Tired of bland veg curries and dals? Think sheekh kebabs are the only non-veg contribution to Indian cuisine? Then, check out Goa. Thanks to the Portuguese, who left their Euro-Christian tastes for meat, Goan menus include beef and the ever-popular goan sausage. Being on the coast and blessed with wide rivers and creeks, Goan chefs also make the most of the bounty of the sea, with shrimp, lobster, and freshwater fish figuring prominently into daily specials and family feasts. And, although Goan cuisine is not that well-known, even outside of western India, one of its dishes has come to be a staple of curry shops round the world: the dreaded, but oft devoured, vindaloo.
Why would anyone want to visit Goa, the ultimate beach destination in India, during the middle of the monsoons? I’m sure a lot of people will be asking that when I tell them that Anthony and I visited there last weekend, a good two to three weeks into the rainy season. But, around these parts, going to Goa at this time of year is one the best kept secrets. There are a number of air and hotel packages, the tourists are gone, and the rains revive the foliage to a lush green.
Last weekend was our first time to Goa. The small state, which lies at the tip of Maharashtra and borders Karnataka, is approximately one hour by plane from Mumbai. So, it is the obvious escape for many people who live or visit here. Nevertheless, we have opted to go to Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and up north. We figured that Goa would always be there.