Go for it, that crispy bit of prawn, that cheeze resois, rus-omlette, sausge pao, mirchi bhajji… You are in Goa, might as well… Just a small bite. Snack time is important time in Goa. Come sundown and small ’gaddas’ (mobile carts) open up everywhere dishing out the most delicious and freshly made crunchy snacks; little cafes and tea shops start buzzing; bakeries get very busy; and, goodness, what a range of small bites they put out on offer. The regular tea time snack across Goa is batter fried mirchi or vada or bhajji, else samosa and patties, crisp and sharp, with a hot cup of chai. Then there is a range of curry bhajis to be had with one of those soft pao breads - patal bhaji, sukhi bhaji, mix bhaji, salad bhaji… Simply lip smacking stuff!
There is also the goan-catholic range of things: beef croquets, prawn resois, mince cutlets, pork pies etc. The best is to ask for one of each, first. These are just small bites after all (wink). Then order another round of what you really liked! You can also opt for meatier bites like a cutlet or sausage in bread. Just sink in ll the way with your teeth.
A good Goan bakery, pastry shop, or a provision store is always loaded with local savouries. Cakes of all kinds: rum cake, sponge cake, coconut cake, cookies, biscuits, chips, farsan, toast, puffs and patties. A must try is the ‘sanna’, a slightly sweet steamed rice dumpling fermented with toddy. And now is the season for Patoleos - thin rice cakes stuffed with coconut and jaggery steamed in turmeric leaves - fragrant and delicate.
But the king of snack food in Goa is the Ros Omelette. An egg omellete dunked in chicken xacuti gravy garnished with chopped onions and chillies with a nice squeeze of lime. It goes with hot pao bread. A round of extra gravy is gratis, and serves well specially to polish off the last bit of pao with.
Besides, for the general fare there are always some special places lurking around in Goa, waiting to be discovered by the keen traveller. Those family-run kitchens with aunty’s specials. These will serve a special soup or a delectable pan roll. Or a regular patal bhaji with the addition of succulent shell fish. Or their speciality could be a delicious Serradura or a coconut souffle. Always be on the lookout; a tasty bite is hiding in every corner of Goa.
Finding these places is an art in itself as these are not places that are listed, reviewed and location mapped. Some nice traveler’s community forums may mention them, but the best is to go by just asking around. Soon you get a sense of how to discover these places and your olfactories automatically lead you there.
We at Aashyana, encourage our guests to discover their own Goa. We are tucked away from the crowd, shrouded in greenery by the sea, and yet we are a short walk away from the happening tourist hub where among the bylanes lie some delicious bites waiting to be discovered.