versions made outside Goa, a traditional vindalho does not contain any meat besides pork. It also does not contain any potatoes nor is its name related to aloo (potato)
Xacuti – Type of curry made with roasted grated coconut and pieces of chicken or lamb
^Ihsan, Aqeel. ‘“I’m Goan Because I Eat Goan Food”: A Critical Look at the History of Goan Canadians’. The Graduate History Review 10, no. 1 (20 September 2021): 51. https://doi.org/10.18357/ghr101202120028.
^Chapman, Pat (2009). India: Food & Cooking: The Ultimate Book on Indian Cuisine. New Holland Publishers. p. 256. ISBN978-1845376192.