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Tag Archives: Goa

Goan Prawn Pattice or Puffs Recipe

5 May

One of the popular snacks in tea stalls and coffee shops in Goa is the prawn pattice, puffs or patties. It is one of the spicier snacks in Goa. I just love the baked smell of caramelized onions from the pattice. It is a very simple recipe the prawns stuffing for the pattice is made with fresh salt water prawns, green chillies, turmeric, fresh cilantro, onions and a little sugar for sweetness.

goan-prawn-patties-easy-baked-recipe

Serving Suggestions: 9 puffs

Ingredients:

1 box of puff pastry (2 sheets thawed)

1.5 lbs of diced raw shrimps / prawns

3 medium onions diced

2-4 green chillies chopped

1/2 tsp of turmeric powder

1 egg beaten for egg wash

1 tsp of sugar

1/2 cup of chopped cilantro

salt to taste

Directions:

Clean and diced prawn /shrimps apply salt and keep aside.

In a hot pan add oil, green chilies and diced onions saute till lightly brown.

To the browned onions add turmeric, shrimps, sugar and season with more salt.

Saute till shrimps are cooked 5-7 minutes on medium heat.

Turn off heat and add chopped fresh cilantro.

Keep aside to cool.

Spray oil in muffin pan and line 9 cups with cut puff pastry. Cut out rounds of exact size in puff pastry to cover the muffin cup on top.

Fill the prawn mixture and cover with puff rounds on top. Pinch them on the sides to from a cover. Brush with egg wash and bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes till golden brown.

Check out my quick video to see how it is done.

 

goan-prawn-shrimps-puff-pastry-snack-ideas-recipe-indian

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Methi Bhaji – Fenugreek Leaves and Urad Dal Recipe

26 Aug

Fenugreek leaves is popular in a Goan household. It is usually made into a vegetable while in the rest parts of India methi leaves is used in many ways. It has many health benefits ¬†which makes it very popular. I had never cooked with methi leaves before so this was my first time. Just fyi, I have to be in a zen state before I get cooking with first time ingredients so as not to mess up the recipe ūüėČ

methi-dal-recipe-urad-aloo-bhaji

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients:

leaves of 2 bunches of methi

1 small onion chopped finely

1 cup of moong or urad dal soaked for 30 minutes in water

1/4 tsp of Asafoetida (hing)

1/2″ finely chopped ginger

3 finely chopped garlic cloves

1 slit green chili

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp lemon/lime juice

salt to taste

Directions:

Heat a pan add oil. Once the oil is hot add asafoetida (hing), chopped garlic, ginger and sliced green chili.

Add sliced onions and saute the onions for 1 minute until they turn soft.

Drain the water from soaked dal, add dal in the pan. Let the dal cook along with onion for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add turmeric powder and coriander powder. Give a stir and mix well.

Now add washed methi leaves or fenugreek leaves and stir.

Let the methi gets cooked for 2 minutes until it reduces in size.

Once methi starts shrinking add salt as per taste and sugar. Squeeze 1 tsp of lemon juice.

Mix well and let cook uncovered for 2 minutes.

Methi bhaji is ready to serve with phulkas, chapati or rice.

methi-dudhi-gujarathi-pez-chapathi-thepla-fenugreek-leaves-vegetable-recipe

Baked Stuffed Karela – Bitter Melon Recipe

15 Aug

Bitter Melon is not a common vegetable at the grocery stores in the US but is a very popular vegetable among the Asians and for its health benefits. In Goa one of the popular recipes I grew up with is stuffed karela made with prawns/shrimps and goan recheado masala. The stuffing is first cooked and then stuffed melon is shallow fried in oil.  My recipe is vegetarian with 2 variations from the original recipe, I have skipped the prawns and I baked the karela instead of shallow frying.

 stuffed-prawns-shrimps-karela-recheado-masala-recipe-fried-shallow-keema

Since karela is a bitter melon to rid the bitterness it requires 3 things that I think help cut the bitterness. First applying a generous amount of salt to each melon inside out and let stand for 30-45 minutes to drain out the bitter liquid. Second it need an acid and finally a little sweetness. Indian’s believe in many health benefits of karela/bitter melon you can check out more on my earlier blog post of Prawns and Bitter melon Fry by clicking here.

stuffed-karela-goan-indian-ingredients

Serving Size: 12 small karela – 4″ size

Ingredients:

12 small karela/ bitter melons

2 medium onion chopped fine

1 medium tomato chopped fine

6 cloves of garlic chopped fine

1″ ginger cut fine

3 tbsp of goan recheado masala

1 tsp of sugar

1 bunch of fine chopped cilantro

2 tbsp of garam masala

salt to taste

Directions:

Split each karela and scoop out the seeds apply generous salt to each one inside-out and keep aside for 30-45 minutes. It will let out some bitter liquid. Wipe each dry with a paper towel.

