West Bengal and Goa have much in common by way of food staples. Both states are located by the sea and have an intimate connection with its produce. The land is fertile in West Bengal and in Goa, offering lush varieties of fresh vegetables, fruit and spices that find their way into the cuisine.
Specifically, the biggest similarities between Bengali cuisine and Goan food are fish, rice and vegetables. West Bengal lies close to the Sundarbans which supports a large variety of rice, just as Goa does in its plains. Red rice was the staple in both regions, but with time, white rice has become increasingly popular as it tends to cook faster.
Due to their proximity to the sea, both West Bengal and Goa share a love for fish. Even Brahmin communities in both these places eat fish. Popular ways of cooking fish include curries and fried with locally grown spices. Fish head curry is a traditional dish in both regions, although it is more widespread in West Bengal.
Vegetables are a big part of Bengali and Goan cuisines. Both have a spectacular vegetable curry – khatkhatem in Goa, and chachchari in Bengal. Potatoes and brinjal feature in both, with other vegetables and differing spices. Mangoes also play a big role in kitchens in both states – used in chutneys, main dishes and in desserts.
Cidade de Goa is celebrating the unique characteristics of this delicious cuisine from the east with its Bengali Food Festival from April 13-15, 2018 at Café Azul.