Fish is not the only thing on the menu in Goa, but certainly a focal point for me, having deprived myself of it for so long I was eager to indulge, but not at the expense of everything else.
Chicken cafreal – Cafreal is the marinade paste of green chillies, ginger, garlic and coriander used in this Goan dish, having tried and enjoyed it with Kingfish, I thought why not try the concoction with chicken. To be fair it’s still not an attractive colour, but the flavours are great, punchy and delicious, the tender moist chicken tricky as always to remove from the bone, but very enjoyable to eat.
Lady fingers calderin- this delicious relatively spice free dish was delicious, the lady fingers (okra) cooked lightly and added to the delicate sauce, a little like a white sauce made with coconut milk and a little curry powder, lightly sweetened. It was really nice and a lovely mix up to some of the spice heavy dishes.
Pork vindaloo – perhaps the most famous of all the Goan dishes, with a strong Portugese influence with Vin (wine) marinated meats given the local treatment. Strangely the potato (aloo) doesn’t feature in the dish at all. The version I ate didn’t disappoint flavour wise, although I certainly expected it to be hotter with more of a chilli kick.
I’m not sure if the story I heard on how it came about was correct, with local servants cooking pork with wine for Portuguese settlers, having served the meal, they went to have some themselves. Not too happy with favour they added recheiado to the stew, recheiado being a punchy blend of spices, Kashmiri chilli and coconut vinegar. A late guest arrived and having nothing else to serve him the Vindaloo was served.