The Traditional Food of Goa mainly revolves around fish curry and rice, with most dishes featuring a combination of coconuts, fish, pork, meat, and local spices such as kokum. Seafood plays a central role in Goan cuisine, showcasing a variety of fish, including shark, tuna, pomfret, and mackerel. 

Given its prime location along India's west coast and the Arabian Sea's shores, Goan cuisine is heavily influenced by various spices and flavours. 

Also, the Portuguese colonial legacy has significantly influenced Goan cuisine, introducing a variety of unique dishes and cooking techniques. 

Here's a list of 17 must-try traditional dishes.

Traditional Dishes of Goa

  1. Goan Fish Curry
  2. Pork Vindaloo
  3. Chicken Xacuti
  4. Bebinca
  5. Feijoada
  6. SorpotelSanna
  7. Crab Xacuti
  8. Goan Prawn Balchao
  9. Patolea (Patoli)
  10. Ros Omelette
  11. Goan Khatkhate
  12. Goan Red Rice Cake (Sannas)
  13. Chouricos
  14. Goan Tendli Pickle
  15. Goan Coconut Cake (Baath Cake)
  16. Dodol
  • Goan Fish Curry:

This curry is a special food of Goa. It features fish steeped in a rich, coconut-based gravy with a tangy undertone from tamarind. The curry is spiced with a blend of traditional Goan spices, offering a balance of heat and flavour. It's a comforting meal that represents the coastal essence of Goa, perfectly paired with rice for a fulfilling experience. Using local fish like kingfish or pomfret adds to its authenticity, making it a beloved staple in Goan households and a must-try for visitors. 

  • Pork Vindaloo:

Originating from Portuguese influence, Pork Vindaloo is a fiery and aromatic traditional dish of Goa. It's made with pork marinated in a potent mix of vinegar, garlic, and spices, then slow-cooked to perfection. The result is a dish that's both spicy and tangy, with a depth of flavour that's unparalleled. Vindaloo is a testament to Goa's history and ability to blend different culinary traditions into something uniquely Goan, enjoyed with rice or freshly baked Goan bread.

  • Chicken Xacuti

Chicken Xacuti is a symphony of Goan spices, coconut, and poppy seeds, making it incredibly rich and flavoured. This curry dish is known for its complexity and depth, with a spice blend that includes cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Using roasted spices and coconut gives it a distinctive earthy and aromatic taste. It's a celebratory traditional dish of Goa served at Goan festivals and gatherings, embodying Goan cuisine's warm and welcoming spirit.

  • Bebinca

Bebinca, the "Queen of Goan desserts," is a traditional layered cake made from coconut milk, sugar, ghee, and egg yolks. This indulgent dessert is labour-intensive, requiring each layer to be cooked individually before adding the next, resulting in a deliciously rich and moist cake. Bebinca is typically enjoyed during Christmas and other festive occasions, often served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or a side of warm coconut milk.

  • Feijoada:

A Goan adaptation of the Portuguese bean stew, Feijoada in Goa incorporates local ingredients like black-eyed peas or kidney beans with pork, chorizo, and spices. This hearty and flavourful stew is one of the traditional Goan dishes. It reflects Goa's Portuguese heritage, blending the warmth of Indian spices with traditional European cooking techniques. Feijoada is a comforting meal, perfect for family gatherings, showcasing the fusion of cultures central to Goan cuisine.

  • Sorpotel

Another special food of Goa with Portuguese roots, Sorpotel, is a spicy and vinegary pork stew that's a staple at Goan celebrations, especially at Christmas and weddings. Made with a mixture of pork heart, liver, and kidney, cooked in a tangy and spicy sauce, it's a dish that gets better with age, often made a few days in advance to allow the flavours to deepen. Sorpotel is a testament to the rich culinary tradition of Goa, offering a unique taste experience.

  • Sanna

Sanna are fluffy, steamed rice cakes made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk. They are perfect for curries like Xacuti and Vindaloo. Thanks to adding toddy or yeast for fermentation, they are slightly sweet, making them light yet satisfying. Sanna reflects the simplicity and ingenuity of Goan cuisine, turning basic ingredients into something special.

  • Crab Xacuti

Crab Xacuti is a delightful seafood curry that incorporates the richness of coconut with a blend of roasted spices, including the aromatic Xacuti masala. The succulent crab meat absorbs all the complex flavours of the curry, making it a luxurious and flavourful dish. It's a celebration of Goa's abundant seafood, enjoyed by locals and tourists for its flavour and richness.

