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November 2004 Issue
Part 2
by Monica Bhide
Table of Contents | Single-page view

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Goan Cuisine

I am at a distinct disadvantage here not having visited this tourist heaven. My experiences of Goan food have been at the home of Goan friends. Goa, a tiny state, sits on the western shores of India. While the rest of India was heavily under the influence of the British and or the Muslim invaders, Goa was under Portuguese rule for many years. The Portuguese came to Goa in the 1500’s, after the Muslim sultans of the Bahamani dynasty, and stayed for over 400 years. The food reflects a love of vinegar, meats and strong spices – all things necessary for the perfect Vindaloo. Goa is a largely Christian state.

Sandy beaches, rolling hills, lush fields, rivers, coconut groves, mango, cashew, areca and bananas trees form the landscape of Goa.

And the fish. Goa is famous for its fish preparation. How good are the dishes? Well -- the Goan poet Bakibab Borkar address the God of Death Yama and says “Please sir, Mr. God of Death, Don’t make it my turn, not today. There is fish curry for dinner.”

I do owe a thanks to my friends for introducing me to the very potent cashew nut and coconut palm alcoholic drink of Goa called Feni.


Pork Vindaloo

Adapted from "The Everything Indian Cookbook", by Monica Bhide, Adams Media.
  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, roughly pounded
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 1 ½ lb. boneless lean pork, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger root, julienned
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 6 whole dried red chiles, roughly pounded
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Table salt to taste
In a non-reactive bowl, combine the rice vinegar, water, black pepper, garlic, red chili, green chili and pork.
Refrigerate, covered, for an hour. In a deep pan, heat the oil. Add the cinnamon, ginger root and sauté for about ten seconds. Add the onion and sauté for about 7-8 minutes or until golden brown. Add the red chilies and turmeric powder and sauté for another 20 seconds.
Remove the pork pieces from the marinade and set the marinade aside. Add the pork and sauté on high heat for about 10 minutes or until the pork is browned and the oil starts to separate from the mixture.
Add the marinade and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer covered for about 30-45 minutes or until the pork is tender.
Add salt to taste. Serve hot.

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