Yeah Goa is super famous for its seafood. But we also love our desserts. Rich and healthy, these form a huge part of our diet. These recipes are a blend of different Portuguese and Indian food habits and diets, over time they have been improvised and now have their own Goan Touch. Be it festival or feast, wedding or birthday. These sweet little treats were often made by loving grandmothers; they loved overfeeding their grandchildren with sweets. They are made out of natural and organic raw food products. And the process of making them was elaborate. These recipes have been part of Goan culture for years. Nowadays these sweets are made much more easily with mixers, ovens etc. With the increase of Goan tourism these products are now sold at bakeries and cafes all over Goa.
Here's my top 5:
#5. Doce de Grao (Gram)
This Christmas sweet, is made out of gram flour..it is usually shaped into little diamonds and looks a lot like kaju barfi. The outer layer is little crusty but the inside is a total melt in the mouth. Delicious and soft, it is also often distributed at the time of weddings. It requires constant stirring while the dish is made, but its worth all trouble taken.
This sweet is a must, be it Ganesh Chaturti, Diwali or Christmas. Families often keep a day off from work and spend a whole day prior to the festival. Many hands make light work and it is a fun process and everyone starts feeling the festival already. This sweet along with few others is then sent to neighbors and friends. This is a has a crispy crust and is filled with desiccated coconut or gram flour mix.
This sweet is made of rice flour, jiggery and coconut, and is set like crepes, and covered with turmeric leaves. this not only gives strong flavor to the sweet but is also healthy. Hindus prepare it during the early days of August, as these leaves are freshly available, Christians prepare it on the Feast of Assumption. The leaves give a strong herby flavor to the crepe like sweet which is soft and chewy.
A dessert with Portuguese influence, is easy to make with hand mixers. It is soft and fluffy, creamy and moist. It has whipped cream, sugar and condensed milk whipped till thick and then is layered with powdered biscuits and nuts. The variation in texture makes this sweet a pleasure to eat.
The all time favorite, sweet has to be made with great patience. It has 7 layers of soft, sweet, creamy goodness. It is made with coconut milk, sugar, a little flour, butter and a little of nutmeg which gives it that special flavor. Each time a thin layer of batter is placed in the mould, and after every layer, butter/ghee is used, and another layer is added. With the ovens this is an easy process. But grandmothers would prepare this with firewood and earthen vessels and the process was very long and tiring. The things grandparents did for love!
Can never ever get enough of this stuff. Fifty percent of the reason my body is structured the way it is because of these devils.
Image courtesy for all other than the Serradura : Google Images