Located on India’s west coast and just south of Mumbai, the state of Goa is a large tourist hub known for its beaches, warm weather and end of the year parties and concerts. It also has amazing food.

Goa was a colony of Portugal from the 1500s to 1950 during which local Konkan cooking has been influenced by European taste and technique to create a unique, fusion cuisine. Goan food takes a spice-heavy Indian cooking style and adds Portuguese elements like vinegar to make a series of mouthwatering dishes. Here are a few of the most popular dishes that you shouldn’t miss.



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Xacuti is a mild curry made with a coconut base and a long list of spices, giving it a gentle but complex flavor. Have it with chicken, which allows you to taste the flavors of the curry in every bite.



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Rechado is a style of steamed fish marinated in a mix of spices and vinegar. The vinegar counteracts the heaviness of the spice leading to a dish which feels rich in flavor but light at the same time. Rechado is best prepared with a white fish; try something local like king fish or rawas.

Seafood (Goan) Curry


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Like many other traditional dishes, there must be a thousand different iterations of this curry through kitchens along the coast. They tend to use a base of seafood and coconut and a simple spice blend of medium spiciness giving us a homely dish that never gets old. Try this one with the seafood of your choosing, though I personally suggest prawns for the flavour and texture.

Rava Fry


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Rava fry is the Indian take on the batter fry and employs hot spices into the bread crumb mix leading to a savoury product that you can never get enough of. Try this with calamari for a new spin on the batter-fried calamari everyone’s had a thousand times.



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Warning: vindaloo is one of the spiciest dishes on this list with its base of vinegar and dry red chillies. An intensely savoury experience, this one is best enjoyed with a rich meat such as beef or pork.



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Balchao is in some ways the lovechild of the seafood curry and the rechado, taking the spicy, sweet and sour flavors of rechado and using them in a more curry-like base. Prawns work well with the intense flavors of this dish.

Chilly Fry


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Chilly fry refers to a more modern dish of meat that has been pan-fried with onions and heavy local spices. While almost anything can be eaten chilly-fried, it’s best to eat this dish as was intended – with Goan sausage, a spicy, vinegar-heavy affair.

Most of these dishes are best accompanied by either rice or Pao, the local Goan bread.