Dining and winning in Goa needs no introduction. The Konkani flavours often win a foodie's taste sensors. Now, you can get Goan food on your plate at Bhubaneswar. The ongoing Goan food festival at Swosti Grand will let you relish spoonful of comforting flavours till September 23. From soups, starters to the dessert, everything on the menu is Konkani.
To start with, we were served a bowlful of Canja De Gallina. Well, that's the Goan name for Chicken soup. It isn't a clear soup made of minced chicken. It's more like a broth containing chicken, potato and zucchini. The soup gets its soothing flavour from olive oil, turmeric and coriander. Similar option is available for vegetarians too. For vegetarians, the starter menu had a borrowed dish from Maharastra, Kaju Kothimbir Vadi. These fritters are prepared using a mixture of gram flour, cashew nuts and coriander leaves. If you are not reactive to the taste of fenugreek or meethi, the meethi-corn tikki will impress you. The corn does no moderation to the dominating flavour of meethi.
The non-vegetarians have a lot to experiment with in the starters segment. When it's about Goa, definitely the starters are mostly of fish. If you order a plate of King Fish fry, you get the meaty slab of seer fish with the central bone intact. The fish is roasted over a tawa after marination with ginger-garlic and garam masala paste. If you the smell of sea-fish is a total flop for your tastebuds, go for a plate of rawa-fried fish. It's made of freshwater Rohu fish. The top layer of rawa (suji) adds crisp to the starter. One of the most delicious of all starters is the Goan stuffed pomfret. Well, what makes it Goan? It's the coconut-tamarind mix. "We stuff the fish with ginger-garlic paste, coconut, tamarind and paste of garam masala. Thereafter, the fish is roasted over tawa," said the Chef, Uttam Das.
For the main-course, there's a special dal cooked with coconut and drumsticks. It blends well with coconut rice. The rice isn't sticky or sweet. You are served long-grain rice soaked in the flavour of coconut. The North Indian curry gets a Goan twist as boondi is replaced by Kokum fruit. A dish that's come on your plate from the streets in Goa is Ros masala egg omelette. Ros is a term used for curry. "This is simple masala omelette. The street food vendors in Goa pour curry over it," added the Chef. Chicken Xacuti and Prawn Balcho makes your meal complete. They are spicy and loaded with the flavours of garam masala, Goan red chilies and coconut. To give you a feel of Goa, the restaurant's decor has been modified. You are greeted with boats, coconuts and sand at the entrance. Most of the dishes are price between `300 and `500.
The non-vegetarian platter is not an assortment of chicken and fish items. You can try the spicy fried squid too.