In a pan heat oil, saute the onions till soft. Next add the ginger garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes along with the recheado masala. Finally add the sugar and salt to season mix well.

Take of heat and add the chopped cilantro. Keep aside to cool.

To the dried karela apply a little oil and garam masala inside and out and stuff each one with the recheado filling.

Bake at 415F for 35 minutes till the karela is soft.

stuffed-prawns-shrimps-karela-recheado-masala-recipe-goan

 

 

 

For Variations

  • ¬†Add prawns/shrimps or paneer to the stuffing and instead of baking shallow fry the karela till they soften on the outside about 5-7 minutes on each side.
  • Some recipes in Indian Cuisine use ground beef or chicken and potatoes.

Do note this recipe is spicy. You can make your own stuffing. My recommendation would be to add sour and sweet taste to cut the bitterness.

Nachne Polle – Gluten Free Sweet Red Millet Flour Pancakes Recipe

29 Jul

According to my mum Polle/Pole/Polo in konkani¬†is a sweet or savory pancake made of¬†flour. I really do not know much history about the Goan polle/polo nor could I find any information online. Hopefully on my next trip to Goa I can get more information on less popular Goan recipes that are disappearing. Another on my wish list is “Shollio/sholorio“. I hope I have spelt it right….if not please correct it in the comment section below…Thanks!

pole-polo-rred-millet-flour-pancake-gluten-free-recipe-coconut

The nachne(millet in konkani) pole are almost red-black in color if you use the goan coconut jaggery but if you use the pale brown then it had a reddish-pink color. I do make these pancake often now since my husband and I enjoy them for breakfast and evening tea and it is gluten-free and vegan ūüôā ¬†. These pancakes are not fluffy but if you like them to be fluffy you can add about 1/2 tsp of baking powder to the batter. Growing up as a child we had a variations of the pancakes made for evening tea and some more homemade snacks. We ate boiled sweet potatoes, coconut stuffed pancakes called allebelle, ¬†nankhatais, patolios, boiled taro, gorchem, bolo de rulao, bolinhos de coco, xiro, docebaji, plum-cake, atoll.

pole-polo-rred-millet-flour-pancake-ingredients

 

Serving Size: 12 pancakes

Ingredients:

2 cup red millet/ragi/nachne flour

1 cup grated fresh coconut

3/4  cup grated jaggery

1.5-2 cups water or coconut milk (pancake batter consistency)

1/2 tsp of baking powder (optional if you do not like dense pancakes)

2 pinches of salt

Directions:

Mix the batter together till the jaggery mixes well and dissolves.

Heat a nonstick pan and pour approx 1/4 cup of the batter and let cook about 4 minutes on each side on medium heat.

Enjoy a nice healthy tea snack.

You can make in advance and store it in the refrigerator or the freezer. Just warm them up in the microwave before eating.

pole-polo-red-millet-flour-pancake-ragi-nachne-goan-recipe

Arroz Con Pollo Recipe – Indian Spices Inspired

27 May

Arroz which means rice in portuguese is a staple in Goa but the confusing fact is that when a Goan says they made arroz¬†it means they made¬†pulao. I had arroz con pollo only a couple of times but each one had a variation and as a home cook I wanted to make a recipe based on my taste. I do know that the Peruvian version uses cilantro and not all south american countries have the same recipe. Though the argument is that it first originated in Spain. To an Indian it’s more like a biryani pulao recipe.¬†I have found that my kids enjoy my food experiment. Every time I come with something new they get excited and willing be my taste¬†testers, while my husband on the other hand is more cautious and has a refined tongue not everything is a hit ūüėČ

arroz-con-pollo-chicken-briyani-pressure-cooker-spain-corriander-cilantro-rice-recipe

Goan’s make arroz de camarao (shrimp/prawns), ¬†arroz de verdura(vegetables)¬†or¬†Clam Pulao¬†(arroz de¬†mexilh√£o).¬†The basic ingredients for making Pulao/Arroz is turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, onions, tomatoes, chicken or vegetable bouillon, bay leaf is optional.¬†My recipe of arroz con pollo had a strong flavor of ginger, garlic, mint and cilantro. You can also use the same spice recipe to make a very aromatic curry for chicken, fish or meats.

arroz-con-pollo-chicken-briyani-recipe-ingredients-rice-pulao-pilaf-coriander-green-curry

Serving Size: 8-10

Ingredients:

