Preparation / Directions:
The recipes that follow have been collected from various sources: friends, books and restaurants, during my visits of 93 and 94. You will not find any vegetable dishes here. Apart from the restaurants catering for tourists, the only vegetables I came across were plain boiled (potatoes, cauliflower etc.) or a few bhindi (okra) etc. thrown in with a curry. Travel to Kerala if it is vegies you desire. Where available I have added the Portuguese names for the recipes (Goa was a Portuguese colony until the 1960's and is evident in many of the dishes). A word of warning. Most dishes are hot, pungent and some very vinegary, so be prepared.
Madhur Jaffrey's Flavours of India - When I arrive in Goa, the first dish I order is this simple prawn curry. It uses no oil, as nothing in it requires frying or sautéing. In many ways, it is the humblest of curries and may also be made with very cheap fish cut into chunks, fish steaks or fillet pieces. I like it made with juicy prawns, fresh from the sea. With a spicy red coconutty sauce flowing over a bed of white pearly rice - what else can one want? I rarely order this dish in the hotel that I stay in. I find a small beach shack covered with palm thatching, generally owned by real fishermen, and order it there. All I need with it is a cold glass of beer.
A few notes on ingredients
Chiles :- The dried red chiles used are mostly Goan or Kashmiri. They are milder than those available elsewhere, hence the large quantities may need to be reduced to suit whatever is available. The flavor of course will suffer. Perhaps a mixture of hot dried chiles and a mild chile powder may be a suitable alternative. I am afraid you are on your own though, this lucky person brought a kilo of Kashmiris (the chiles that is) home with him. Garlic :- Many Goans do not like excessive garlic. They will often cook the garlic cloves whole and discard them. The local garlic itself seems to help here, being milder than most I have come across. That said, you will find some dishes that are heavy on the garlic. Vinegar :- Two type are normally available - 1)'Local' or toddy vinegar. Toddy is the sap of coconut palms. 2) Mass produced coconut vinegar, usually made with flavorings. The first of course gives the best results. Substitute a mild white vinegar. Spices :- The Goans are among the 'stone ground' camp when it comes to grinding, insisting that the flavor is superior. Whichever method you use, please grind freshly for every meal and get it as finely ground as possible. Coconut milk :- Take 1 coconut, remove flesh and grate. Cover grated coconut with boiling water. When cool, blend for a few minutes and then strain. Repeat a second time to obtain a thinner milk. I have found that the dried coconut powders give acceptable results (a lot easier as