If you thought Goa is all about the beaches and the parties, then we feel, you have much more to explore in Goa – its cuisine for instance. The region was ruled by several rulers over the years, who left a strong influence on the food culture of Goa. In fact, this enriched history makes Goan food quite well diversified. From the curries to the desserts to the drinks, every dish has a fascinating story to tell. But what we enjoyed the most are the breads. You heard us. Goa has its good share of indigenous breads that are delicious, comforting and unique in nature. These breads are produced locally by the Poder community of the regions. For the unversed, Poder is a word derived from Padeiro, meaning baker in Portuguese.
However, with the advent of technology, these local breads and the bakers-community had faced some hardships due to the more modern adaptations. The pandemic too made it challenging for the community and their business to survive. Hence, to support the Poder community and to help them revive, food expert Nolan Mascarenhas pioneered ‘The Poder Chronicles’. This initiative aims to help strengthen the Goan Poder community.
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Thanks to the event, we recently explored these indigenous breads of Goa and trust us, they are unique and delicious to the core. We listed some of our favorite breads that you must taste on your next visit to the state. Take a look.
Here’re 6 Goan Breads That One Must Try:
The name ‘katre pav’ is derived from the Konkani word ‘kator’, which stands for scissors used to shape the dough to give the bread a distinctive butterfly or bow like look, with four round corners. Besides, the bread is also referred to as butterfly bread or bread with ears. It is a breakfast favorite, but can be enjoyed throughout the day. If you take a bite of this bread, you will find it is not too soft, but has a delightful aroma and taste with a chewy texture.
In Konkani, ‘kankonn’ stands for bangle, which defines the shape of the bread too. As per the food experts, a popular saying goes that the name of the bread is derived from the tingling sound of the bangles, made by the rings of bread when fresh out of the oven. Kakon is a crunchy, tough and dry bread, which has a better shelf life than many other local breads. It is said, this bangle bread can stay fresh for a week or more.
It is a bread that traditionally gets prepared by fermenting with toddy for two days. It is then rolled into a ball, flattened and baked on the floor of the wood-fire oven. This process makes poie different from another popular bread pao – where we use the same dough, but it baked in a pan. Here, the baking time is two minutes. And in a professional bakery, poie is baked before pao because it requires hotter temperature.
As mentioned earlier, pao is prepared from the same dough as poie. An integral part of Goan way of living, pao stands for bread in Portuguese. In Goa, you will find every village has a bakery, which has not changed much since ages. Although, today the kneading process of the dough is mechanized.
Another type of bread is undo. Also referred to as Pokshe or Pokshie, the bread has a distinct round shape, brittle crust and soft and fluffy interior, with a slit in the middle. This bread is baked by the poders on the floor of the oven that gives it a hard surface. The bread has a spongy interior and is perfect for mopping up delicious gravies with the tough crust shielding the piece of bread from falling apart.
Banana Jeera Bun:
The unique shape, color and the taste of banana jeera bread makes it stand out in the lot. These buns have a mildly sweet and have a soft fluffy taste, with interspersed jeera within. It gives a sweet, yet savory flavor to the bread. The yellow color draws inspiration from the bananas used to make this pocket of goodness. These buns are also popularly called Mangalore buns.
Try these Goan breads and let us know which one you liked the most.