Every ingredient used in a dish has regional and cultural importance. It reflects the topography, climate and lifestyle of a place. In the case of Parsi and Goan cuisines, the Parsis heavily use eggs, meat and dry fruits, and the Goans use chilli pepper, beef, pork and cashews.
When it comes to Parsi and Goan cuisines, their dishes have evolved with time and place. While both cuisines have a history of foreign influence, they also have a touch of coastal Indian taste. Some ingredients are commonly used in both Parsi and Goan cuisines.
Here are a few common ingredients in Parsi and Goan Cuisine that you would be surprised to know about.
Both Parsis and Goans are known to have a thing for coconut. Be it in Goan curries and desserts or Parsi spiced chutneys, coconut in all forms- shredded or milk - has a place in several dishes close to both cuisines.
Parsi Curry Rice, Goan Curry Rice, Goan Stuffed Chillies, Chutney, Parsi Potato Chutney Pattice.
An ingredient that is loved by Goans and Parsis alike is chilly. The general taste notes of Parsi and Goan cuisines are intense, fiery, and tangy. Dry red chillies, be it in powdered form or used as a spice, hit just the right spot.
Goan Prawn Chilly Fry, Parsi Curry
Vinegar is widely used in several dishes of Parsi and Goan cuisines. While Parsis use brown sugarcane vinegar - also known as Sarko or Sirka, Goans have been using Toddy Vinegar or coconut vinegar in their dishes and local alcoholic drink – Feni.
Parsi cuisine is a blend of flavours; sour, sweet and spice. This makes ingredients like vinegar an essential part of their cuisine.
Sali Chicken, Chicken/ Mutton Keema, and Recheado Paste.
Jaggery is a traditional ingredient found common between the two cuisines. In Goa, most desserts have coconut jaggery (locally called Madachem Godd), made from coconut sap. This black-coloured ingredient is used in traditional Goan desserts.
At the same time, Parsi cuisine is known to combine rich flavours of spices, sweetness from jaggery and tanginess from vinegar in their dishes and gravies.
Sali Chicken, Potato Chutney Pattice
Known for their calming effect, poppy seeds are an essential ingredient in several Parsi and Goan dishes. You can find poppy seeds in fruit salad dressings and baked goods to Parsi curries and rice cookies. Sourced from the opium poppy plant, the seeds have a nutty taste, and when grounded to paste, it gives a fruity flavour.
Goan Xacuti and Parsi Curry
Dry fruits are not only known for their health benefits but also for the crunch and nutty flavour they bring to any dish. One of the main ingredients in several Goan dishes is cashews. The use of cashews in the Goan cuisine is one of the many examples of how the Portuguese influenced Goan cuisines.
At the same time, Parsis' love for dry fruits is unmatched. The use of dates and other dry fruits in desserts and other recipes is a common Parsi practice.
Lagan nu Custard and Bread Pudding