2-3 lbs of chicken thighs/ drumsticks

3 cups basmati rice

4 cups water or stock

2-3 chicken bouillon (according to preference)

4 tbsp of lemon or lime juice

salt to taste

Grind into paste

1 medium onion

1 medium tomato

5-7 cloves of garlic

1″ ginger

1 bunch of cilantro

8-12 leaves of mint

Dry Whole Spices

3″ cinnamon stick

8 whole cardamom

8 whole cloves

2 bay leaves

2  whole star anise

Directions:

Wash the chicken, apply salt and lemon juice and keep aside. Grind the wet ingredients and apply to the chicken. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Next heat oil add whole spices and till the oil is aromatic about 2-3 minutes while watching carefully on medium heat. Next add the marinated meat and saute for a couple of minutes. Check for seasoning. Cover and cook on medium heat for 25 minutes. Check occasionally.

In most cases there should be a gravy about 1.5 to 2 cups approx. Now add the washed rice, water or stock and season the liquid with bouillon. Bring it to a boil, cover and cook on medium low heat for 15 minutes. Turn of heat and let stand for another 20 minutes.

Open the cover and fluff the rice with a fork.

arroz-con-pollo-chicken-briyani-peruvian-cubano-receta-recipe

Variations:

You can use any meat of choice, shrimps or if you want to make a vegetarian version use soya nuggets. 

Check my website www.goanimports.com for all your Indian spices, dals and preserves needs in the US. FREE Shipping on $100.

Beef Croquettes Recipe – Shallow Fried and Baked

15 Apr

I should have done this recipe way back but knowing that it does take extra effort I kept pushing it off till this week. So here is my mother’s recipe. I also experimented by baking some of the croquettes which were equally firm and held their shape. Beef croquettes definitely has a Portuguese origin and is somewhat close to the Dutch and Japanese.

        Shallow-fried Beef Croquettes

beef-croquettes-goan-dutch-recipe-shallow-fried-make

There are many variation in cooking the ground beef and how the croquettes are cooked. Some recipes  use Goan smoked sausages, recheado masala or the popular meat dry spices called Jeerem-Meerem for cooking the ground meat. Some use bread crumbs or cream of wheat/rava. And finally they are either shallow-fried or deep-fried. The reason I shallow-fried is my mom makes it that way. For extra flavor she adds more sautéed onions with a dash of sugar and fresh chopped cilantro/coriander to the ground meat mix, before she shapes them into cylindrical croquettes rolls. If you have leftover cooked beef like a roast you can use it.

Baked Beef Croquettes

beef-croquettes-goan-dutch-baked-recipe

Beef croquettes are very popular in a catholic household in Goa as a snack or h’orderve for parties, weddings and celebrations along with Coriander chutney sandwiches, Forminhas and Beef patties, Rissois de camaraoclick on each to go to the respective recipes.

Popular Goan Party Snacks

pictures-of-popular-goan-party-snacks-finger-food-recipe-ideas

4 Step in making croquettes

Cook the ground meat.

Grind the cook meat and add extra sautéed onions, egg, fresh cilantro and 3 slices of bread and let refrigerate for 30 -60 minutes.

Roll them in cylindrical croquettes and coat them in cream of wheat.

Shallow or deep fry the croquettes.

beef-croquettes-goan-dutch-recipe-ingredients

Serving Size: 16 croquettes

Ingredients:

1 lbs of ground lean meat ( 94% to 6%)

1 medium onion diced very finely

2 tbsp of recheado masala/goan jeerem-meerem (click for recipe)

1 tsp of vinegar

1 tsp of sugar

4 cloves minced garlic

1/2″ ginger minced

1 cup cream of wheat for coating/ finely ground bread crumbs

1 egg

3 sliced of bread crumbled

8-10 sprigs of finely chopped fresh cilantro/ coriander

oil for shallow frying

Salt to taste

Directions:

Cooking  the ground beef/ mince/ keema

Heat oil in a pan and saute half the amount of onions, ginger, garlic till soft and fragrant. Next add the recheado masala/ jeerem-meerem, vinegar and saute for 30-60 seconds.

Add the meat and mix very well, season with salt and half the amount of sugar. Cover and cook for 15 minutes on medium heat. Keep checking occasionally and stir as not to stick or burn.

Let cool completely or overnight.

Making the Croquettes

Saute the remaining onion till soft. Take off heat and add the remaining sugar, season with salt and fine chopped cilantro/ coriander. Let cool.

In a food processor/ meat grinder add the cooled meat, egg and crumbled bread slices and pulse a couple of times till all is mixed well.

