Goan Food: Although Indian food is found almost everywhere around the world today, Goan cuisine is a completely different subset and few Goan dishes are seen on typical Indian menus in the UK, USA etc. Although one of the most famous Goan dishes, vindaloo, might be well known, there are many others that are harder to find. In this foodie guide, what to eat in Goa, discover some of the best Goan cuisine!
There’s not too many big cities around the world that don’t have a couple of Indian restaurants offering a selection of curries, naans and poppadoms. But did you know that the food most of us know as ‘Indian’ is in fact North Indian cuisine – to be more specific, Punjabi or Bangladeshi.
As amazing as North Indian food is, there are many different styles of Indian curry you might not have heard of. Moving between the different states in India, the vast countryside and change in produce and historical influences greatly affects the style of curries made and entirely new flavours come to light.
Goa is a state found on the West coast of India and was previously colonised by the Portuguese for about 450 years. Due to this Portuguese influence you find that the curries of Goa are very unique and incredibly tasty.
Here we put together a compilation of some Goan Food – Try Before You Die dishes if you ever visit this tropical beach paradise.
Goan Food: Vindaloo
This dish is a favourite on menus all over Goa and has even been introduced into the famous English curry scene (although it’s much hotter in England). The name Vindaloo has some interesting origins with Vin – meaning vinegar and Alho – meaning garlic in Portuguese, and some believe Vindahlo is the original pronunciation. Others claim that with the addition of potato (Aloo in Hindi) we get Vindaloo.
Goan Cuisine: Xacuti
This dish is usually made using either chicken or pork and has a complex sauce incorporating many different Indian spices including white poppy seeds, sliced or grated coconut and large dried red chillies.
What To Eat In Goa: Balchao
This is a dish that will make your eyes water – it’s spicy! But it also has some interesting flavours as it is more of a vinegar based curry mixed with fresh local prawns. This is a particularly multi-cultural dish as the Portuguese brought the influence of Macau in China back through Goa on their way back to Europe.
Goan Food: Goan Sausage
A spicy sausage quite similar to Chorizo in flavour and look – but closer, of course, to Portugues chouriço. Tastes great on pizza.
Goan Dishes: Caldin
Caldin is the mild yellow curry option which simply means ‘in gravy’. Often served with prawns but can incorporate any fish. We found it had a flavour with some similarity to a mild Thai curry.
Goan Cuisine: Cafrael
A tasty, spicy dish that uses whole chicken legs coated in local spices and then shallow fried. Cafrael is often huge and very filling so make sure you’re hungry if you order it!
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Heading to India? It’s quite a challenging place to travel – Read our India Survival guide.