Embark on a joyous culinary trip to Goa at the Gokulam Park
Delicious seafood, pungent spices married to coconut and cocum doing the tango with tangy tomatoes.
The contrasts were evident at the Goan food festival at Gokulam Park. It was almost a joyous culinary trip to Goa.
The elaborate buffet spread includes typical Goan fare such as mutton Xacuti, pork sorpotel, prawn Balchao, fish Peri Peri, chicken Cafreal…and many other dishes. For that touch of authenticity, a Goan food specialist was brought in. Chef Jacinto Gurjao is the man behind the recipes.
Goan cuisine is the result of many influences – there is a bit of Konkani here, a dash of Maharashtra, a hint of Portuguese and voila, you get a slice of real Goa on your plate.
Fish peri peri is a fiery red fish curry in red masala gravy with tiny bits of chopped garlic with other spices. The unassuming looking chicken Cafreal, which incidentally is a misleadingly shade of green, is a heady combination of chilli, ginger and coriander. These go very well with the variety of rice and breads available.
While these were spicy, prawn Balchao had a hint of the sourness of vinegar and a dash of tangy tomato in the gravy. The food was a burst of intense flavours.
Mutton Xacuti, the traditional thick mutton curry, brought out the happy flavours of thick coconut mixed with red chilli. The Xacuti can also be chicken or lamb.
For pork fans, the sorpotel is an ideal choice. A dish of Portuguese origin, the sorpotel is generally spicy and packs in the punch of vinegar. A variety of sorpotels are on the menu.
The Goan pork sausage pulao is filling and is perfect if rice is your thing. It has vegetables and juicy chunks of meat, which impart character to the dish.
The breads, however, are a bit too chewy, and did not meet expected standards.
For the vegetarians, a delicious stir-fried dish of mushroom and baby corn is a delightful option. Soft chunks of mushroom and corn sauted well.A thick, green-coloured curry with beans and carrots will be a perfect accompaniment to white rice. The flavours of spice blend well with the coconut base.
The cabbage side dish comes with a generous sprinkling of freshly grated coconut. It resembles and also tastes a lot like the typical Kerala thoran.
What is Goan fare without the bebinca? The mouth-watering traditional Goan sweet is the highlight of the food festival. Apart from the bebinca, other desserts available are the Arroz Doce, the Goan Vonn. Portuguese sponge drops and Goan coconut pancakes, too, are must-tries if you have the sweeth tooth.