After traveling twice with food bloggers on trips to Jaipur and Goa, I am slowly noticing food. Otherwise more than 10 years of hostel food simply killed all my taste buds. After almost ten years of travel, I am trying to revive it. Goa is known for its seafood but I am a vegetarian. However, I ventured to taste a mouth full of different types of fish on this trip. So, here I go with a food post from Goa!
One of the first places that we stopped at was Ritz Classic Patto for lunch. I was the only vegetarian on the table. I ordered a vegetable xacuti with rice and fried vegetables for starters. The trouble was that the portions were big and I could not finish everything alone! And I still do not like to leave food on the table.
This was the Goan Thali at the Ritz Classic Patto. People who ordered it wondered how were they ever going to finish it! I did taste the fish, just a small bite. I can actually take a bite of fish at times, but the trouble with me is that I cannot finish a complete fish dish ever. I do not go near any other meat, And there is no logic behind these decisions. It is just based on what I feel like doing.
This was my dessert at the Ritz Classic Patto. Since I did not click a picture of the name, I have promptly forgotten the it. I surely need to improve my notekeeping for my posts!
As a vegetarian one of the dishes I enjoyed was the cashew and peas pulao by OCoquerio at Goa Coconut and Cashew Festival 2015.
Later we dined at OCoquerio Restaurant as well. One of my firm favorites are mushroom in all its guises. I quite liked the fried mushrooms at the place.
I particularly liked the local cafes in Goa. While walking through Fontainhas we stumbled upon the Urban Cafe, a cozy little place where I had my coffee with Canon! If you are in the area do check it out, you will recognize it by its colorful walls quite easily. There lemon cake is also quite good.
I am very partial to cheesecakes, especially the blueberry ones. I had this excellent piece at Destination One Escapade by the Calangute Beach. Actually the only food that truly excites me is dessert!
We visited Club Nyex at Anjuna. It has newly opened and is right by the beach. The Baileys that they served me wa excellent. Actually as I like Amarula a lot I went with Baileys. I was quite happy with my choice of drink.
However, for me the biggest food story from Goa is Kokum. We visited a cashew farm near Bicholim. The farm owner Mr. Joshi gave us Kokum Fruits to carry home. I tasted Sol Kadhi in Goa. So not only Chhavi and I enjoyed the fruits, I decided to make Sol Kahdi out of the fruit skin.
I dried the skins patiently and then searched for a recipe on the net. This glass full of Sol Kahdi was result of my effort. My elder nephew Dilip and I quite enjoyed it.
So this is an attempt to get back to enjoying food after probably ten years of being indifferent to it! I hope I will continue on the path of rediscovering food.
PS. I was invited by Goa Tourism on this trip.
When we arrived at Devsar Farms near Bicholim in Goa I immediately felt relaxed. In front of me were rows of rubber trees. I could see green mangoes hanging nearby and a slender cashew tree added to the allure in the immediate vicinity. The parking spot for our vehicle was a giant banyan tree. My usual concrete filled vision found all this extremely soothing.
Farms and green places immediately remind me of home, in the small town of Gorakhpur. My father used to work in railways and I grew up among many trees. However, all of us now live in Gurgaon. When I was young having a green home was business as usual and now I hardly get time to I get nostalgic.
As we were attending Goa’s Coconut and Cashew Festival 2015 it was appropriate that the itinerary included a visit to a cashew farm. For me this was a first as well. We were there at the low season, most of the cashews were plucked but I still got to see a few. After picking up the fruit, the nut is separated from the apple. The nut goes for further processing and the cashew apple is used to make Feni, the famous local alcoholic drink!
Our guide for the day was Mr. Joshi who is the owner of the farm. He was quite happy to show us around, even though the day was hot. He encouraged us to try out any fruit that caught our fancy straight from the tree.
I was game to sip directly from the apple after the cashew nut was taken out. The juice is sweet with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Some find the smell of the fruit overbearing. For me it was not a problem. I was warned to be careful with the juice as its stains are permanent.
Mr. Joshi told us that representatives of cashew factories were happy to come to the farm and buy off the product. Even though the cashew was the main star of the visit there were other attractions too.
Before the visit to the Devsar Farm Kokum was a flavor for me on a packaged juice. And then I got to eat the fruit after plucking it straight off the tree! Kokum belongs to Mangostien family. I loved its tangy/sweet taste. Its skin can be dried and used to make juices and kadhi.
I am religiously collecting the skin of the fruits that I got to carry home. The generous Mr. Joshi gave us a bagful of Kokums to carry home as well. As I predicted there itself, my daughter is enjoying them a lot, she likes tangy things.
This fruit picking session so reminded me of my childhood when the only way I would eat Litchi was straight after plucking from the tree, nestled comfortably in a branch, with juice dripping down my elbows!
As we were walking back to our car, I asked Mr. Joshi if the farm was open to visitors? He said not yet but there were plans to open it later. We also talked about the possibility of letting the tourists get involved with cashew picking and he said they were quite open to the idea!
When we later regrouped for a late lunch at Calangute Beach, I did realize how hot the day actually was. But I was so enjoying myself at the farm that the heat never bothered me there. The visit to the Devsar Farm was one of the highlights of my trip.
PS. I was invited by Goa Tourism on this trip.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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