Recipes From Goa, India

Food is a huge deal in Goa, a state located on India's lush, green western coast with an abundance of fresh fish and seafood. Pork is also a favorite, thanks to the Portuguese colonizers that overtook this area. In this region, hours are spent preparing delicious dishes from recipes often passed down through generations.

  • 01 of 10

    Pork Vindaloo

    Pork Vindaloo

    Paul Poplis / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    Vindaloo typically refers to an extremely thick gravy that's served with meat; typically, pork. This hot and tangy pork vindaloo is ideal with jeera rice, also known as cumin rice, and a leafy green salad.

  • 02 of 10

    Sorpatel, Spicy Pork Curry

    Sorpatel is a spicy pork curry with a rich broth of cinnamon, coriander, cumin, and clove. Traditionally, it was a sustainable way to use up all parts of a butchered pig—including the intestines, heart, and tongue. This recipe calls for liver and any cut of pork. If you choose to omit the liver, simply substitute more pork.

  • 03 of 10

    Goan Fish Curry

    Tangy and spicy, this curry is almost a staple food in Goa. It gets its creaminess from the grated coconut, and, unlike many Indian curries you see in American restaurants, is thick and textured from all the spices.

  • 04 of 10

    Semolina-Battered Prawns

    These prawns are deliciously battered in semolina wheat, also called rava. Rava is a ubiquitous ingredient in South Indian cuisine, especially present in many breakfast foods. These golden, crispy fried prawns make a terrific appetizer.

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  • 05 of 10

    Fresh Prawn Pickle

    This prawn pickle is a characteristically Goan dish. Unlike more popular dishes like vindaloo, you won't often see this on menus in other parts of the country. The prawns are pickled in chile, ginger, and vinegar. Allow at least three to five days before enjoying.

  • 06 of 10

    Prawn Ambot Tik

    This delicious curry is hot and sour, and traditionally made with shrimp (or even shark, but due to sustainability concerns, that is changing). Use shrimp or a firm-fleshed fish here, like cod or mackerel, for best results. It's a comforting meal with plain steamed rice.

  • 07 of 10

    Prawn Balchão

    This fiery shrimp gravy is almost like a pickle in that packs a bit of heat. It, like many of the dishes on this list, reflects Goa's Portuguese heritage. Do as the Goans do and serve it with hot plain boiled rice.

  • 08 of 10


    Sannas are Goan rice cakes not unlike idli found in other parts of South India. Neither sweet nor savory on their own, they're the perfect fluffy starch for soaking up spicy curries or rich pork vindaloo.

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  • 09 of 10


    A traditional rich Goan dessert, bebinca is a must have at any celebration, be it a birth, wedding, Christmas, or Easter. Making bebinca requires patience. A layer can only be added when the one below it is cooked, but the end result is well worth the effort. Traditional bebinca has 16 layers, but you can make as many as you like.

  • 10 of 10

    Goan Sausage Curry

    This simple, hot and tangy curry is delicious. It's often served at roadside stalls or beach shacks, and it's ubiquitous throughout Goa.