Take out the mixture from the food processor and mix the cooled sautéed onion mixture. The texture and consistency have to be similar to a cookie dough to be able to shape the croquettes. Refrigerate it for 30 -60 minutes.

Divided the meat mixture into equal portions about 16 portions, roll them as ball and then press them down to form in cylindrical shape. Coat them in cream of wheat or finely ground bread crumbs and shallow fry on each side for about 5-7 minutes on medium heat.

beef-croquettes-goan-dutch-recipe-deep-fried-easy

For baking:

Heat oven to 400F. Line a cookie sheet tray with parchment paper, spray oil, then line the croquettes and spray the croquettes on top with oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes turn the croquettes halfway through the baking process to be baked evenly.

Tip: Make the croquettes ahead of time and freeze it. You can reheat them in the oven for 15 minutes at 375F.

Chicken Meatballs Curry

21 Aug

Goan meatball curry is a very simple recipe. It is traditionally made using ground beef. I have used ground chicken instead as my husband does not do too well with beef. This recipe is not a common occurrences in Goa and you may not find it on restaurant menus. I have seen a few variation online but I am sharing my Tiazinha’s(aunty in portuguese) recipe. God Bless her soul. It’s been 17 years since she went to be with the Lord. She was a great cook, a violinist in the local orchestra, Linguist and sewed vestments for the local priest. She was very strict and was very involved in our upbringing as my parents were full-time working parents. So I dedicate this post to my loving Titi.

meatball-kofta-curry-recipe-goan-spicy-dishes-indian

Here is Titi’s pictures that I took from an old album when I went down to Goa this January for my dad’s funeral. I just wanted to¬†carry the memories with me¬†back to the US.

titi-memories

For an American the most popular meatball recipe is the Italian Meatball Recipe where cheese, bread crumbs and tomatoes are the main ingredients. The goan version has a hint of spices, ginger, garlic, vinegar. If ground beef is used then skip the bread. 

meatball-kofta-curry-recipe-goan-betty-crocker-food-network-zucchini-ideas

Jeerem-Meerem (cumin spice mix/masala in konkani) is an everyday spice mix for meats and fish in Goa. By adding fresh ginger, garlic and grinding it in vinegar makes a wet paste. Coconut vinegar plays a very important role in Goan cooking specially for meats and fish. You can make it dry and store it in an airtight container for couple of months in a cool dry place or the freezer. This recipe should yield about 2 tsp of mix which can be used with 2-2.5 lbs of meat.

jeerem-meerem-jeera-meera-masala-goan-meat-fish-spice-mix

Jeerem-Meerem Recipe

Yields: 2 tsp of spice mix

Ingredients:

1 tsp of cumin powder

3/4 tsp of turmeric powder

1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder

1/4 tsp of red chilli powder

1/8 tsp of black pepper

1/8th tsp of cloves powder

Mix it together and store in a dry spice bottle

meatball-kofta-curry-recipe-goan-authentic-easy

Serving Size: 12 meatballs

Ingredients:

1 lbs of ground beef or chicken or turkey

1 medium onion chopped finely

4-6 garlic cloves grated

1″ grated ginger

1 slice bread

1 beaten egg

10 sprigs of fresh cilantro chopped

1.5 tsp of jeerem-meerem spice mix

1 tsp of vinegar

1/4 tsp of sugar

2 cups of water

1 tomato chopped finely

Salt to taste

meatball-kofta-curry-recipe-goan-indian-ingredients-spicy

Directions:

In a bowl mix the ground meat/mince with 1/2 the chopped onion, ginger, garlic, bread, egg, cilantro, salt and spice mix. Make 12 balls.

(With ground chicken if you find it hard to shape the balls use a spoon to shape and drop them into gravy)

In a heated pot saute the remaining onion till soft. Next add the tomatoes and jeerem-meerem, vinegar, sugar and saute for 2-3 minutes till the raw smell of vinegar is gone. Add the water, season with salt and bring the gravy to a simmer. Add the meatballs and cook covered on medium heat for 25-30 minutes while checking and stirring occasionally.

meatball-kofta-curry-recipe-goan-easy-allrecipes

I made a variation by stuffing a few of my meatballs with couple pieces of my Goan Sausage Meat for an extra kick in flavor. Enjoy it with rice or with a side of vegetables.

Sorpotel (Spicy Pork Curry)

4 Jan sorpotel-vindaloo-recheado-pork-spicy-goanimports

Happy New Years to you all. Wishing you the very best for 2014.

Every Goan knows what Sorpotel is and every visitor who has eaten sorpotel wont forget about it. It is the center for all celebrations in Christian household and a lot of it would be eaten during the Christmas season. This dish originated in Portugal and is still cooked in Goa.

