Friday, March 19, 2010

Fish - The life line of Goa

In Mumbai it is the local train network. But not here. Squids, Mussels, Prawns, Kingfish, Mackreal etc is something which Goa and Goans cannot live without. The day of my Goan friends begin with their moms waking them up to go to the local market to buy the fresh catch. There is always an anxiety and excitement during this period which ends with the consumption of the catch at lunch. The success of your day is measured by the freshness of the fish you manage to Get.

Some common questions when 2 Goans meet each other. "What fish have you brought to day and from where"?

When you go to a restaurant in Goa you do not ask the menu you ask "What is the fresh catch available today"?

In between conversations the Fish strikes - "These days you do not get fresh fish at all". I heard that Siolim market has better and fresher fish".

Fish is always on a Goans mind. My Goan friend landmarks his way to our apartment in Kharghar by the fisherwomen sitting by the roadside with their catch.

Some times there are joint missions undertaken as well "Tomorrow wake me up lets go together to buy fish".

A life without these aquamarine species would be unimaginable. But when you have the various fish curries and fries and various other preparations like caldin (cooked with coconut milk) Balchao (a pickly & spicy thick Goan cuury)  or a normal coconut based curry with rava fried fish you realize the whole exercise is worth it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gudi Padva - Happy New Year

There wouldn't be a better day to start blogging than on the first day of the year. Gudi Padva is widely celebrated in Maharashtra & Goa as the first day of the new year.  This year is my first Padva as a married man & my wife began this year with a bang with some awesome Carrot Halva. It really set me up for the coming year. My wify is one of the best cooks that I have come across and her style of cooking is my favorite, less masala, very simple style of cooking and delicious. She cooks Indian food the way you would have European food & I am now looking forward for a delicious culinary year ahead.

The new year began with the delicious Carrot Halwa and then proceeded with reading the local news paper and when you read that a new Monginis store is opening in the neighborhood you realize the world around you is fine at least till the borders of Goa. Goa being a very small state with a small population you end up having newspapers with headlines of store openings and robberies and thefts and so on.  Goans do not like to read about national and international news. The hot topic that sells here is about a new store opened, a new bus service launched, the local football matches, a theft or robbery etc. 

On the auspicious day of this new year there are 2 new stores opening in our village and there are 2 different state ministers coming for its opening that is when I realize that our village is getting more prominent in the map of Goa. We have international brands and more store opening up here. 

Our quaint village is located ideally @5 Km from Panjim (the capital), 4 Km from Mapusa (a city with the wholesale bazzar) and 6 Km from Calangute (the most important beach belt for tourists). With the development of these places around us our sleepy little village is getting more attention because of its location.