My Local Eats: Goa, India

Hi! Welcome to My Local Eats, a guest post series in which foodies from around the globe share their favorite local places to eat and drink.

Today’s guest post comes from Rachel, a masseuse and travel blogger who blogs at Hippie in Heels. Rachel is a fellow Midwesterner as well as one of my favorite new bloggers so give her site a look! Today she tells us about what to eat in Goa, India, her home away from home.

I’m an American living in Goa, India, for the past year. There are so many Indian foods that you MUST try when you visit India; from veg curries with rice and fried veg pakora, to chai tea and dosas. The Indian food you’ll have here won’t be anything like the restaurants in the U.K. or U.S. so be warned if you come here already “loving” Indian food, you actually might not know what it really is! Everything is cooked with ghee, a form of lard, so be prepared to gain more weight here than anywhere else you may travel.

For lunch and dinner a nice thali or curry might be on the menu, but I want to introduce the street food you get in the villages along the Arabian Sea. Street food is not the same all over India; Goa is tropical and so is the food! In my new home, I am always shocked by the yummy snacks I never saw on my previous journeys through India.

1. Corn on the cob with lime and salt. It tastes a little like Mexico! These mouthwatering treats (my favorite) are at all the markets on Wednesday and Saturday, but you can also get it in small towns on a daily basis or at any festival. It costs about 40 rupees and is more than worth every cent. Served in the husk to prevent dripping, it makes me wonder why we didn’t think of that in the U.S.!

india corn

2. Shawarma- some consider this Israeli food, but actually many countries have their own take on this sandwich and consider it their local food. You can get a foreigner’s version for 300 rupees, but it won’t be near as good as a local’s 50 rupee one in Siolim or Mapusa. Usually Chicken or lamb (but actually goat…) is used from a kebab. It’s sliced off as you order and put in a poi (a local bread) with mayo, tomato, and onion. You might need to ask for less mayo, as they love to pile it on! Of course, the Indian touch makes this shawarma unlike any other: spicy as can be! The same goes for samosas; they can be found all over India and the world, but Goa has a special spicy take on them.

shawarma india

3. Sugar Cane Juice or Sweet Lime Soda. These are at all the street stalls and are “cures” for any form of stomach-ache or Delhi belly. The sugar cane is VERY sweet, so maybe you should try a small one first. It’ll cost you about 10 rupees. Sweet lime soda is great for a hangover and will cost about 30 rupees. Normally made with soda water, lime, and sugar, they can also make it “salty lime soda” with salt, lime, and soda water instead if you like.

sugar cane juice india

4. Fresh fruit juice. Obviously, a staple in more diets than that of India, but because of the social culture of fruit juice here, it must be mentioned! Unlike in America, where groups get together to drink booze at night, Indians also socialize during the day, early in the morning. They aren’t the type to sleep in. Don’t be surprised if your Indian friends call you up and ask the typical “Wanna get juice?” There are “cool” places like Ganesh Fruit Stand in Chapora, where the hippies hang. It’s a very trendy thing to do and can take hours! I usually get some fruit salad with ice cream by the end of it.

fresh fruit india

5. Fresh bread from the local bike-riding bread man. Why buy bread at the market when an adorable dude on a bike is going to come by on a bicycle honking his horn to sell hot fresh bread at a better price? Better yet he may make the yodel-like bread call that’s he’s rolling by. We get our weekly poi,bagels, and roti from him. You’ll know it’s the bread man because he’ll have a big circled bucket on the back of his bike covered with a blue tarp.

hippie in heels

6. Cashew Feni- this one isn’t necessarily street food, but it is LOCAL. This is only available in Goa; nowhere else in the world makes homemade cashew feni. Like a moonshine, this comes from a cashew tree and bars make it in bulk. They have HUGE containers in the back and you can have a shot for about 50 cents. It’ll knock your socks off, so beware! It’s the number one thing Indian tourists stock up on to take home. Some call it “wine” but trust me, it’s more like rubbing alcohol… even the Indians use this as an antiseptic when they get a cut. To cure anything my driver says, “Pour feni on the bad place, then pour feni in your mouth… then pour feni on it again. Now rest.”

Rachel considers herself a contradiction: part dirty hippie/ part girlie girl. She is a travel blogger and masseuse, having quit her job as a nurse. She currently lives is Goa, India and blogs about traveling glamorously on a backpacking budget in India and beyond.If you want to get in touch with her you can follow her blog Hippie in Heels, or contact her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel blogger and freelance writer who moved to Paris at 21, traveled the world for a year and now lives in Denver. She's usually in pursuit of skiing, languages and perfectly ripe cheese. Her writing has been featured in National Geographic, Viator and Jetstar Australia.
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11 Comments

  1. Great idea for a series Ashley. Well, I’m already wanting to go to Goa after reading Rachel’s blog for the past few months. And now I know there’s such delicious food there I want to go even more! I love fresh fruit juices so would definitely be drinking those every morning too.
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  2. This looks amazing, Me and my boyfriend love our food and will be trying these next year when we visit Goa.
    xx
    lyndsey recently posted..Smile #2My Profile

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    • Glad to have you, Rachel! Thanks for the great post :). Makes me want to head to Goa!

  3. Oh my gosh, sweet lime soda, i loved that whilst in Indiam now I’m back home I actually make it for myself :)

    Reply
  4. I’m definitely going to love this series…anything with food, amiright?

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  5. This is all so nice and timely. Can’t wait to sample some of this stuff, hopefully with you in a few short weeks. In the meantime, I will be getting my fill of chai here in Mumbai!
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  6. I love this series Ashley! I wouldn’t have pictured most of what Rachel listed when I think of “Indian” food… I would love to try that cashew feni :)
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