… and a little about Goan cuisine.
It is inevitable that my first post on India is about Goa—every Indian’s favorite holiday destination. Goa is the top choice when it comes to beach vacation in India, and also to ring in the new year in one of the many parties.
Calangute, Baga, and Anjuna may be the most visited and famous beaches of Goa; but here I have a few beaches that I love going to. These beaches are unfrequented and slightly out of the public eye. Some of these are not commercialized (yet); so you might want to take pack your own snacks and drinks.
Beaches of Goa starting from south to north:
Palolem is frequented by tourists and a well known beach in the south. Palolem made it to my list for only one reason: dolphins. One early morning in the month of October, these gentle creatures put on a great show for us. We hired a local boat for dolphin watching and also stopped at Butterfly island. Palolem beach is calm in the mornings, and as the day advances it’s filled with travelers and hawkers.
Agonda beach is very close to Palolem, but is quite different. Agonda is un-spoilt; there are no hawkers, just some locals and very few tourists.
If your plan to chill at this beach, it is best to get your own food and picnic by the beach. Agonda is close to one of my favorite view points in Goa: Cabo de Rama.
This unspoilt rocky beach is a few kilometers off Agonda. The drive to get here is very scenic and it was worth all the effort of finding and getting to. Apart from a few resort construction workers there wasn’t anybody on the beach.
Cola beach has a few rustic tented resort accommodations right on the beach. This is one place I would love to go back and stay for a few days.
Morjim is the ‘Little Russia’ of Goa. Here, you will find restaurants with Russian menus and the beach is frequented by Russians. I have stayed in a little hut on this beach and enjoyed walking in the shallow waters during low-tide. Morjim has a vibrant night life and is the place to be for party-goers. For great food visit the adjacent Ashwen beach.
Mandrem beach is by a small village of the same name and has no stay options right on the beach. We stayed at a B&B in the village and walked to this beautiful deserted beach in the mornings.
My top reason for going to Goa? Goan cuisine. Most of the restaurants and shacks near the beach do not serve authentic Goan food, except for a few, one is Souza Lobo on Calungate beach. So, if you are on a Goan cuisine expedition try some of the restaurants listed below:
Ritz classic in Panjim – The seafood appetizers and fish thali are a must here.
Viva Panjim – In my opinion, this place has the best mackerel recheado. Their prawn curry is delish too.
These are some of the dishes (that are my favorite) that you should try out: fish recheado, goan prawn curry, chicken xacuti, cafreal, and pork vindaloo. Wash this down with a solkadi, a slightly spicy drink good for digestion or a sweet kokum juice.
For dessert, I would pick Dodol over Bebinca (go find out for yourself).
Want to have a typical Goan breakfast too? Try the Goan bread called Pão (that’s Portuguese for bread) with chana (green peas curry). You will find this in small tuck-shops; best to check with a local.
I have lost the number of times I have visited the smallest state in India, but I still look forward to go there and indulge in delicious Goan cuisine.
Which is your favorite place in Goa?