How Goan Coconut Vinegar (Vinagre) is made

31 Aug


Goan cuisine is pretty much incomplete without vinegar or Vinagre( the popular word used, which is Portuguese) to add that sour flavor that is so famously associated with its food. In Goa, vinegar made from toddy is most popular and Goan food deprived of this important ingredient makes it incomplete. It is used in foods such as vindaloo, sorpotel, xacuti, sausages and is broadly used in soups, salad dressings, dips and recipes.

The process of obtaining this vinegar is done by toddy-tapper, who performs his job thrice a day on each coconut tree given to his care, morning, afternoon and evening. In the morning and evening the “vein” of the tree at its top is opened and the sap slowly drains into attached clays pot or plastic jug. During the afternoon heat, the toddy tapper climbs the trees and closes the openings so that the tree has time to recover its lost fluids. He climbs the trees using foot steps carved in the trunk and supports himself once in the tree tops by the base of the palm leaves.

Traditional Toddy Tapping is done for three consecutive days, enough sur [sap] is collected from the coconut trees to fill up a large jug. Once enough sur is collected, it is then subjected to a process which results in the production of vinegar by fermentation for a minimum of 6 months to a year and an alcohol called coconut feni, a distilled drink with a high percentage of alcohol.

There are also medicinal benefits to this all Natural Coconut Vinegar as well, which is rich in Vitamins like Potassium , Beta-Carotene, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Sodium and also contains anti-oxidants which make this natural food such a great part of your diet for the benefits it provides.

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31 Responses to “How Goan Coconut Vinegar (Vinagre) is made”

  1. silverpen2013 February 27, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    I had been reading recently about coconut aminos and by extension coconut sap vinegar and had wondered if this was a new fad food or a traditional food. Your post cleared that up for me. 🙂 Thank you. Thanks for finding my blog.

    • Nandini February 27, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

      I am happy the article was helpful Celina :-). It’s centuries old traditions in Goa.

  2. Anne Richardson May 15, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

    I had no idea this even existed. Thanks for teaching me something new today!

    • Nandini May 16, 2014 at 11:26 am #

      Awww…you are so welcome Anne :-). Love your travel blog. It’s on my bucket list.

  3. Mary Collette Rogers May 23, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    Same goes for me. How fascinating to see how pre-factory cultures made incredible foods–good tasting and good for you!

    • Nandini May 23, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

      That is so true Mary. I agree with you totally. My family enjoys eating home cooked meals then per-packaged foods.

  4. charlypriest May 24, 2014 at 3:05 am #

    Never heard of this vinagre(also is called that in spanish), we tend to mix it with olive oil here in for salads. Rarely in the U.S did I ever ate a salad, with vinegar and oil. It´s the Spanish Mediterranean cousine!

    • Nandini May 24, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

      That’s true… the popular dressing is ranch, which is made with buttermilk.

  5. charlypriest May 24, 2014 at 3:05 am #


  6. chefgabi May 28, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

    Hi Nandini, thanks for sharing how coconut vinegar is made. Such a natural ingredient!

    • Nandini May 29, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

      Thanks Chef Gabi :-). Appreciate it much.

  7. mrsratfire May 30, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    Thank you for this fascinating web site. I love cultural foods. They look delicious, I will certainly be trying some.

    • Nandini May 30, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

      Thank You Mrsratfire. I appreciate your kind words 🙂

  8. healthracer June 9, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

    That’s very interesting! 🙂

    • Nandini June 9, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

      I am happy you found it an interesting read 🙂

  9. coconutcraze January 9, 2015 at 11:46 am #

    In Kerala, we use the same, pronounced vinagre and my aunt has this in her refrigerator always! I was directed to your blog from Loretta’s post and it’s an amazing discovery!

    • Nandini January 9, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

      That is so awesome, I have know Loretta for a while now. And Thank you so much for visiting my blog. It’s been nice to meet you as well :-). My mother-in-law is from Trichur.

      • caron September 25, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

        do you sell this vinegar? I live close buy and need this vinegar

        • Nandini September 25, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

          Sorry Caron, as of now I do not sell the vinegar.

      • gregk929 November 9, 2016 at 10:54 am #

        A friend from Goa spent an afternoon teaching me how to make authentic shrimp pickle. She brought with her, as baggage, a special Goan vinegar, which I have never seen by name online or in Asian spice shops. I have about a cup of it remaining and would like to resupply if you or your readers can point me to a source. The vinegar (in a non-vinegar bottle) is about the color of an unfiltered apple cider vinegar with a somewhat vegetal back-taste. I’ve never tasted coconut/Toddy vinegar – might that be it?

        • Nandini November 14, 2016 at 5:59 pm #

          It could be greg…It does smell very close to aged cider vinegar.

  10. SueT唐 梦 琇 October 22, 2015 at 1:33 am #

    What an interesting article.

    • Nandini October 23, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

      Thanks Sue, it is indeed 🙂

  11. quirkywritingcorner March 9, 2016 at 5:09 pm #

    Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    This was fascinating. I never knew you could make vinegar from coconut. ~ Connie

    • Nandini March 11, 2016 at 8:18 pm #

      Thank You Connie so much for the re-blog 🙂


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