Traditional Food of Goa to Not Miss on Your Trip

April 3, 2024

A famous seaside tourist destination, Goa attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world. But do you know it’s not just the golden sand beaches and casinos that make Goa popular? This exotic tourist destination is equally famous for its exotic food and some delicious desserts that you won’t find elsewhere. 

Goa is known for its variety of seafood. In fact, most of its cuisines are inspired by Portuguese culinary heritage. Goan Fish Curry, Sannas, Bebinca, and Rava Fried Fish are among the best cuisines that locals and tourists love. Fortunately, Goa has a lot more exciting cuisines to offer. If you are planning to visit this dream vacation destination, here are some popular and traditional foods of Goa you can explore. 

Must try dishes in Goa

1. Goan Fish Curry

Goan Fish Curry

The staple dish of Goa, Goan Fish Curry is part of the traditional food in Goa and is made in nearly every household. You can hit a nearby restaurant and order a delicious Goan fish curry, loaded with all the essential spices and ingredients that give it a distinct flavour. The speciality of the dish is the raw mangoes, which make it a little tangy. 

The fish is marinated with lemon and is prepared in tomato and coconut sauce. The resulting dish is pretty tender and juicy. Pomfret is used in the Goan fish curry, although Kingfish is common too. If you don’t want the gravy, you can opt for smoked mackerel, which has a smoky and spicy flavour and is often served as a starter dish.

2. Bebinca


Once you are done enjoying your meal, be ready for the delicious dessert. This layered cake is served with ice cream and consists of around 16 layers. The ingredients in the dish include coconut, jaggery, milk, eggs, sugar, and butter. 

The difference between a normal pastry and Bebinca is that caramelised sugar is used in the recipe, making it one of the sweetest and most delicious desserts in Goa. It’s believed to be first tried by a nun named Bibiona, and since then, it’s gained immense popularity among locals and tourists in the state. 

3. Fish Recheado

Fish Recheado

A Portuguese-inspired cuisine, Fish Recheado is a popular Goan recipe that’s loved by people of all ages. The fish is slit and stuffed with the Recheado Masala. The outer layer of the fish is coated with Suji and is then deep-fried until it turns golden brown and absorbs all the spicy flavours from the Masala. The resulting dish is mouth-watering, spicy fish that you can have with bread, rice, or as a standalone food. The crunchy texture of the exterior and the incredibly soft and juicy meat on the inside taste amazing. The fish is garnished with fresh vegetables and lemon. If you ever visit Goa, try Fish Recheado at any local restaurant. You will definitely love this Portuguese meal. 

4. Sannas


The spongy rice cakes, or the Idli variant of Goa, are made of rice and offer a fresh taste of coconut. The dish offers a heavenly taste and is a perfect recipe for those looking for a lightweight yet delicious breakfast. The dish is served with pork bafat. 

Sanna is prepared during special occasions and festivals, like Ganesh Chaturthi and Makar Sankranti, although you can have it any time of the year. If you are having it for breakfast, you can order coconut chutney and sambar alongside. In Mangalore, it’s served with Pork Bafat. 

5. Khatkhate


There are fewer veg-special dishes that hail from Goa. As mentioned above, the culinary heritage of the state is a blend of the Portuguese and Hindu diet. It mostly consists of seafood, chicken, pork, and mutton, leaving tourists with fewer options to try something vegetarian. Fortunately, there are a few cuisines, like Khatkhate for vegetarians. 

It’s a mixed vegetable curry that includes more than 20 fresh veggies, including pumpkin, radishes, sweet potatoes, corn, and so on. This mixed vegetable stew is often prepared during Ganesh Chaturthi and other Hindu festivals. The curry is a little spicy, but not something you can’t tolerate. It also has a hint of sweetness from different vegetables. Overall, Khatkhate is a simple recipe yet is highly nutritious.

6. Prawn Balchao

Prawn Balchao

Have you ever watched the seafood ASMR videos and wondered if you could ever taste them in India? Well, Goa is your destination if you are on the hunt for seafood, like prawns. Featuring tomatoes, onions, chilli sauce, and vinegar, Prawn Balchao is a pickle-like recipe that has the perfect amount of spiciness with a hint of sweet flavours. 

If you want something other than fish, but in the seafood category, try Prawn Balchao. You can have them with rice or Chapati, however you like. They taste perfect during the monsoon.

7. Crab Xec Xec

Crab Xec Xec

There’s something about the Goan seafood that makes it an excellent choice for all non-vegetarian tourists. In Crab Xec Xec, the claws of the crab are removed, and the crab is boiled for 15-20 minutes. The thick coconut-based gravy tastes perfect with rice, but it never dulls the flavour of the juicy, fresh crab meat, which melts right away in your mouth. You can add eggs to the curry to make it thicker.

For Crab Xec Xec in Goa, look for a small, local restaurant that specialises in seafood. This traditional Goa dish can be your main course for dinner, served with bread and basmati rice. 

8. Ambot Tik

Ambot Tik

The sour and tangy flavours of Ambot Tik are just too good to resist in Goa. Made of Shark Fish, the two main ingredients used to give it a spicy flavour are tamarind and vinegar. What sets it apart from other Goan curry recipes is that this one doesn’t contain coconut. Shark fish is tossed with vegetables, red chilly, and other Masalas to give it a rich, spicy flavour. 

You can have Ambot Tik with plain rice or bread, depending on what you like. If you are ordering it on Swiggy, order a little extra so you can enjoy the meal for breakfast the next day. It’s believed the flavours taste better the next day as they are absorbed pretty well. You can have it with Pav, Chapati, rice, or plain. If you ever visit Goa, do not miss out on Ambot Tik. You can order it from any Goa’s traditional restaurants and enjoy the delicious taste of the cuisine.

9. Samarachi Kodi

Samarachi Kodi

A dry prawn curry served with plain Basmati rice is just a heavenly treat for all non-vegetarians in Goa. If you are looking for something spicy in the seafood category, try Samarachi Kodi. It’s made of tamarind, onion, coconut, dry prawns, and tomatoes. All the vegetables and the prawns are fried with spices and Masalas, which render the curry a delicious and flavourful taste. 

Some restaurants use Bombay duck in place of prawns and they taste equally delicious. You can have it with pickles, but the spicy flavours from the dish are often sufficient to fulfill your spicy craving.

Bottom Line

Featuring delicious spices and rich flavours, Goan seafood, desserts, and vegetarian recipes are incredibly delicious and are some of the best in Indian cuisine. The next time you visit Goa, try these traditional recipes and enjoy the state’s delicious culinary heritage.

Author Bio

Satisfying your cravings, one bite at a time. Discover the best eats, trends, and uncover the hidden gems with us to make your online ordering or dining experience a memorable one.

My New Stories

Swiggy Future of Work Policy