|Tasty Goan Morsels by Maria de Lourdes Bravo da Costa Rodrigues|
No gloss; no colour but everything that gets your basics of Goan cuisine right! I was frantically hunting for some credible information on Goan cuisine..something that would clear the haze in my head buzzing with beaten up stale info from the Internet. This book was truly a breath of fresh air.
A celebrated Goan who has penned delightfully and generously on the cuisine, she introduced me to the history of Goan cuisine that appears as a Prologue of sorts in the book. It's followed by the conventional recipe roster subdivided into soups, veg, non-veg and sweets. We can only think of Portuguese when we think Goa but what did Goans eat before that?? Ah, there were dishes like Moongacheo Ganthi, Bangdeanchi Uddamethi which are Konkini and nothing else. These dishes are not glamorous but simple and made brilliant by the sheer combination of a few ingredients that have a sensual play producing a burst of flavours for our amuse bouche! There's a dish called Khatkhatem, apparently, cooked in Hindu households which I found interesting! It was created to make use of the left over veggies. Am positively gonna try it sometime and blog about it if it pleases my palate!
The book provides nice trivia like Catholics used Palm Jaggery whereas Hindus used Sugarcane Jaggery. Palm feni was first distilled by the Portuguese in Goa to replace their wine for Goans who found it too expensive!! And what's Shivarak....? You got to read the book for that :P