Goan cuisine

Goan-Style Mussels

This Goan-style delicacy is my all time favorite seafood dish.  Goa is the smallest state on the west coast of India known for its fresh seafood.  I may have said this before in various posts, but I’ll say it again – I could probably be quite content living on an island enjoying fish and vegetables on a banana leaf for the rest of my life :).

I’ve made this curry in two different ways in the past.  You could either use dry spices in a coconut broth or you could grind up a paste with shredded coconut and other spices to form a paste.  Today’s recipe calls for the first method.  These are without question, finger-lickin’ good!  You ought to have seen me, scooping up the delicious coconut broth with a shell and literally slurping it down.  I’m glad I was able to enjoy it all in the comfort of my own home 🙂


Goan Prawn and pumpkin curry

Do you ever give up anything for Lent?  Chocolates, alcohol, music, desserts?  I believe I did in my youth as we followed a very strict Catholic regimen, but these days I don’t have the will-power nor the drive to sustain these traditions.  However, I do try to adhere to the Friday Lenten observation when Catholics do not eat meat on a Friday.  In doing so, I do try to come up with various fish or vegetarian dinners on Fridays during Lent. Here’s one example.


Goan Pan Rolls (Happy Pancake Day)

Today is Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Tuesday.  It’s the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.  I thought of presenting these savory pancakes that are pretty popular in Goan kitchens.  You can choose to make them with a spicy ground beef mixture, chicken, lamb, mutton or shrimp.  You can also make them as a dessert. I remember growing up with these wafer thin pancakes encased with fresh coconut and jaggery.  Whichever way you choose to make these, either sweet or savory, you can bet you won’t be stopping at just one.  It is pretty labor intensive, but the results will be worth it in the end.


Goan Curried Fish Stew

From Goa, a tropical paradise on the south west coast of India, where palm trees dot the landscape and seafood is in abundance, comes this flavorful and succulent fish stew.  Goa was ruled by the Portuguese for many years,  it remained a Portuguese territory till 1961 when it was annexed back to India.  The Portuguese influences are still evident all over Goa from the architecture, to the religion, from the language and dress to the cuisine.  Goans even have Portuguese last names as a result.  Typically the Goan curries are made with fresh coconut, and an array of spices blended with vinegar, which gives some of the curries that distinctive tangy taste.  Mostly every Goan (that’s what the the locals are referred to), has a fondness for fresh fish.  This particular dish does not have the vinegar, but rather tamarind to render the tangy taste.  I’ve used mussels, salmon, and prawns in this recipe, but you can use any fish you have on hand.  I do think the addition of mussels give this curry a nice contrast against that bright yellow, don’t you?


Goan Beef Potato chops

As a child, I used to love when Mom made these savory and delicious mashed potatoes stuffed with spicy ground beef.  It is pretty labor intensive I’ll have to say, but oh so satisfying.  Call it what you will, potato cutlets, patties, potato chops, stuffed mashed potatoes, but they are definitely something you’d want to repeat again and again.  I’ve seen other versions of this same dish in cuisines around the world.  This Goan version is popular in Goa;  Goa is the smallest state on India’s west coast.  Renowned for its beaches and Portuguese influences, Goan cuisine is a blend of Portuguese and Indian flavors.