… and a little about Goan cuisine.
It is inevitable that my first post on India is about Goa, every Indian’s favourite holiday destination; be it chilling on the numerous beaches or bringing in the new year in one of the many parties.
Calangute, Baga, and Anjuna may be the most visited and famous beaches of Goa; here I have listed a few beaches – unfrequented and slightly out of the public eye, that I loved going to. Some of them are not commercialised; you might want to take your own food and drinks.
Starting from south to north –
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 took a local boat for dolphin watching and also stopped at Butterfly island. Palolem beach is calm in the mornings, and as the day advances, is filled with travellers and hawkers.
Very close to Palolem but quite different; unspoilt, no hawkers, just some locals and very few tourists. Best to get your own food and picnic by the beach. This beach is close to one of my favourite view points in Goa – Cabo de Rama.
This unspoilt, rocky beach is a few kilometers off Agonda. I remember that this place was worth all the effort of finding and getting to, the country-side drive is scenic. Apart from few resort construction workers there was hardly anybody on the beach. There are a few rustic tented resort accommodations available on the beach. This is one place I would love to go back and stay for 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. Morjim has a vibrant night life and great for party-goers. For great food visit the adjacent Ashwen beach.
Arambol beach – Mostly frequented by international visitors, this is another great beach to check out.
There are no stay options right on Mandrem beach. I stayed at a B&B in the small village of Mandrem 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 these restaurants –
Ritz classic in Panjim – along with the seafood appetizers fish thali is a must here.
Viva Panjim – In my opinion, this place has the best mackerel recheado. Their prawn curry is delish too.
Some of my favourite dishes are 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 shops; best to ask a local.
I have lost the number of times I have visited the smallest state in India but still look forward to go there and indulge in delicious Goan cuisine.
Which is your favorite place in Goa?