With small fishing boats operating from Baga I am ecstatic with the possibility of trying some of Goas famously spice laden sauces with some excellent seafood. Choosing a venue from the plethora available wasn’t too hard, and I think I did quite well, judging by the food quality
Kingfish seemed to be in the nets locally, a great fish with a robust but not dominant flavour, Kingfish does have a tendency to dry if over cooked, making it quite a good choice to curry with.
Baby kingfish xacuti was one of the first Goan dishes I ate, described as a coarse curry made of 15 spices and aromatics with ground coconut, a fairly apt description. The ground coconut creating the course texture the rich onion base to the curry was faint behind the punchy spice hit that filled the palate before introducing the fish flavours underneath.
Kingfish cafreal, this really wasn’t a good looking dish, with the marinade paste made from green chillies, ginger, garlic and coriander turning a rather unappealing brown once cooked. It was tasty though, with a slightly sour note in the food, I had noticed it in the Xacuti when I had eaten it. I think part of the Portuguese influence may be vinegar based.
Prawns with garlic butter, not Goan, definitely Portuguese , always delicious, really I don’t need to describe this dish. So happy was I to be eating some fresh seafood I thought this dish, one that I always love should not be overlooked, besides, it serves as a good contrast to all the spices
Vegetable pakoras, I think the batter for pakoras is chickpea flour, but I’m not sure. In Scotland where I first had these they are often quite spicy indeed, but then a chip shop version of an ethnic dish is never the finest first example. These were quite similar to many that I have had here already, the range of vegetable contained was refreshing though.
Masala fry seafood, Masala or Indian gravy varies from place to place, but onion, tomato and chilli are a fairly standard combination, here it has a lightly sour note, and great punch. The sauce is quite smooth, having clearly been cooked down, like a slow cooked Italian sauce this slow cooking giving a richer and fuller flavour. Thick and viscous the sauce complimented the prawns, crab and fish well, but coated the squid a little too well leading to it being overpowered. Here the masala is often made with coconut milk, red chillies, garlic and cumin with sour tamarind in addition to the usual base. I ate this meal with chips, it was really good with chips.