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Goa delights

Goan sausages, Vindaloo, Xacuti chicken, Bibenca and Dodol. All at the ongoing food festival at Grand Hotel.



'GO GOA': Savour Goan cuisne in all its spice and colour

ONE OF the most indelible memories of Margoa, South Goa, is its sausage market. The rows and rows of stalls with sausages in different sizes strung from the ceilings are strangely alluring. The fleshy festoons effuse a strong characteristic smell of cured meat that stifle out any other odour.

Goan sausage

The Goan sausage is quite unlike the frozen sausage that we pick up at the department store, the former does not require the freezer for the meat is preserved well in spices and vinegar. And when you bite into the sausage the pieces of red chilly and cinnamon sticks make their presence strongly felt. At the on going `Go Goa' festival at Grand Hotel, Fanny Naik (the Chef de partie at the Dona Sylvia, Goa) has brought Goan sausages all the way from the Margoa market. And needless to say the spicy Golden Fried Goan Sausage makes a great starter. Along with the sausage have the Prawns Kismor Salad. This salad innovatively uses diced `coccum' to give it the dash of tart. The dried prawns are sautéed lightly in onions, capsicum, grated coconut and finally garnished with coccum. This salad is served cold.

Portuguese

The marriage of the Portugal and Goan cuisine is very evident in the names of the dishes. For the main course there is Fish or Chicken Cafreal, which is marinated in mint and coriander leaves then pan fried, but the favourite no doubt is the Rava Fried Fish that only the Goans can make so well. The chef's special is the Vindaloo. Fanny's Pork Vindaloo is spicy and sweet, almost an Indian variant of the sweet and sour pork and goes better with plain white rice than the pav buns. Xacuti the much-touted chicken dish is a disappointment- it is very hot but the Chef is toning it down to suit our palates. The Seafood Balchaum is mixture of squid, fish and prawns in tomato gravy. Finally for dessert there is the Dodol and Bibenca served with ice cream. The Bibenca served here does not have the overpowering egg taste and is just right. Fanny Naik who was previously with housekeeping switched over to cooking when it was discovered that she had a natural flair for the Goan cuisine. She has been cooking ever since. "She has been brought down to Grand Hotel to introduce Kochiites to Goan flavours," says Sunny K.K. the General Manager. The festival is on till November 2. So time to go to `Go Goa'.

MINU ITTYIPE

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