In pictures: Traditional Goan Christmas foods

In pictures: Traditional Goan Christmas foods

In pictures: Traditional Goan Christmas foods chicken roast turkey roast pork vindaloo baath bebinca marzipan poee pork roulade 30stades

Goa’s food has a charm of its own and the little state’s culinary heritage is best showcased during Christmas – the festival when every Goan family prepares traditional recipes handed down from one generation to another.

Once upon a time, when families were large and people got together for Christmas, the centrepiece of the food table would be the roasted suckling – marinated overnight with masalas and roasted for hours in the oven.

But with the shrinking size of the families, the three-four kg of roasted baby pig has made way for roast turkey and roast chicken, which are smaller in size and faster to cook.

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A traditional Goan Christmas spread today includes roast turkey or chicken, pulao, sorpotel, pork vindaloo, beef roulade, pork roast, tuna canapés and a variety of bread like sannas (steamed rice bread/cake prepared with toddy), pav and poee (whole wheat bun).

While Goa has a rich heritage of sweets, with bebinca being synonymous with the state, Christmas calls for the preparation of kulkuls, marzipan, pinagr (or pinaac), batica (or baath cake) and perad or guava cheese.

Also See: Maharashtrian food in pictures

Goa was a Portuguese colony for almost 450 years (from 1510 to 1961) and the cuisine has a distinct Portuguese stamp. It is visible in the liberal use of vinegar (including for marination), the use of Portuguese bread — pav, the intensely flavoured pork vindaloo (made without aloo or potatoes) and the preparation of other curries and stews etc. Rice, coconut, fish, and cashews are used liberally in Goan food, a direct Konkani influence.

Goa is a beautiful amalgam of cultures. And it reflects in its everyday food. Christmas makes it extra special. Here are traditional Goan Christmas foods in pictures:

Roast suckling has made way for roast chicken in the Christmas food spread. Pic: Flickr 30stades
Roast suckling has made way for roast chicken in the Christmas food spread. Pic: Flickr

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Sorpotel (a pork gravy prepared two-three days ahead of Christmas) with sannas (steamed rice cake). Also fried bombil fish here. Pic: Flickr
Sorpotel (a pork gravy prepared two-three days ahead of Christmas) with sannas (steamed rice cake). Also fried bombil fish here. Pic: Flickr
Tuna canapés, a popular Christmas starter. Tuna can be replaced with other fish varieties too. Pic: Flickr
Tuna canapés , a popular Christmas starter. Tuna can be replaced with other fish varieties too. Pic: Flickr

Also Read: From ragi momos to snails, how tribal food is becoming the ambassador for Jharkhand’s indigenous culture

Goan beef roulade made by flattening beef pieces, marinating them in spices, stuffing them with veggies and then cooking them in onion-tomato gravy. Pic: GoanWiki

Also Read: How 2 sisters are reviving cuisine of Bannuwal Hindus who migrated from Pakistan after Partition

Goan gravies are served with a variety of breads like pav, poee, sannas etc. Pic: Flickr
Goan gravies are served with a variety of breads like pav, poee, sannas etc. Pic: Flickr

Also Read: Kashmir’s local bread-baking thrives as kandurs serve up delectable breads

Marzipan is the essential Christmas sweet made from a paste of almonds or cashews to which food colour is added. They are shaped with hands or using moulds. Pic: Flickr
Marzipan is the essential Christmas sweet made from a paste of almonds or cashews to which food colour is added. They are shaped with hands or using moulds. Pic: Flickr

Also Read: How home chef Sumitra Kalapatapu is popularising the little-known Andhra Brahmin cuisine

Pinagr or Pinaca resembles a croquette but is actually a sweet made with parboiled rice, jaggery, coconut and cardamom. Pic: Flickr 30stades
Pinagr or Pinaca resembles a croquette but is actually a sweet made with parboiled rice, jaggery, coconut and cardamom. Pic: Flickr

Also Read: Kashmir’s street food: Lotus stem & fish fritters, chickpea tacos, sweet snowballs & more

Perad or guava cheese is made from guava, sugar, lime and butter and is like aam papad in texture -- chewy and soft. Pic: Flickr
Perad or guava cheese is made from guava, sugar, lime and butter and is like aam papad in texture — chewy and soft. Pic: Flickr
Kulkuls are deep-fried snack with textured ridged edges that look like shells. They are made with flour, ghee, sugar, eggs, semolina and coconut milk. Pic: Flickr
Kulkuls are deep-fried snack with textured ridged edges that look like shells. They are made with flour, ghee, sugar, eggs, semolina and coconut milk. Pic: Flickr

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With the texture of pudding, Dodol is made from coconut milk, jaggery & red rice. Jaggery and coconut milk are cooked till the mixture is reduced by half. Pic: Flickr
With the texture of pudding, Dodol is made from coconut milk, jaggery & red rice. Jaggery and coconut milk are cooked till the mixture is reduced by half. Pic: Flickr

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