Traditionally it is made with pork meat and the internal organs and some pork blood as well. This recipe has its variations in each household.  I have adapted the recipe for people like me who are not so adventurous to eat the heart, liver and kidney. I loved the smell of sorpotel growing up but could not handle the internal organs. So my recipe is made only with pork meat and fat.

To make sorpatel or the spicy pork curry the meat is first boiled. Then sautéed in its own fat in small batches till light brown and finally cooked in a spice mix that is ground in coconut vinegar to make the curry.

You can watch Andrew Zimmern show on Goa to understand a bit more of Goan culture and this dish. Sorpotel is features around 1.38 minute on the video.

This recipe can be made a day or 2 ahead and it taste better as days go by. It also can be frozen for a couple of months.  Give it a quick boil every time you want to eat some, as it taste better.

For this recipe you need a combination of 2 masala. That is the Vindaloo and Recheado.

recheado-vindaloo-spice-masala-goan-indian-goanimports

Spices needed for Sorpotel (Spicy Pork Curry) | Goan Imports

Ingredients

4 lbs pork meat with at-least 1 pound of pork fat. Get it from the butchers market

1 whole garlic

1 inch ginger

1 green chilli (clean the seeds and the white vine for less spice)

2 medium onions sliced length wise

1/4 cup seasoned vinegar

3 tbsp of Vindaloo masala

3 tbsp of recheado masala

4 cups water

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt to taste

sorpotel-vindaloo-recheado-spice-indina-goanimports

Ingredients for Sorpotel (Spicy Pork Curry) | Goan Imports

Directions

* Wash the meat and dry it with paper towel. Apply 2 tbsp of salt and keep aside for 15 minutes.

* In a pot add 4 cups of water and the salted meat and boil it for 25 minutes covered on medium heat. Do not discard the stock. Make a paste with garlic, ginger, green chilli and vinegar.

* Take the big chucks of meat and cut it into small pieces as big as the size of a dime. In a heated non-stick pot add the dice meat in small quantity and saute in its own fat for 4-5 minutes till it browns.

sorpotel-vindaloo-recheado-spice-pork-goanimports

Browned pieces of cooked pork for sorpotel | Goan Imports

* In the same pot fry the onions in the pork fat till light brown. Add the ginger garlic paste, saute for 1 minute. then put in the vindaloo and recheado masala and saute for 3-4 minutes till you can smell the spices.

* Next add the meat and saute for 10 minutes. Add the stock, sugar and salt to taste. Cook covered for another 30 minutes on medium heat stirring occasionally.

sorpotel-spice-pork-curry-indian-goan-goanimports

Sorpotel (Spicy Pork Curry) | Goan Imports

Traditionally Sorpotel is eaten with steam rice cakes called Sanna or with white rice.

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sorpotel-vindaloo-recheado-pork-spicy-goanimports

Spicy Pork Curry (Sorpotel) | Goan Imports

Goan Spiced Pork Roast

20 Dec pork-roast-vindaloo-goan-spices-goanimports

If you are looking for a spiced pork roast recipe for the holidays or for your Christmas meal then this recipe will definitely not disappoint and will make you want for more, just like my husband and 6-year-old son. It’s also called Assado De Leitao (Roast Pig) in Portuguese and is made for weddings and feasts (In Goa we celebrate a lot of church feast). Making this recipe made me feel so nostalgic that I was thinking how come I never made it before.

The good part of this recipe is the left overs, which is great for sandwiches. Just apply butter to bread and put in thinly sliced meat and its so yummy. Also this recipe can be used to make Beef roast. You can cook the pork a day or two ahead of time.

Looking at the ingredients it may look like a lot of spices, it’s not as spicy but has a great flavor.

vindaloo-paste-masala-goanimports

Ingredients for Vindaloo Paste | Goan Imports

Ingredients

3 lbs of pork ( I used bone-in butt roast)

10 cloves of garlic

8 whole Cloves

1 green jalapeno ( clean out the white vein and seeds)

2 1/2 tsp of salt

1 1/4 tsp of sugar

1 inch ginger

1 1/2 tbsp of ketchup

3 cups water

3 tbsp of seasoned vinegar

3 1/2 tbsp of vindaloo masala

pork-roast-vindaloo-goan-spice-goanimports

Ingredients for the Spiced Goan Pork Poast | Goan Imports

* Wash the meat well and pat it dry with paper towel. Prick it with a fork all over. Apply  2 tsp of salt and keep aside.

* Grind ginger, garlic, green chilli, 1 tsp of sugar in 3 tbsp of vinegar. Please do not add any water.

