Breakfast in Goa

about Calangute, Goa, India
Every time I've stayed in Goa I've always been surprised that the breafast buffet spread ignores goan altogether. There's your aloo-paratha, your dosa-idli, your frenchtoast-pancake, even exotica like swiss muesli or chinese porridge but anything is local a rarity. Goans, it would seem, don't wake for breakfast.

The Lemontree, as expected, offered us a bland, location-free breakfast but I wasn't giving up so easily. Apparently, hidden away in the menu are Goan dishes that the chef is willing to make for you, if only you can find it, find him, and be charming enough. I'm not sure why they make it so difficult, but my efforts resulted in a Pao with Patal Bhai, which the chef assured me is an authentic breakfast option for the Konkanis of Goa.

It turned out to be a spicy aloo peas curry with coconut milk, tamarind and jaggery, eaten with buttered pao. Surrounded by Portugese names, crisp white churches and piles of vindaloo, one forgets that Goa is home to substantial population of Konkanis with their own distinct culture, and some rather colourful temples. Patal Bhaji is from them, a food that Goa shares with its Maharashtrian neighbour not far away.

2 comments:

  1. come to think of it most of our brekfasts at Goa have been of the omelette, sausage, pancake variety. Possibly because we go to infantaria or the shacks. we recently discovered Lila cafe on the Baga river which is a fantastice place for a lazy breakfast. Here's the catch. It was started by a Swiss couple so you will get awesome baguettes, croissants or water buffalo ham but definitely no Patal Bhaaji.
    I don't know if you've been to Sri Lanka but they serve spicy mutton curry with appams for brekfast...thankfully even in the hotels

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