Food

A whiff of Goa in Green Park

DISH THAT CHEERS! Goan sausages with pao

DISH THAT CHEERS! Goan sausages with pao   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Turquoise Cottage serves excellent Goan dishes and a dash of nostalgia

There is nothing quite like nostalgia, as I often say. I felt the magic of old memories one evening a couple of weeks ago when I went to meet two old friends, in a restaurant that I had first visited long years ago. I ate food that I always associate with leisure and fun. The amps belted out the unlikely combination of the Doors and Boney M. All put together, it turned the evening into a memorable one.

Okay, let’s start at the beginning. The friends in question are two great food lovers and chefs — Crescentia Scolt Fernandes and Chrysologus. I met them long years ago when I was going past Meharchand Market one day, and suddenly spotted a restaurant that served Goan food.

On the ground floor was a tent house, and on the first floor was Bernardo’s. I met the two owners, struck a chord, ate a grand meal, and followed them with great interest as they moved from Meharchand to Chittaranjan Park to Gurugram.

I always wanted to visit them again, but Gurugram was much too far for me. Then, recently, they got in touch with me and said that they were collaborating with this happening restaurant called Turquoise Cottage (TC).

I remember TC because many years ago, when restaurants were still opening up in Delhi, it had made a name for itself for its food, music and media nights. The restaurant was in Adchini those days, and is now in Green Park, And every weekend, on Saturdays and Sundays, Crescentia and Chrysologus are there with their special Goan dishes.

They know about my fondness for pork, so there was this delicious smoked Goan sausage dish with pao to begin with. Cres and Chrys make their own sausages (which they also sell), and this was spicy and smoky – and simply superb. One pork dish is never enough, so there was a plate of pork chilli fry, too — strips of succulent pork stir fried with onions, potatoes, chillies and spices. The pork was melt-in-the-mouth soft, with just the right amount of fat dripping from it, and I had a great time mopping up the fat with a bit of the pao, and listening to what they now call retro music.

You cannot have Goan food and not have seafood. So we had something called Rissois de camarao – which is essentially a Portuguese dish of gujiya-like pastries stuffed with shrimp and other seafood, deep fried. With a casing of flour and bread crumbs and a minced shrimp stuffing, it was a delicious starter. The cammarao recheado was a dish of prawns stuffed with spicy tangy masala made with red chillies and toddy vinegar.

I thought I couldn’t eat another crumb by then, but decided I had to try out something that wasn’t pork or seafood. So we zeroed in on the chicken cafreal, a dish that had surprised me no end during my Goa visits – because I didn’t think I would get wowed by chicken. But the cafreal appeals to me because of the spices and the subtle flavours of coriander. Shallow fried, it allows the meat to trap the juices and the flavours well.

Sweet ending

I ended the meal with some bebinca – a Goan-Portuguese dish prepared with coconut milk, flour and eggs – and some vanilla ice cream, and thought what a lovely evening it was. I was with old friends who were passionate about food. My kind of music was playing – well, blaring out would be more appropriate – on the terrace where we sat. Cres and Chrys, who were far away from me, had come closer. What else could one ask for?

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 6:24:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/a-whiff-of-goa-in-green-park/article24065467.ece

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