In today's episode we have come to Bicholim, a quaint town in Goa to relish some Gaud Saraswat Brahmin delicacies and get a sneak peak into this amazing cuisine. They are one of the prominent religious communities in Goa. This experience was arranged by the dynamic and genial folks from The Local Beat, an offbeat travel company which included Vibhuti, Ruchika, Mac, Aftab and Sai.
The agenda for the day was to visit the local market, cook some traditional GBS delicacies and relish the famous Goan Khaje. We reached the Bicholim market to learn about the local veggies and fruits and to fetch some for our dishes. Vibhuti bought an array of veggies for Khatkhate, a GBS classic that is prepared on all festive occasions. From there we went to the fish section to get some mackerel for bangdyache kodi. This was followed by a visit to the fruit market where we picked up some custard apples, grapes and native bananas.
We carried them all to Vibhuti's place which was amidst a grove beside a stream. It was a beautiful spot and an apt place for outdoor cooking. Soon the makeshift cooking counter was set up amidst the greenery. In the next couple of hours Vibhuti and Ruchika prepared bangdyache kodi, khatkhate, chayacho ross and mangane. The three key elements of the above three curries were coconut, gaavti chillies and triphal. Mangane is a luscious sweet dish made of chana dal, tapioca pearls and coconut milk. In between the cooking action, Mac took us to a shop near Mayem lake for lemon soda because it is perhaps the most popular beverage over here.
After the cooking was complete, we took our plates and went to eat beside the stream. It was an incredible experience. The prominent flavours were that from the coconut, chillies and triphal. Our favourite was the khatkhate and mangane. After polishing off the soulful food we headed to the market to taste the popular Goan Khaje, a besan and jaggery based sweet that has received a GI tag. We checked out the makeshift roadside stalls of Noda teli khaje and sitaram chanekar khaje for these sweet snacks. It was indeed a fun treat. We wrapped up with a refreshing cup of tea and some more intriguing stories about the cuisine.