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Street food in the state of Goa

Goa is a state situated along India’s vast and exotic coastline, and for this reason is it a state also associated with delicious fish dishes, many of which are well spiced. This state was placed under Portuguese rule for more than 500 years when it was first conquered and as a result a unique cuisine has developed, where east meets west in a fusion of flavours and styles.

In fact a number of ingredients are commonly used in Goa that aren’t indigenous to India; they were introduced by western settlers and are now used to create world-famous recipes. Pineapple and chilli are two examples of this; when introduced, these ingredients had a huge impact on food and cookery in Goa and have since been utilised to create a mouth-watering local cuisine that reflects the mix of cultures that call this state home.

But let’s move out of the kitchen and onto the street – for this is where a lot of the culinary magic happens. Street food in Goa is an extension of the exotic fish and meat dishes served in homes across the state, and there’s plenty of choice.

Tourists who visit Goa are often amazed by the substantial dishes and simple snacks sold by these street vendors. A number of dishes from the region have, as stated above, become famous around the world – but for some culinary enthusiast there’s so much more on offer in this state than the usual Goan recipes found everywhere else.

For example take ros-omelette. An omelette may not sound that exotic, but this particular meal cannot be found anywhere else but on the streets of Goa. Ros refers to gravy and the omelette also includes onions and tomatoes. These are then added to a small steel dish that also contains a chicken or mutton curry; the aromatic spices blend with the omelette and it is topped off with fresh coriander, and is served with bread.

Also take choriso bread – this is a type of sausage bread often sold by hawkers in Goa and is a huge street-food favourite hard to come by anywhere else. It’s made using Goan sausages that consist of marinated pork that is inserted into the bread before baking.

Cutlet bread is also highly popular and unique to Goa. This consists of a patty covered with bread cumbs, or rava, and deep fried. The patty can be made with mince or vegetables and once friend have a crisp outer shell that is as delicious as it is sinful. The patty is served in a Goanpoiee – a type of bread – that often includes a hot, spicy and flavourful green paste.

Finally the chilli fry is another dish traditionally served by Goan street hawkers that deserves a mention – it’s a semi-dry dish given an intense flavour by the inclusion of multiple green chillies; definitely not for the faint of heart! Lemon or vinegar are used to help cool the dish down, and as with most Goan street food it is normally served with fresh bread.

The food of Goa’s streets is unique and delicious, and hard to find anywhere else. To experience authentic recipes here in the UK, visit one of London’s fine Indian restaurants.