May is the best time for cooks traveling the coastal nation, as the markets are stocked with kokum butter, mango leather, balchao masalas and greater
The sizzling summer time warmth is riding many to the seaside, and Goa, where I am from, is a fave. But what tourists don’t understand is that that is also the season when the coastal kingdom is brimming with clean culmination and veggies.
Farmers’ markets abound, promoting produce, and merchandise like juices, wines, vinegar, jams, and candy. One of the highlights is the mangoes — Goa boasts more than 40 sorts — along with jackfruit and kokum (the berries, used as a souring agent, also move into the summer drink, sol kadi). “All our produce is natural and sourced domestically. We even choose mangoes by traveling farms and checking that they’re now not ripened artificially,” says Chiara Viegas, who hosted the recent Goa Farmers Market in Margao (the subsequent version might be in September), it had bought local honey, cold pressed coconut oil, domestic made Goan goodies and pickles.
If you ignored the Margao market, head to the Ambeachem (Mango) Fest, on May 14 at Nestor’s Farm, Valpoi. “You can revel in Goan food with mango curry, walk a few of the groves and learn how to make mango grafts,” says Marius Fernandes, the organizer.
Before the rains
As a coastal nation with a four-month monsoon season (beginning in June), this is the time to stock up. The weekly Friday marketplace at Mapusa is famous amongst locals, with its varieties of tamarind, whole spices, and chilies — the most important aspect of the Goan fish curry. “I used to often go to the Mapusa marketplace with my grandmother,” says photographer and creator of Markets of Goa, Assavri Kulkarni, who buys uncommon merchandise like kokum butter (a healthy substitute for oil) here.
Summer is also a time for feasts and fairs. “In Panjim, the Feast of Ascension of Jesus is hung on Sunday, the fortieth day after Easter. And many stuff required for the monsoon months are to be had on the honest,” says writer Maria de Lourdes Bravo da Costa Rodrigues. The biggest fair for provisions, however, is held in Margao, at some point of the Feast of the Holy Spirit. Usually held 50 days after Easter (on June 9 this yr), it’s far recognized for its lentils, sausages, condiments, and extensive variety of dry fish like mackerel, prawns, and Bombay duck. It is likewise the vicinity for spicy balchao and rechado masala.
Another spotlight is the once a year Vasant Puja, held inside the southern taluk of Canacona. “The meal [served] celebrates the variety of food available right now of the year. It incorporates fruits like mango, jackfruit, and pineapple served with boiled grams. You wash it all down with a fresh drink called panak, made with lime or mango juice, jaggery, and pepper. It is quite the group puller,” says Om Prabhugaonkar, a local.
Working up an urge for food
The summertime has its unique dishes. Mangoes are used in pickles, jams, and save — a “candy-sour dish crafted from coconut, jaggery and gotta (uncooked wild mangoes),” says caterer Anjana Amonkar. “There’s also a gravy dish crafted from gotta referred to as uddamethi,” she adds. Tender jackfruit is some other favored. “We make a bhaji (vegetable), with dried shrimps for brought taste. We also make chutney, bushel, flavored with charcoal. Its seeds are saved and added to leafy vegetables,” she says.
My list may be incomplete without the point out of mango leather, or mango Saath, wherein the pulp is solar-dried, layer via layer. A similar recipe is ready the usage of jackfruit pulp. And in the end, there are the chips. Besides jackfruit, tubers like candy potatoes (locally known as kanga) are deep-fried. “My favorite is mana, candy potato chips fried in coconut oil. It is the first-rate wet day snack,” concludes Kulkarni.