During our food tour across Goa we had paid a short visit to the beautiful and serene village Aldona with our phenomenal host Varun Hegde, who is the country founder of the state's one of the foremost tour companies called Soul Travelling.
We were primarily here for an authentic Goan meal at the house of a local. And hence it was just a half day's affair. But if you are planning to visit this verdant village then make sure that you have a minimum of a day to soak in the beauty.
On reaching the village in late afternoon,Varun took us to a place called Teen Maanus. Maanus is a stone bridge over the backwaters that have arches beneath. The Teen Maanus is the one with three arches. These arches have gates that open and close along with the low and high tides. And due to their structure this bridge is used for fishing. This also doubles up as a recreational place where locals gather to enjoy fresh air and scenic beauty.
On reaching here we met Manuel, the fisherman who is in charge of fishing in this Maanus. He was casting his nets down in the waters flowing at the gates. Once he was done with it he met us on the shore and gave us an overview of the place and the catch that they usually make.
After witnessing the fishing activity, we headed to a Aldona Institute which is a popular social club in the area. Locals come here to play indoor sports and games or to spend time together over drinks. It is a membership based club. Here we joined Mr. Hector who showed us around and took us to get a drink. At the bar counter Anubhav was taken back to meet Manuel the fisherman whom he had met a few moments back. Manuel works as the bartender at the club as the part of his evening job.
Soon we were joined by Mr. Anslem who is the treasurer. He shared some fun and fascinating details about the club, the village and his favourite food.
After spending some time in the club we reached the quaint and beautiful house of our host Johann. We met his mom Jennifer who had prepared the delicious humble dinner for us. The interiors had an old world charm to it and the black and white photographs bore stories of togetherness.
The menu included poiee, chicken cafreal, bangda racheado, prawn cutlet, prawn and okra curry and rice. We started with bangda recheado and prawn cutlet, followed it with poiee and chicken cafreal and ended it with rice and prawn curry. The gratifying flavours and the warm company led to a great experience.
For dessert we had pinagr and alle belle, which were the two treats that Jennifer usually prepares for her family. Next came the turn of trying some homemade wines. She made us try guava, starfruit and cashew feni that she had made a few months back.
Soon it was time to bid goodbye to the gracious family and head back to Panaji. It was another opportunity to learn about the local culinary secrets from families.
About the host - Anubhav Sapra
Anubhav Sapra is an avid culinary explorer who loves to travel and explore different cuisine primarily the street food, not just for the sake of gustatory pleasure but also for quenching his deep thirst for nurturing new cultural connections through the kaleidoscopic canvas of food. He believes that the vibrant and delectable street food tradition across the globe has the power to bring communities together and foster harmonious human existence.