The long era of the Portuguese rule, combined with that of the Muslim and Hindu kingdoms, has left a permanent influence on the original style of Goan cooking. What we see today is an exotic mix of truly flavorsome and spicy cuisine. Most visitors, who have tasted Goan cuisine, truly get pleasure from this diverse and unique style of food, which has a distinct and unique combination of spicy flavors. The Goan cuisine, like the land itself, has many flavors and tastes with its vast treasure trove of culinary delicacies.
The three basic necessities in a Goan's life are fish, curry and rice and
it is these three ingredients that form the base of every food of Goa. From
fried fish to exotic blends like ambot-tik, seafood is usually a necessity
on the menu, except for the rare occasion for some religious adherence. The
blend of various cooking styles and influences has made the Goan food so
unique among the cuisines of India.
The Goan dishes range from prawns to sausages, chicken to beef and numerous
vegetarian dishes. Goan cuisine can satisfy even the most fussy gourmet
appetites. Some of the magnificent culinary delicacies of Goa are like the
prawn balchão and sorpotel that have become popular all over the
world. Goan food is simple and most of the dishes are chili hot, spicy and
pungent. It is interesting to note that items made from fish, rice and
coconut abounds in almost all Goan meals.
Goans feel content in not only what they eat, but also in cooking it.
Although contemporary amenities have almost completely taken over in the
urban areas, the conventional way of cooking in clay pots on firewood is
still maintained in most countryside areas of Goa. This manner of cooking
adds an extra smoky tinge to the food, which is of high value for the Goans.
The traditional Hindu Goan food is not so much influenced by the Portuguese
as is the case with the Christian food, which has been influenced not only
by the Portuguese but also by its overseas colonies. Traditional Goan
cooking calls for lots of patience and time. Prawns, crabs, lobsters, clams,
ladyfish, oysters and mussels are the main seafood that are used to make a
variety of curries, soups, fries and pickles in Goa. Besides the fresh
seafood, the Goans also savor dried and salted fish dishes.