* Add this ginger-garlic paste to 3 tbsp of vindaloo paste mix well and apply to the meat. (If you need u can use gloves to do this).  Refrigerate overnight well covered.

* Heat a pan with oil and sear/brown the meat on medium for 4-5 minutes on each side. Do not discard the marinated liquid.

* Take the meat out and clean the pot of all the burnt bits with a spoon. Add the meat back and pour in 3 cups water,the marinated liquid, 1/4 tsp of sugar, 1 1/2 tbsp of ketchup and salt to taste. Cover and cook on medium heat for 1hr and 45 minutes. Turning the meat every 10 minutes. The liquid will reduce and thicken with a bit of fat.

pork-roast-vindaloo-goan-spices-goanimports

Goan Spiced Pork Roast | Goan Imports

* This step is optional if you like. This is how it is done in Goa. Cut the meat into nice thin slices and heat a pan add the fat from the gravy and fry each side for 3-4 minutes. Arrange the slices on a serving plate and pour the gravy on top or you can serve it on the side.

This pork roast is so flavorful you and your family will truly enjoy it a lot just as my family did.

pork-roast-vindaloo-goan-spices-goanimports

Goan Spiced Pork Roast | Goan Imports

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Experience Goa just like the locals

28 Sep

Wondering what to do if you ever decide to visit Goa. I’ll like to share with you what I look forward to doing every time I visit home (Goa). Through the years the list evolves for the tourist, but its the same for any goan who lives away and has missed home. The land is known for its Sun, Sand and Seafood or for its wine and song, which is true as the saying goes, if you throw a stone it will fall on a bar or a church. Goans as the locals are called, don’t need a reason to celebrate be it rain or shine but with all the¬† merry-making it is still considered the most peaceful place in India communally.

Goa is the Hawaii, for Indians. Very popular with the newlyweds from all parts of India and popular with the Europeans. The Euro stretches a long way in Goa then Hawaii where a gallon of milk  on an average cost $7.49. So cross over and experience the tropics.

1. Visit the beaches

Goa being a coastal state just like California has a coastline of 78 miles.The further north or south you travel the beaches are less crowded and cleaner. The Rich Aqua blue waters and the rustic white sandy beaches along with the warm tropical weather makes it a very scenic place to live or visit. Enjoy some great food on the “Shacks” which are wooden huts made with palm leave roofing. It couldn’t get any better than this.

Colva Beach, Goa

Colva Beach, Goa

2. Try the local foods

The local specialties which is hard to find in other parts of India are the Goan Sausages, Sorpatel made of pork, rice curry and fried fish, the local staple. Vindaloo a dish very popular in Goa and abroad and the freshest local seafood. Sweets like Bebinca made with coconut milk and eggs and flour, Dodol made with jaggery (raw sugar),coconut milk and wheat flour and Doce de Grao made from fresh grated coconut, gram dal and sugar.  These are just, to name a few.

Goan Sausages and its famous " Chorizo or Chouriço Pão" (Sausage Bread).

Goan Sausages and its famous ” Chorizo or Chouri√ßo P√£o” (Sausage Bread).

3. Try the local Spirits( Alcohols)

Goa has its own range of liquor, wine and beer. It’s not just called a party place for nothing. Popular wine is the Sweet Port Wine, influence of the Portuguese. Feni(Fenny) which is made from fermentation of the fruit of the cashew tree, while coconut feni is made from the sap of toddy palms. Try out Kingfisher or Arlem Beer a mild brew which are popular.

Kingfisher beer. Picture credit "phdrehabilitation.blogspot.com"

Kingfisher beer. Picture credit “phdrehabilitation.blogspot.com”

4. Visit churches

Most Churches built during the colonial period leave an everlasting impression on the visitors. Built during the 15th to 17th century they remain intact and still retain he old charm. Basilica of Bom Jesus Basilica, St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral, Church of St Francis of Assisi, church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Holy Spirit Church and many more churches that offers a treat to your eyes with is architectural magnificence.

Holy Spirit Church in Margao, Goa is dated back in 1564-1675.

Holy Spirit Church in Margao, Goa is dated back in 1564-1675.

Basilica of Bom Jesus, final resting place of legendary Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier, who worked in Goa and achieved sainthood after his death.  Picture credit to "eagersnap.blogspot.com"

Basilica of Bom Jesus, final resting place of legendary Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier, who worked in Goa and achieved sainthood after his death.
Picture credit to “eagersnap.blogspot.com”

5. Markets

Local marketplaces and flea markets offer a good opportunity for bargain shoppers. One of the biggest marketplace in Goa is the Mapusa market place in North Goa and Margao down south. It’s a great experience to a street market and local foods.

