In the past I’ve always kept a travel blog www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/Ems-and-Hol but since we have started this food blog I feel writing a travel blog and a fohttp://od blog is just a bit excessive. Here goes installment no1 of travel-eating!
Disclaimer: The next four days are non-Paleo. Any paleo meals are just coincidence.
October (don’t laugh at how long it’s taken to upload this blog) has been a mental month for both me and Khalid work wise, with not a single day off, so the 5 day Eid break came as such a welcome one. We took the red-eye flight to Goa, arriving at our hotel at 5am. We found a real gem of a guesthouse called Laguna Anjuna, it is a little jungle-esque guesthouse with round dome-shaped cottages set in an overgrown tropical garden with its very own salt water lagoon, a real piece of paradise.
Driven by a need for food we set off to Anjuna’s Wednesday Market just down the road, haggled our way through the hoards of vendors all bright-eyed and eager to make a sale. The season is just opening its sleepy eyes after the harsh summer monsoon and for some reason a lot of the ladies speak with a cockney accent. I couldn’t help but soften when I heard “awwright darlin’, lubbley jubbely, cheaper than ASDA cheaper than Primark, coor blimey!” Haha
I had a masala omelette for lunch which is a thin omelette loaded with chili, onion, tomatoes and fresh coriander. Deelish!
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I stepped onto the beach and some guy with curly hair was frantically waving at me with a massive grin on his face; believe it or not, we bumped into our friends right there and then on the beach! Goa is massive, there are endless beaches and by chance we happen upon our friends!! We did actually know they were going at the same time as us but had not made any plans!! Crazy!! We spent the afternoon. With a few cold ones splashing in the waves and watching the sunset of the west coast of India… Bliss.
We tend to have a lot of luck when we travel, I don’t know what it is but smiles, good fortune and random chance seem to follow us. For example, as we scootered back to our guesthouse, we got to the gate and suddenly our bike went splutter, splutter splutter and cut out. Right at our door, we got so caught up in everything that we hadn’t checked the fuel gauge and like a movie it cut out at our door!! We couldn’t have planned it better!! Haha
Dinner was amazing, maybe because it was our first proper Goan meal or maybe because all diets went out the window! We had a Goan fish curry, daal tadak white rice and roti. The fish curry in Goa has such a lovely flavour to it, spicy but not too spicy, quite liquidy, tomato based not coconut based and has a lovely underlying hint of coriander seeds.
We reconvened with our friends at Curlies (apparently the place to go) for some evening activities and bevvies. Goa is known for its PSY trance, its captivating, heady, off beat trance that is very popular – if a little much for me!
We lay in so long that we missed breakfast! Gutted as you only have a certain number of meals in the day and missing out on one in a foreign country is blasphemous! But C’est la vie! The lie in was worth it! A lovely lazy start to the day with a massage followed by a veggie thali for lunch. A thali is a collection of dahl and mini curries served with rice, popadoms, and curd nearly always in a metal tray dish.
We set out on the scooter (getting a little lost along the way and headed up north to Vagator beach and fort, then a longer scoot down to calangute beach. It was MENTAL!! Absolutely bursting with local indian tourists, we’re in the middle of a festival here so lots of Indian tourists are here for the weekend. We had so many people ask to take a photo of us, I found it rather odd, its like heading down the the cliffs of Dover, seeing a non English person there and asking to take their photo!! Very funny but inevitably it opens a lot of conversations up and is a great way to meet some locals! One look at the menu on calangute and our eyes popped out at how expensive it was so we decided on principle not to eat there. Instead we went back to our beach and ordered a seafood platter of fried prawns, tuna steak, calamari, barramundi, red snapper and some other butter garlic crab! We both kept looking at each other in amazement at how deliciously creamy and melt-in-your-mouth tender it was and in that moment I questioned if I should even be allowed to write a food blog!?! This food is amazing!
The next day was not so eventful food-wise but excellent on the excursion/culture level! we set of early with our buddies to the largest waterfall in Goa; Dudhsagar Falls, standing at an impressive 310m (1017ft). Our lovely driver got completely lost but it was worth it when we finally found the place. You have to drive 45 minutes in a beaten up 4WD up a dirt track and across flowing river beds where the water comes into the car then all the way up to the base of the waterfall where you then hike up a further 20 minutes to the most beautiful waterfall. It’s a kind of staged waterfall with a marvellous train track running across the middle! It was the most intersting bridge I’ve ever seen!
On the way back we stopped at an organic spice farm and took a tour of the produce. It was so interesting to see how things that we take for granted actually grow! Like turmeric for instance, I had no idea what it looked like as I buy it in powder form!! It was a real eye opener and a pleasure for all the senses. Also a chance to stock our spice cabinet!! winner!
Lunch at the spice farm was ironically one of the mildest meals in India but it was served on dried pressed banana leaf plates so in my eyes that more than made up for it!
The last night we went for dinner with our friends in Arambol. Arambol is exactly how I imagined Goa would be. It’s full of hippies, beach shacks and burnt tourists. Lots of western food on the menu and endless markets selling everything a traveler could ever need. If that’s the kind of Goa you are looking for then Arambol would be a very good location but we much preferred our sightly off the beaten track place.
All in all it’s been such a wonderful culinary adventure and a really relaxing break. Just what we needed!!
Ooooh I nearly forgot to mention the AMAZING Mango Lassi’s. A lassi is a salty/sweet yoghurt drink blended with ice and fresh mango.It’s so tasty!!