Memorable Meals in India: Part 2 – Goa

After Bombay, Shefali and I spent a few days days visiting her cousin who teaches at a school at an ashram about an hour’s drive outside Coimbature, Tamil Nadu.  Spending time in an environment dedicated to the spiritual teachings of a single guru was “enlightening”, to say the least, but the communal eating part of the ashram, while enjoyable – like one enjoys school cafeterias – left me wanting.  Specifically, I was wanting to eat meat.  Fortunately, our next stop was Goa where we hoped to chill on the beach and eat delicious food.  We were fifty percent successful in our plan.  You see, while we knew traveling in India during the monsoon season would make for some rainy and wet weather, we did not quite anticipate how much the seasonal storms would affect the normally crystalline waters and tranquil beaches for which this Indian state is known. The ocean was rough and choppy, with dangerous riptides.   So while there was a pseudo-romantic walk or two on the beach ( view more Goa pictures), there was no beach lounging or swimming.  We had to drown our sorrows, by snacking a lot.  We ate plenty of regular Indian fare or course.  For example, we found the best kathi roll of the entire whole trip in Candolim at the only restaurant we could find open (it was surprising how many businesses were closed during the monsoon season). But as a former Portuguese colony, Goa has a rich culinary traditional blending the bold flavors and wine and vinegar marinades of Portuguese cooking with the spice of Indian cuisine.  So we made a point to seek out Goan dishes and order them if we could.  We didn’t always strike gold but that could have been due more to where we were eating (again, it was tough to find open places during the low season), but there were definitely some stand out fantastic dishes.  Unfortunately I didn’t document them so well, but they were (in no particular order of preference: pork vindaloo, chicken cafreal, pork balchao.  The high point was eating at Viva Panjim in Goa’s capital city of Paniji. It’s run by this wonderful woman named Linda D’Souza who retired from teaching in Bombay to open up her restaurant in her family home and based many of the dishes on family recipes.  She was super cool. Please enjoy the photos below for more visual stimulation. Be sure to click on the thumbnails for full sized photos and more in depth descriptions.


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