Margao Market

Margao Market

6. Festivities

I always want to experience the excitement of the Goan festivity and so my travel is scheduled around Christmas or just before Lent, its carnival time. Every street and corner of the state is perfectly decked up to set the festive mood of locals as well as visitors. The celebration is marked with lots of drinking, feasting and merry-making. Experience the “Dances” they have during the festivity which is dancing through the night with great live music and good food. No picture can capture the liveliness of the moment.

Christmas in Goa. Picture credit "www.travelhangover.com"

Christmas in Goa. Picture credit “www.travelhangover.com”

This will be a trip that will be etched in you memory forever.

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Easy Goan Pork Vindaloo (Vindalho)

20 Sep
A quick and easy pork vindaloo cooked just as its done in Goa. The place of its origin. Vindaloo is a dish that is cooked most often for occasions and celebration. Traditionally it is made with pork meat and the spice mix is ground with coconut vinegar which gives its unique flavor. Being from Goa and away from home I have tried many of the vindaloo dishes but none have been able to compare, first it misses the coconut vinegar and second the gravy is not creamy or thick. The prep work needs to be done a day before for the best results.
Ingredients for pork vindaloo.

Ingredients for pork vindaloo.

Ingredients

2 lbs pork meat with a little bit fat.
4 tbsp Vindaloo Masala (Goan Imports)
2 tbsp Salt
2 tbsp Seasoned Vinegar
1 tbsp fresh garlic Paste (don’t compromise on the fresh)
1 tbsp fresh ginger Paste (don’t compromise on the fresh)
1 tbsp Sugar (optional but it does enhance the flavor)
2 medium Onions cut finely
1 cup Water
additional Salt to taste

Marinate meat overnight.

Marinate meat overnight.


Cut the pork meat into 2″ cubes. Apply salt, seasoned vinegar, ginger, garlic, vindaloo¬†paste and sugar, marinate overnite.

Add 3 tablespoon of oil and slightly brown the onions. Add the marinated meat and saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Add a cup of water and salt to taste. Then cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until pork is cooked through, about 40 minutes.¬†Do remember for any type of curries “Its slow and steady that wins the taste“.
It is served with steamed rice cakes called Sannas, but you can serve it with plain rice, pulao or french bread ( the chewiness) is similar to the Pao (Bread) that is made in Goa.
Great recipe for a gluten-free diet, high protein diet. If you want to cut the fat in the recipe use lean pork meat. Can be cooked with chicken, beef, lamb, goat meats. Make you everyday food exciting.
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Pork Vindaloo

Pork Vindaloo

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake in a cup

13 Sep

Since my second son was born it has been a long road to shedding the extra weight I gained. My only solace was that it was a typically situation with most moms I knew and though I felt unhappy inside I just could’nt¬† get myself to start the dieting. I just kept shrugging it off. Till you reach a point enough is enough. Next was to get¬† hubby to jump the bandwagon as I felt it was hard to deal with 3 sets of¬† menus kids, hubby and me.

With husband on board, we got onto a detox program called “Energize your life”. Its a simple easy plan that is gluten free. The detox is not complicated like most diet plans and you start off with a 1200 calories a day. I had done it after my first son was born and had lost the extra 15 pounds in 4 months and I followed the recipes on the book to a “T” only problem, it was too bland for my taste.

This time around I wanted to change it a bit without compromising on the calorie count but keeping my food exciting. My weakness is desserts and as i was craving for something sweet I stumbled on a chocolate cake in a cup recipe which I modified to make it gluten free.

Growing up in Goa we used to consume a lot of red millet for porridge and also for Christmas sweets( recipe to follow sometime later). You can imagine my shock to find out that in the US it is used mostly as bird feed. Let me encourage you why you should incorporate millets in your diet or at least consider it. These are a few of my finds online.

1. Millets contain no gluten, perfect for a gluten free diet which is the latest  buzz.

2. As none of the millets is closely related to wheat, they are appropriate foods for those with celiac disease or other     forms of allergies/intolerance of wheat.

3. Millets are rich in B vitamins (especially niacin, B6 and folic acid), calcium,  iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.

