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Three Goan dishes (and recipes!) that pack quite a punch

Pork Vindaloo, Crab Masala and Chicken Cafreal on your weekend menu?

Lygeia Gomes | Published 10.06.22, 02:49 PM
(L-R) Chicken Cafreal, Crab Masala and Pork Vindaloo

(L-R) Chicken Cafreal, Crab Masala and Pork Vindaloo

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Goan cuisine is a confluence of cultures. Konkan farmers and fishermen, the original habitants of Goa, were seafood enthusiasts with an undying love for kingfish, pomfret, mackerel, tiger prawns, squid and mussels — cooked in flavour-packed curries or simply rava-fried with spicy recheado (a traditional masala that heroes dried red chillies). It is believed that the Portuguese introduced beef and pork and as the population of Goa diversified, so did its cuisine. 

Goan fare is all about spice, brine (courtesy the hallmark toddy vinegar) creamy, coconut-y textures and, of course, the occasional chug of feni. Whether it’s fried bangras (mackerel) and sorak (a curry usually made when fish is scarce during the monsoons), coconut rice with chicken xacuti (spicy chicken curry) and fresh salad, or sorpotel (a pork delicacy) and sannas (steamed, savoury rice cakes) — a Goan meal packs quite a punch. 

Here are three traditional recipes (you may find a twist or two) that will tickle your tastebuds. 

PORK VINDALOO

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Ingredients

  • 1 kg lean pork
  • 2 ½  medium onions, chopped fine
  • 12 red dried chillies (use your favourite variety) 
  • 12 peppercorns 
  • 12 cloves of garlic
  • 1’’ ginger 
  • 8 cloves
  • 1’’ cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ vinegar
  • 1 peg coconut feni

Method

Clean and cut the pork into cubes. Add salt and let it rest. In a blender, grind all the whole spices and sugar using vinegar. Marinate the pork with the spices and set aside for at least 2 hours. Take a heavy-bottomed pan and let it heat on a medium flame. Add in the marinated meat and stir fry for five minutes. Now, add chopped onions and fry for one minute. Add the coconut feni, the remaining vinegar and water (not more than 2 cups), bring to a soft boil and add salt to taste. Turn down the heat and slow cook the concoction till the meat is tender and the curry is a fiery vermilion.

Tip: The dish turns out best when marinated overnight. 

CRAB/PRAWN MASALA

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Ingredients

  • 4 large crabs or 1 kg prawns
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder 
  • 10 red chillies 
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1’’ ginger 
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind extract 
  • I large onion, sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala

Method

In a blender, grind all the whole spices together. Take a heavy-bottomed pan and let it heat on medium flame. Add two teaspoons of oil, and fry the onions to a golden-brown hue. Add the spice mix and stir-fry for two minutes. Add one cup of boiling hot water, salt, tamarind and the crabs/prawns. Let it cook on a low flame for 20 minutes and your seafood masala is ready!

Note: If you’re using prawns, lightly saute them before adding them in.

CHICKEN CAFREAL

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Ingredients

  • 1 kg chicken
  • 4 large potatoes (boiled)
  • 4 tomatoes, halved
  • ½  teaspoon garam masala
  • 8 green chillies 
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1’’ ginger 
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 
  • 1 dessert spoon lemon juice

Method

In a blender, grind all the whole spices together. Marinate the chicken pieces in the spice mix and a little salt for at least 4 hours. Take a heavy-bottomed pan and let it heat on a medium flame. Add two teaspoons of oil and fry the chicken pieces, till they reach an earthy brown colour. Add the lemon juice and let it cook till the chicken is done. In another pan, fry the potatoes and the tomatoes lightly. Serve together with fresh salad and sannas. 

Tip: Cook the chicken on a low flame and add a spoon of water, if necessary.

 

The author is Goan and these are her family recipes. 

Last updated on 10.06.22, 03:01 PM
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