Goa: saraswat Thali

July Thali

The legendary Saraswati river was mentioned in Rig-Veda circa 1500 BCE. Perhaps climate change caused the river to dry up, and its people migrated southward. Stories say that in ancient days, 96 Saraswat-Brahmin families set up in Goa. This mysterious river has spawned legend and magical folklore and had been dismissed as imaginary. In recent times, Satellite and geophysical imagery identified that a significant riverbed, possibly the Saraswat, did indeed exist in the northwest region of the sub-continent. 

Last year, I managed to find my way to the home of kindergarten classmate Parag. Here I got a lesson in new techniques and recipes, from his mum, and spouse, Manisha. 


Konkani-Dal: lentils tempered with coconut, ginger, garlic, cumin, flavored with Goa’s famous sour-plum, kokum.

Rice: Boiled Kolam rice drizzled with butter as a dal accompaniment.

Kokom potato: Potatoes seasoned with cumin and cayenne, flavored with tart Kokom.

Carrot-cachumber: Tender, seasonal carrots tempered with coconut-shell smoke and spices. 

Chapati: A whole-wheat, unleavened flat bread typically eaten in India.

Tomato chutney: Roasted tomatoes and peppers tempered with mustard and hing.

Mixed Vegetable pickle: Seasonal vegetables fermented with Goan salt and spices.

Shirvolyo: Freshly made rice-vermicilli in coconut milk sweetened with jaggery.