4. In the case of red millet, 3 grams of good fat for every gram of bad makes it a heart-healthy grain choice.

5. Red millet does not naturally contain any sodium. Perfect for those with high blood pressure.

I am not a doctor or any sorts of expert these are just my online finds. So please do not hold me liable …just saying.
chocolatemilletcake
Ingredients
————————————-
2 tbsp red millet powder
2 tbsp almond meal
1 egg
1 tbsp sugar/ 3 single pack splenda
3 tbsp melted butter/ olive oil
1 tbsp chocolate hazelnut butter(Justin’s brand had 60% less sugar)
3 tbsp chocolate malt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp chopped cashews
2 tbsp of fat free / 2% milk

Mix all the ingredients together well in a small bowl with a whisk or a fork and divide it into 3 equal portions(This is a single portion size but if you are on a diet, portion control is the best to get the cravings satisfied without the additional calories to burn off later.) Pour in microwave safe cup and microwave it to 25sec to 1.5minutes depending on your microwave. Mine gets done in 25sec as my setting is on high.

If allergic to nut eliminate the cashews. I like nuts in my dessert. Enjoy!!!

Gluten free Chocolate cake in a cup

Goan food appeals to International palate

5 Sep

Goan food will appeal to the International palate with a little bit of extra spice and zing from the coconut vinegar. My finds are a few since my exposure to International cuisine is limited for now, but I was amazed by the similarities between the food and names as well.

1. A typical Thanksgiving stuffing is very similar to a snack dish called “Asorda” made from leftover bread and beef or just plain.

2. “Beef Croquettes” a very popular appetizer for parties and weddings derived from the French croquer, “to crunch” gained worldwide popularity, both as a delicacy and as a fast food.

3. “Pastelao” similar to the chicken pot pie in the US is made of beef stew with a crust.

4. “Empanadas” has variations, but is a name popular in Southern Europe, Latin America, and parts of Southeast Asia. Empanadas are made by folding dough or bread around stuffing, which usually consists of a variety of meat, cheese, huitlacoche, vegetables or fruits, among others

5. “Feijoada” popular in Brazil it almost always has black beans and always has a mixture of salted, smoked and fresh meats.The Goan version is made with Red kidney beans and spicy Goan Sausage or pork meat.

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Feijoada made with Red Kidney Beans and Goan Pork Sausage

6. “Congee” popular in China and other Asian countries is a thick porridge or soup of rice which has usually disintegrated after prolonged cooking in water. It is served with side of fish or meats or pickles.

7. “Bacalhau” common in Portugal, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico this dish is prepared with salted and dried cod, potatoes, onions, tomatoes and olives.

8. “Potato Chops” made in Goa from ground beef stuffed inside potato cakes and coated with cream of wheat or semolina and then shallow fried. Is similar to the Papas Rellenas (Spanish: stuffed potatoes) is a traditional dish in Peruvian cuisine.

9. “Dodol Christmas Sweet” which is made of a mixture of wheat and Rice flour along with coconut milk and coconut jaggery is similar to Sri lankans Kalu Dodol is a sweet dish,that is dark and sticky which consists mainly of kithul jaggery (from the sap of the toddy palm), rice flour and coconut milk.

10. Thanks to our Facebook fan Rohit , how could I ever forgot the most popular “Goan Sausages( Chorico)” . A bold flavor sausage the taste you will never forget. Typically made of pork meat but now you can find it in beef.

These are a few of my finds. If you know of any let it be the 11th .

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How Goan Coconut Vinegar (Vinagre) is made

31 Aug

Tapping-Toddy1jpg

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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About

31 Aug

010

My name is Nandini, I was born and brought up in Goa, India. I came to the US in 1999 after marrying my husband who I met in Engineering School. After I got hired and fired within a couple of week during the dotcom bust, doing odd jobs for couple of months I felt I wanted to do something on my own. I wanted an option to stay home once I became a mom. And so finally after working in marketing and sales for many years I finally have started my own small business, so that I can stay home with my 2 small kids.

Being in the country from Goa it is hard to find Goan Cuisine or Goan spices even though there are a lot of Indian restaurants and store in LA where I live. The flavor of goan cuisine is so different from the rest parts of Indian (read my article on “Goan cuisine history ” on my blog¬† )and I felt maybe it was time to introduce goan cuisine and goan spices to US and to also cater to the goans like me living here looking for a place to find its famous spices. And so my love for food and cooking led me to start my blog and Goan Imports.

At Goan Imports we work extremely hard to bring the right brands of spices that have the real authentic flavors. I try the recipes in my kitchen and tweak them when needed to make it as authentic as I can remember from growing up with my mom’s cooking. I always loved her cooking as she would make healthier foods without compromising the flavor and that is my goal. You can also gift these spices to your loved ones who like to cook. Jazz up your parties by incorporating these spices in your appetizers or main dishes as they are so versatile.

We want Goan Imports to be more than just a regular spice store and we encourage everyone to use our products to bring out the chef in you while eating flavorful and healthy food and making your everyday cooking fun and easy. We also would love to hear from you and your ideas as to how you use our products.

Please enjoy while you visit with us !!!

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