From Chicken Cafreal to Bebinca, pop into the food fest at Zone by the Park to experience dishes that are uniquely Goan
It is everyone’s dream to spend their weekends lazing in a shack by a Goan beach, sipping on a cocktail and sampling some mouth-watering cuisine. However, if you are willing to overlook the absence of the shacks and a view of the beach, Zone by the Park promises you a treat for your tummy with some lip-smacking Goan food.
Taste of the sea
The Goan Food Festival that will begin on February 8, will be held every weekend through the month and will have an array of local Goan cuisine. Luckily for us, we did not have to wait for the weekend and were given a sneak peek of the dishes that would be served. We kick-started the meal with the Canja de Goa, a thick tomato-based soup, which is cooked with cubes of potato and chicken. Quickly, we moved on to a piping hot plate of Fish Recheado, in which a pomfret is marinated using the tangy recheado paste and cooked to perfection until it is crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
The spicy fish was followed by Chicken Cafreal, a Portuguese dish that involves cooking bite-sized pieces of chicken in vinegar and rum. Its distinct green hue comes from the cafreal paste marinade that is made of freshly ground coriander leaves and ginger-garlic. We moved on to sample the Mutton Vindaloo. A spicy gravy that is flavoured with green chillies, sugar and vinegar and is a Goan staple. The mutton was tender and when paired with hot rotis, the gravy could easily be a meal by itself.
Spice of life
The menu also features Chicken Xacuti, another popular dish which is prepared with juicy pieces of chicken cooked in a masala of ground coconut, dry red chillies and white poppy seeds. The gravy bursts with the freshness of the ground masala and is only mildly pungent from chillies, which lends it a distinctive home-cooked flavour. “Goan cuisine is very simple and is mostly meat and seafood-centric. It extensively plays around with chillies, garlic, coriander seeds, poppy seeds, garam masala, coconut and tamarind,” says Sajeesh, head chef at the Zone. “It is never about complex ingredients. It is all about local spices, traditional home cooking and fresh produce,” he adds.
Ain’t it sweet?
Not to disappoint kids, the menu also includes a potato kheema tikkis— a potato-based snack that is stuffed with minced meat. For dessert, we sample the Bebinca, a traditional Goan pudding which has multiple layers made with flour, coconut milk and ghee. The dessert that comes with a side of ice cream was a perfect way to wrap a satisfying meal.
If you are someone who loves to explore different cuisines and have a taste for seafood, then walk into Zone this weekend for some true Goan indulgence.
The fest begins at 7.30 pm. Buffet priced at Rs 750+