Goa Day 2

Day two of our cooking class in Goa took us outside the kitchen. We started off with a traditional Indian breakfast, then off to the local market, and finally a hot and sweaty drive out to a spice plantation.

We met our cooking teacher Judy, in a small Indian restaurant in Panaji at 8:30am. We ordered dosa’s with coconut chutney, idli, and onion uthappam. All tasty and filling. Coincidentally, Judy owns a shop right across the street from the restaurant. She sells home decor and Gail just happened to be in the market for bedspreads so we found ourselves browsing and (Gail) wanting to buy a few things. Unfortunately Judy’s credit card machine was not working so we decided return at the end of the day and try again.

Panaji is a pleasant town on the river; clean, treed, and uncluttered. We made our way to the indoor market where sellers sat on raised platforms with produce all around.They haggled with customers and we found some a little cranky – in fact a woman almost threw a bunch of cilantro at Gail when she tried to take her photo.

Judy showed us all the fruit and vegetables, and then we went into a spice shop where we bought some Indian saffron and a few other items. Rice is usually sold in big open containers so that people can feel it. Hence it is a good idea to rinse/clean the rice once you get it home.
Outside and down the lane we came to the fish market with rows of people selling all sorts of fish, clams, crabs etc. We did not venture over to the meat section which was fine with me. I’ve seen enough chicken, beef, goat and who knows what else – hanging in the open with flies all over it, and smells that I try to avoid at all costs.

From the market we left Judy, and Deva took us out to a spice plantation to see how spices are grown. The 45 minute non a/c drive took us inland through rice fields, along the river and for the last 15 min. a bumpy, dirt road. We were hot and sweaty, with our clothes sticking to us by the time we arrived at the spice plantation.

The plantation was not what I expected. Unlike herbs, fruits or vegetables spices are not grown in a garden. Our guide took us for a walk in the forest and pointed out the various spices growing as vines, trees, roots and bushes.

We saw peppercorns growing on vines and winding all the way up tall tree trunks; cinnamon – the inside of the bark of a tree; ginger and tumeric roots growing underground; nutmeg trees and more.

Afterwards we were treated to a delicious Indian buffet for lunch and then back to Panaji to buy copper pots at a little kitchen store. Dropped by Judy’s store but the credit card machine was still not working so off we went back to the hotel.

More to come about our evening meeting Chef Rego next post…

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2 thoughts on “Goa Day 2

  1. Nice…Pictures are bringing back my memories. If you are travelling further south of Goa, in Margoa try to visit Martin's Corner. It is a shack by the beach and serve excellent Goan food!

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