Who isn't fond of Goan cuisine? The spicy vindaloos, sausage sorpotels, salty dry fish in gravy, bebinca—you could just eat and eat away all these yummy goodies. But beware of the susegad (lazy) feeling that will follow. If you are dreaming of recreating the sour-spicy notes of this cuisine in your kitchen, here are some pantry staples you should stock up on.
Coconut: Coconut and coconut milk is used in nearly all fish, meat and vegetable preparations. It is also used in sweets. Not only this, coconut has cultural significance in Goa as it has an important role in major festivals and special occasions.
Coconut palm jaggery is another important part of Goan cuisine. The smoky flavoured sweetener is used to add caramelisation to various curries and in different sweets like alle belle and dodol.
Kokum: A widely found ingredient on India's western coast, it
plays an important role in the cuisine. It is used to add sourness or
acidity to fish curries and sol kadi, a drink made from
Other souring agent used is tamarind. It is mostly used in fish and meat preparations.
Coconut palm vinegar: This is another important souring agent, especially in your vindaloos, sorpotels and recheado. It is also used in pickles and preserves.
Red chillies and spices: Dried kashmiri chillies and bedgi chillies are used to spice up dishes in Goan cuisine. Apart from that, spices like coriander, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, cumin, cardamom and bay leaves are also used.
Par boiled rice: Par boiled red rice forms the heart of this cuisine. Rice is an accompaniment for most of the curried dishes. It is also used in making sannas or rice cakes.
Dried and salted fish/ meat: Dried fish or meat is often used in gravies or dishes for a depth of flavour and texture. These are also saved for monsoons, when fresh fish is short in supply. So, a Goan pantry is incomplete without it.
Sausages: Ah! Who can forget the delectable taste of these choris or choricos. Used in pulaos and stir fry dishes, these help elevate any dish. These salty sausages made from pork meat by adding spices and feni to it, are often fried up and served with rice and a plain curry when veggies are short in supply.