Monday, February 26, 2018

Street Food tour of Panjim, Goa

The month of Feb had me thinking how I can add value to the life of my readers. And essentially got me thinking to who my readers are.
I am guessing, that since I am a food and travel blogger, many of you would be interested in scoping out the best food places while travelling . Food walks, I think, are the best way to do that, and after joining in the food walks in trastever region in Rome where we tried Roman cuisine like fried artichokes, as well as wine in a 2500 year old cellar, and then a food walk through wall street and china town in Manhattan , where we tried pork baos and enjoyed the cannolis in near by little Italy, I decided it was time to have a food walk in my own city of Panjim.
And while I tried to curate it along woith a number of travel agencies here, I realised that the logistics of that was a whole lot complicated for the time being.
And thus, here we are; me taking you through an online guided street food tour of Panjim.

Start with a scenic sunset at Miramar beach, but before you head to the beach, take a left at the Miramar circle and walk towards , Sharada Mandir school, you will find a small streetside shutter stall, with a board reading “D’Silvas “ here you get the traditional cutlet Pao of Goa. Goa is also bestowed the honour of bringing the art of baking bread to India, via the Portuguese, who inturn learnt it from the chinese while making Bao, these guys baked it and called it Pao. Goa gets freshly made daily bread from the local wood fired ovens and distributed by the bicycling Poder, bread seller, but that’s for another post.
Street food of Goa , cutlet Pao Miramar Beach

special thanks to hubby for this fantastic composition
 Buy yourself a chicken or beef cutlet Pao for the price of Rs 70. The cutlets are made of thinly sliced meat covered in rava and deep fried. Rava frying any and all veggies , meats and even sea food, is a typically Goan thing to do I realise. The rest of Malvan or Konkan cuisine is happy to just shallow fry their spice coated fish, but here in Goa, rava or broken wheat adds the textural quality to the dish.
If you are vegetarian head to the choupatti across the road, and have your fill of typical mumbaiya/north Indian chaat stalls, of pani puri, masala puri and pav bhaji.
But don’t fret my next stop is a pure veg joint.

stall number 19 is my go to chacha at Miramar stall.

For this you will unfortunately not be able to walk , but take your mode of transport to Panim church area.  Alternatively, if you do not want to do the cutlet pao tour, just head to the Panjim church area directly.

Start at Café Bhonsle, it is a short walk fromt eh Panjim church itself and is an iconic enough restaurant for anyone to guide you. Now you might be wondering why we are heading to a café for street food, but once you reach café bhonsle you will understand. The place is crowded with office goers, and families enjoying a tea snack, and if you go during lunch it is crowded then aswell. Basically it is a lifeline for the city office goer, which is essentially what a good street food is for any place.
the Goan bun, a cross between bread and puri. Goan street food

when in Goa, a mangalorean bun , mirchi bhajiya, and two types of bhaaji.

Started in 1920, it is now run by the fourth generation owner, and Mr Milind Bhonsle. The place opens at 6 in the morning and closes at 8 , and it is a pure veg joint ‘ the café below’ not the restaurant on the first floor which sells fish thalis for lunch. But for a non veg loving city, café bhonsle sure knows what sets the Goan heart a flutter.

The Mangalorean buns is what you should order. It is a cross between a bun and a deep fried puri, and the closest food item I can compare it too is a donut without the hole . and instead of ‘dunkin’ it in your coffee, a mangalorean bun is best had dunked in tea, or even the different curries or ‘bhajis’ that are served at café bhonsle.

Try the mushroom samosa, mushroom bhaji with mangalorean bun, and the mirchi bhaji for a typical Goan tea time snack, and for a great session of people watching here, because people from every walk of life come here.

These fiery green chilli slits covered in chickpea flour and deep fried , are a must try at cafe Bhonsle , street food in Goa. 

Goan bun/mangalorean bun dipped in tea, a favourite Gosn tea time snack

The owner , after asking me if I work for the income tax department, said that they sell upwards of over 500 mangalorean buns a day! you cannot miss out on this .

Next stop is head toward the Panjim church once more, and with the church infront of you look towards the left, you will find a few street stalls along the road. Go to the one furthest away from the church, and when you see stacks of eggs at a stall, that’s your man. Welcome to the Rass omelette , Goa’s answer to the Kolkata roll.

look for crates of  eggs as the sign that tyou are at the right Rass omelette stall

freshly made fluffy omelettes, and chopped onions, slices of lime, convert the homely chicken xacuti into a delectable street food.

A plate of a brown coloured coconut based spicy gravy with a chicken bone, and of you are lucky some chicken pieces as well, is served on a steel plate, along with a freshly made fluffy omelette, and a pair of Goan Pao buns. The coconut gravy is much like the Goan chicken xacuti gravy; roasted coriander seeds, and ground coconut making for the essential spice mix along with almost 16 other secret ingredients, and esch family has their own. The home made chicken xacuti ofcourse has a lot more chicken , but here the curry gets added flavour because of being cooked a day before, allowing for the chicken bones to really work their magic, also the combination of finely chopped onions, and a slice of lime, and an omelette , gives it the quintessential street food spin.

can you see the plates of ross omelette in the background, being covered with chicken curry ?

The final product, rass omelette, Goan street food

 While the Kolkata roll is all about the egg, porotha, and the chicken, here it is all about the egg, pao braed and the chicken curry.  When I asked the stall owner how many plates they sell in a day , he was even more tight lipped than the guys at Café bhonsle, he gave me a figure of somewhere between 4 to 6 Kilos of chicken xacuti.
But here is an interesting Goan Gossip, (what’s a street food walk without food folklore) , during the note ban or demonitisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, a rass omelette stall owner in Goa, had over 80 lakhs that’s 0.8 million rupees in cash ! yes, selling street food can make you a millionaire , well atleast it shows how popular this street food is in Goa. A plate of rass omelette cost Rs 45.
That’s all for now, in this edition of street food walk of Panjim.

You can have
1.       Chicken /beef cutlet pao : Rs 70
2.       Pani puri : Rs 30
3.       Ice gola: Rs 30
4.       Goan bun /mangalorean bun: Rs 38
5.       Mirchi  plate: Rs 38
6.       Rass omelette : Rs 45
mixed Goan Bhaji plate: Rs 38

I could call this article 5 Goan street foods you must try next time you are in Panjim , but I do like the sound of a street walk discovering local food. 

interested in More Goan food articles?

understand what goes into a goan fish Thali Read HERE
a quick lesson in Goan architecture so that you enjoy your food walk better Read HERE


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