  • Goan Prawn Balchao

Prawn Balchao is a fiery and tangy pickle-like traditional Goa food made with marinated prawns and cooked in a spicy and vinegary tomato-based sauce. It's a versatile dish that can be served as a curry with rice or as a pickle alongside meals. Balchao showcases the Portuguese influence on Goan cuisine with its bold flavours and preservation technique, making it a beloved Goan classic.

  • Patolea

Patolea, or Patoli, are sweet dumplings made with rice flour, coconut, jaggery, and cardamom, wrapped in turmeric leaves and steamed. This traditional Goan dessert is usually prepared during the monsoon festival of Sao Joao and other important occasions. The turmeric leaves impart a unique flavour to the dumplings, making them an aromatic and delightful treat.

  • Ros Omelette

Ros Omelette is a popular street food among the traditional Goan dishes, consisting of a fluffy omelette served with a spicy and flavourful Goan gravy. This dish exemplifies the simplicity and creativity of Goan street food, offering a comforting and hearty meal that's both affordable and delicious. The 'ros' refers to the gravy, often made with coconut milk and a blend of Goan spices, providing a rich backdrop to the omelette's soft texture. Ros Omelette is a must-try for anyone seeking to experience the true flavour of Goa's local cuisine, served hot at roadside stalls and markets.

  • Goan Khatkhate

Khatkhate is a traditional Goan vegetable stew staple during festivals and celebrations. It's a no-garlic, no-onion recipe, making it unique in Goan cuisine. It is made with at least five different vegetables, toor dal, and a special Goan five-spice mix called "Triphala." Coconut adds to its richness, creating a hearty, nutritious, flavourful, and comforting dish. Khatkhate celebrates the diversity of Goan agriculture and is a testament to the region's ability to create complex flavours from simple ingredients.

  • Goan Red Rice Cake (Sannas)

These are sweet, steamed rice cakes made from Goan red rice, coconut milk, and traditional toddy as a fermenting agent. They're soft, spongy, and slightly sweet, serving as a perfect side for curries or enjoyed as a snack. The use of red rice and toddy gives these cakes a distinctive flavour and texture, showcasing the traditional baking techniques of Goan cuisine. Sannas are a delightful representation of Goa's rich culinary heritage, blending the flavours of local ingredients into a simple yet delicious dish.

  • Chouricos: 

Chouricos are spicy, tangy Goan sausages made from pork marinated in Goan vinegar, garlic, chilli, and spices, then sun-dried. They're cooked in various ways, often sautéed with onions or added to stews and curries. This dish reflects the Portuguese influence on Goan cuisine, with a unique Goan twist through local spices and vinegar, making chouricos a beloved component of Goan food culture.

  • Goan Tendli Pickle: 

It is a tangy and spicy pickle made from ivy gourd (tendli) and a blend of Goan spices and vinegar. It is a common accompaniment to meals in Goa, adding a burst of flavour with its spicy and slightly sweet taste. Making Tendli Pickle involves sun-drying the ivy gourd to enhance its flavours, showcasing the traditional Goan technique of preserving food. It's a staple in Goan households, reflecting the region's love for bold and vibrant flavours 

  • Goan Coconut Cake

Baath Cake is a traditional Goan dessert and a huge part of Goan cuisine. It is made from semolina, coconut, and eggs flavoured with cardamom. This dense, moist cake has a rich coconut flavour and a slightly crunchy texture from the semolina. It's often prepared for Christmas and other celebrations, serving as a testament to Goa's love for coconut and its ability to incorporate this ingredient into savoury and sweet dishes. Baath Cake is a beloved treat, offering a slice of the Goan tradition in every bite.

  • Dodol

Dodol is a sticky, sweet dessert made from coconut milk, jaggery, and rice flour, often flavoured with cardamom. This special Goa food has a dense, fudgy texture and is deeply loved for its rich, caramel-like sweetness. Commonly made during festivals like Christmas. Dodol celebrates Goan sweet-making traditions, showcasing the region's affection for coconut and jaggery-based sweets. Its labour-intensive preparation makes it a special treat, savoured by locals and visitors for its unique flavour and cultural significance.

Goan cuisine is a flavourful and spicy adventure that will win over your taste buds. Each dish tells a story of tradition and cultural fusion. So, if you're looking for a culinary experience rich in flavour and spice, traditional Goan dishes are worth exploring.

If you are staying at one of the Club Mahindra Resorts, you can check with the staff for any of the above traditional dishes of Goa.

  • Food
  • Goa

About Club Mahindra

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.

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