Holiday to Cook
Goa may be India’s party capital but it has its mellower side. Away from crowded beaches, crazy binges and exorbitant resorts; hides another Goa, a world within a world. A world where time has slowed down and the old charm has not faded. Speaking of a world within a world, food is one such thing that attracts swarms of people. And going by the history there’s more to Goan food than sea food, sausages and redhead.
So, here are the lesser-known facets of the tiny state to give you an experience that is both bespoke and memorable.
A small but proud Saraswat community has kept alive its vegetarian culinary heritage with dishes such as muskachi bhaaji (drumstick flower curry), Keli Kappa (plantain wedges or chips), alu che ros (a coconut-based dish) and, of course, the famous sol kadhi (kokum and coconut drink).
For a decade Chef Aradhna Walkade has been successfully catering to the toughest clientele any chef could imagine – children. She has her own catering business which manages school kitchens.
She leads a formidable team from varied backgrounds- a home maker, a former banker, a farmer and 2 fresh graduates from Hotel Management College.
Chef Aradhana has managed to harness each of their passions and creativity which brings to you the balance, experience and knowledge of this professional kitchen. On this trail you can get to work along with such a diversified team and learn the tricks behind the age old recipes of the Saraswati Goan cuisine.
Set in a picturesque island of Calvim in Aldona, you can get the opportunity to laze out in the Bella Vista villa, an Old Portuguese era villa overlooking the paddy fields and water body.
It is a truly impressive venue that prides itself on offering the highest standards of comfort, style, natural beauty and peace. You are most welcome to join the cook and learn the age old recipes with local chefs in that old heritage villa. In short, it’s a feast for all the senses.
You’ll be picked up from O Coqueiro Circle, Porvorim early in the morning by 0730hrs and then drive all the way to Calvim. On arrival at the Bella Vista villa you’ll be introduced to the team of chefs with whom the day will be spend; sourcing, cooking and chatting up to culminate with a great culinary experience.
Breakfast – You will start the day with a Goan breakfast spread of bhaji, mirchi bhaji and hot freshly baked bread. In Goa, every village has a small local bakery which bakes and supplies bread to the villagers in the mornings and evenings. Enjoy your breakfast in the great ambience of the villa and Goan Architecture. Visit the local bakery and try your hand at baking something under the able guidance of the local bakers. Once you have put the bread for baking, you can proceed to source the ingredients that will be part of the menu for the day.
Sourcing – You can have a glimpse of the farm around, if you want and for this you will get a chance to drive through the picturesque villages of Aldona and Nachinola to Mapusa. Experience the villages of Goa which are off the tourist maps. Mapusa market is the main centre of local agri product where you can get the best fruits and vegetables seasonally.
Cooking – At the Villa, get yourself pampered with a refreshing Kokum drink. Kokum is a sweet, tangy drink which is unique to the costal belt of western India. Get along with the team of chefs; cutting, chopping, frying, baking and also learning, enjoying and listening to fascinating local legends and stories. The snacks and local brew will definitely keep you in high spirits.
The Menu – The cuisine prepared is diverse and offers myriad flavours. Methi paes, Nirphanas (bread fruit) kaapaa, mendali (moira che) keli kaapa, muskachi (drumstick flower) bhaaji, alu che ros, udda methi ambadechi, khatkate, bimblache lonche, manganem, sooji, naachni kaapa, ukda bhaath (local rice), sol kadi are some of the tempting dishes that will be served. The aroma is undoubtedly extraordinarily evocative.
The Feast – You can enjoy your feast against the lovely ambience of the valley with some good music playing in the background complimenting the artistic environment. You can really enjoy a hearty meal with a great company and make some wonderful memories. “Bon Appetite”
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