March 5, 2009
The Goa Portuguesa Cookbook
There are some restaurants that, over time, have created a niche for themselves in the foodie’s scheme of things. Places that you’d recommend for such-and-such dish even if someone woke you up in the middle of the night to ask. Mumbai’s Goa Portuguesa has been that sort of place for many of its tastebud-stirring treats and for me personally, its sol kadhi and Xacuti.
But now, owner Suhas Awchat’s wife Deepa has made it even easier to access these taste treats, with her carefully researched The Goa Portuguesa Cookbook. It’s a delightful blend of functional practicality and glossy coffee-table creativity. Bharat Bhirangi’s food and mood shots are simply delish. And demonstrating just what the restaurateur couple has been saying all these years, the book busts the myth that Goan cuisine is only about all things non-vegetarian like a sizzling pork sorpotel or scrumptious stuffed lobsters. Right from the delectable Tendli pickle (that I’ve been polishing off on each visit to the restaurant!) to the dynamite Bhende Recheado, the vegetarian section is quite a treat.
From welcome drinks to desserts, the book gives you the tools to fashion your own Goan gourmet spread again and again for the price of a single meal. Ninety-nine recipes spread over 130 pages and liberally sprinkled with quotes from celebs who are regulars at the restaurant, the book, with its very authentic flavours, has inspired me to deck out in my sarong and flip-flops, open up a bottle of Port Wine No 7 and fill my home with fun friends and fabulous food. And then sit back and soak in the sosegade laid-backness that’s so Goa.
The Goa Portuguesa Cookbook: Published by Popular Prakashan; Hard cover; Price: Rs 795.