Thursday, February 20, 2014

Can one Categorise Goan food?

So how does one categorize Goan cuisine? Locals say that it has four different tastes which comprise of four S’s – ‘Sourness, Spiciness, Saltiness and Sweetness’. The question however to be addressed is- was it the ingredients alone that categorized the cuisine? Or was it the rich colorful history of ‘conquests’ right from the original settlers the Saraswats. Or could it be the ingredients?. 

Take the case of bananas cooked in Christian and Hindu homes

Banana pancake....dessert made from over ripe bananas

 Khelful Shaak...accompaniment made of raw banana

With the fusion of different styles of cooking and ingredients to the legacy of what is available in local homes today, I found out that the cuisine of Goa is uniquely categorized to encompass five main categories (and in saying so I might state that the color, taste and texture varies enormously) although there are many similar preparations in their kitchens.We discovered that Goan cuisine can be categorised as follows                                                                    
                                                            GOAN CUISINE                                                                          

Saraswat         Hindu Goan           Muslim Goan                Portuguese Goan                 Christian Goan

Rekindling the embers

‘Someday, in the distant future, our grandchildren's grandchildren will develop a new equivalent of our classrooms. They will spend many hours in front of boxes with fires glowing within. May they have the wisdom to know the difference between light and knowledge.’ Plato

The difference between light and knowledge, our dying embers of traditional Goan cuisine needs ‘knowledge’ to ignite the spark in today’s generation. With new cuisines being marketed, changing palates, unavailability of local ingredients and long lost recipes, the culinary heritage of our state will leave nothing for our grandchildren let alone their grandchildren. ‘Old’ kitchens always fascinated me, the secrets they hold so I went about visiting homes to understand ‘lifestyles’ of people (before the liberation of Goa 1961). I asked them to share their life in Goa during that period, the homes around their village and the one experience that still remains in their memory. 

Pic by Nolan Mascarenhas

The Culinary Heritage of Goa

A New series of Posts...linked to the launch of my new book...The Culinary Heritage of Goa

Ever wondered about how Goan cuisine evolved? Or the fact that the two curries...Hooman and Shagoti still exist in every Goan home today.

Its a story that will tickle your taste buds as local Goans share their stories of the past.

Will post in installments....