The very thought of Goa reminds us of picturesque beaches, relaxed ambience and amazing parties. But trust us, the region has much more to offer, especially in terms of its cuisine. If you explore the history of Goa, you will find the state was ruled by different dynasties over the years – each of whom left strong impression on the culture of the state. Take the food culture for instance. It is extensive, varied and has a rich history of its own – some of which are well researched and some still have rooms to explore. Did you know Goa has its own set of local breads that are exotic and delicious to the core? You heard us. Bread is an important element of the Goan food culture. However, as per food experts, over the years the traditional art of bread making in the region took a backseat, courtesy the modern adaptations.
Hence, to revive the age-old culture, culinary enthusiast Nolan Mascarenhas, in collaboration with Hilton Goa Resort in Candolim, hosts ‘The Poder Chronicles’ every year. 2022 was the third year of the event that took place in the hotel from 5th to 7th August. This event intends to celebrate the authenticity of the Goan breads and the bakers’ community in the region. “This modern adaptation of bread making was not only affecting the culinary heritage of everyday Goan cuisine, but was also impacting the livelihoods of local bread makers, bakeries and also bread carriers, known as ‘Poders’ – a word derived from padeiro, meaning baker in Portuguese. The community of bread makers found it further challenging to survive due to business shutdowns during the pandemic,” explained a spokesperson from the Hilton Resort. Nolan Mascarenhas further stated, “The Poder Chronicles aims to support and revive the Poder community and the Poder culture, which is at the heart of the Goan culinary tapestry.”
This year, the event focused more on the modern usage of the traditional Goan breads – katre pav, kakon, poie, undo, pao and banana jeera bun. These soft, airy breads are a perfect accompaniment for almost every Goan delicacy from curries, omelettes and sausages. However, the chefs at the resort gave a delicious and more contemporary twist to each of these breads and prepared a range of sweet and savoury dishes to enjoy.
“When made authentically, a Goan bread is second to none in its taste, flavour, tradition and cooking techniques. Our chefs used these flavourful breads to create delicious culinary creations while bringing back the traditional art of Goan bread making,” stated Amandeep Singh Grover, the General Manager at Hilton Goa Resort in Candolim.
“It is an honour to showcase the quintessential bread of Goa with a local twist while pairing it with infused Goan cocktails,” added Nolan Mascarenhas.
Some of the delectable signature dishes the chefs prepared include:
- Maka Kullyo Zai – slow-cooked crab xacuti, tempered with charcoal-grilled katre pao.
- Maas-ka-Pao – meat tart on pao
- Avo Kakon – cafrael mock meat and avocado salsa on kakon (also called bangle bread)
- Balcao in Saipem – a delicacy made with undo, sweet potato and coconut pearls – ode to the local architecture.
- Pork-a-que – shawarma-style juicy pulled pork, wrapped in poi bread.