Whenever someone mentions the name ‘Goa’, we are instantly transported to the land of beaches, beer, relaxation, shopping and of course how could we forget the delectable pork and seafood! The rich spicy aroma of Goan food with a gorgeous blend of spices that makes it stand out from other cuisines is probably one of the major USPs and reasons for visiting Goa.
Several speciality restaurants dedicated to Goan food have always been popular among the crowd who want a welcome change from their mundane eating habits. The Lifestyle Portal chanced upon this wonderful food blog called ‘Goan Food Recipes’, started by a mother and son duo.
They describe their food blog as a ‘step-by-step pictorial journey into secret family recipes that will give you a taste of the traditional Goan cuisine!’
We chatted with 30-year old Karjat based Clyde Fernandes, a BSc in Botany and a PGD in Journalism and Mass Communication who encouraged his mother Yvette Oliveira Fernandes to share the rich Goan culinary heritage with food lovers of the world.
When did it all begin?
Once Clyde quit his corporate job in 2006 to blog full time from home he started taking step-by-step pictures of his mother’s cooking.
He recalls, “It was funny she didn’t know what to make out of it, I quit a high paying job and started doing this for a fraction of the income by launching GoanFoodRecipes.com in 2008.”
“My mom has been a well-known cook in her circle of family and friends. I particularly adored her creations and wanted to share these culinary delights with the world. Especially since the Goan community doesn’t like to share their recipes; and at one point of time even my mother was a little hesitant, but now it’s a different story,” quips Clyde.
She started cooking at an early age by learning from her mother and by attending a class or two when she was in her twenties. She liked to experiment with food, which Clive thinks is a necessity if one has to be a good cook.
Recipes passed down from generations
His mother has been maintaining a recipe book with all the recipes passed down to her from her aunts, mother, grandmother and ancestors, which she has tried, modified and improvised over the years.
“In fact, she has also made a recipe book that she regularly updates as and when she thinks of something that would be nice for me to try after she’s gone,” adds Clyde.
Clyde mentions, “When it comes to cooking for the blog since my mother and I live in separate places we need to actually be together for a while to come up with the next recipe. Mother keeps herself very occupied within the local community and religious work. She also takes care of her ageing mother for years now, so she’s been pretty busy and cooking for the blog takes time and as such Goan food can take a good amount of time to cook up.”
The site’s USP are the recipes, the taste, flavour and aromas that transport you to Goa. The cuisine has influences from Portugal and Brazil; it uses a lot of coconut milk, spices and generally caters to the non-vegetarians. “Trust me daily Goan vegetable dishes are like medicine,” smiles Clyde.
We asked Clyde what would be the one thing that he misses the most in Goan cuisine and pat comes the reply, “I would love to bring back the matka cooking, where the food is cooked in an earthen pot on a wooden fire. The slow cooking does miracles to the taste and the earthen element along with a wooden fire is heavenly.”
Their fan base is increasing by the day and so far it’s only been a positive feedback.
Clyde also mentions, “We were also pleasantly surprised when my uncle called mum from London saying that there was an article in the Goa Today written by Wendell Rodricks about our website.”
“We had even experimented with food delivery in around Mumbai almost a year ago. I was shocked that we actually started getting orders as soon as we announced that we would be doing orders! We did not have the infrastructure and poor mum would end up being in the kitchen all day so we stopped doing that and pulled down the shop section from the site. So we stopped taking orders because there were too many coming in as we just wanted to check if there was a demand. Perhaps in the future we could start a delivery system, but would probably need to take a look at this after a few years,” smiles Clyde.
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