Thursday, October 29, 2009

Guest Post: We're Goan Make Pizza!

Oh I am so excited to give you a guest post from Chef E I adore her blog Food Wine Fun, she is a personal chef and can really cook she also adds wonderful snipets of food history to the posts. Enjoy:

A few weeks ago Rebecca @ Chow & Chatter asked me to guest host for her site, and what better way than include some Indian Cuisine from the region of Goa (in the western part of India). Of course if you are familiar with my cooking methods, and love of all cuisines; it will be a little of this and food history. I have always loved learning about why, when, and where food came into existence.

A visit last week to Steph @ Live.Love.Eat. Over there she has a mouth watering breakfast and vegetarian pizza using pre-made Naan. She has cleverly named her post 'I Love You Naan'. Naan, for those of you not familiar, is bread grilled in the clay oven. This bread is not difficult to make at home, if you cook it on the back of a cast iron skillet, or pizza stone.

Reading her post made me realize with so much traveling I have not sat down and eaten any good curries. who also is not in the mood for Pizza? So last week I picked up vegetables for a curry, and of course a few packages of Naan...

Research begins: 'Goan' is not a southern phrase for 'goin' to do something(I am from Texas). However; it did spring up from me saying something in reference to working upstairs to my husband, but he heard 'Goan'. Go figure, he thought I was telling him I was making Indian cuisine for dinner. Inspired I pulled out my 'Food From Around The World' text, and did some research on Goa and Goanese cooking.

Goan Cuisine was influenced by Portuguese traders. The foods are referred to in two different categories- Christian, or Catholic Food; the other, Hindu Food. Both diet staples consist of seafood, sweet rice- Kheer, spicy curry, and fish cakes, Vindaloo, samosa, fish cutlets, Halva (sweet- pistachio-tahini paste), coconut oil, and includes use of coconut milk and Kokum, a spice that is substituted for tamarind and in sweet recipes. Meat can be found, but due to religious aspects of parts of the region you may only find fish and vegetarian dishes.

As like in many areas of India, each sect has its own beliefs and practices. They also have many cooking techniques and ingredients that do cross over. What may seem like similarities in the countries cuisine in American restaurants; their country has many different preparations, influences, and seasonings. We know from history the 'Trade' and 'Spice' routes brought in many new ingredients and influences from all around the world, shaping cuisines. So many people you talk to here in the states would tell you so many different ways to prepare their foods, and reasons why.

Religious beliefs can also influence the food: Within the Goa community there are Hindus, and an offshoot of that sect are the Konkani Brahmins. This community eat mostly fish with the exception of chicken; they do however eat strict vegetarian diets during certain parts of the week, and on holidays. Strict Hindu's eat a diet of vegetables, lentils, pumpkins, gourds,bamboo shoots, roots etc. Their food is less oily from coconut oil.

Indian food can seem complicated, and even to me it is mind boggling, but after reading information, and remembering no matter what you prepare; they open up seeds and spices with heat for a more aromatic food flavor. Along with spices to make my vindaloo, I usedlobster tails (which right now are very inexpensive)stored in my freezer, the naan, and other ingredients I had on hand. I am on a seafood and 'wanting to cook more Portuguese' kick; it seems fitting that I share this post with Rebecca. As fate would have it, Goan cuisine fit the bill.

The meal comes together: Taking inspiration from Live.Love.Eat's pizza post, and Chow & Chatters hubby's Indian heritage (she also trying to learn more on cooking Indian cuisine), I made a 'Fiery Goanese Pizza'.

I also made sweet vegetable rice for our next meal. Traditionally called arroz doce- a Portuguese derivative of kheer (sweetened rice). Using the lobster tails for stock, and leftover homemade Vindaloo sauce for the vegetable curry was indeed another good fix for my Indian cuisine appetite! For dessert, I picked up a package of Halva. I had not had it before and was curious. The region of Goa also makes several versions of this dish, I chose Pistachio (a favorite nut of my client). The sweetness helped cut the heat of the vindaloo sauce.

Goanese Fiery Lobster Pizza

vindaloo pizza sauce-

  • Vinegar (traditionally it is used, but I used the juice from diced tomatoes)
  • 1/2 Gewurztraminer Wine
  • 1 cup Del Monte Jalapeno Diced Tomatoes, and its juice to replace vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Red Onion
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Tamarind paste
  • 1 tablespoon hot prepared mustard
  • salt/pepper to taste (careful tomatoes, and prepared mustard are salted)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached flour
Prepare all ingredients for your mise, because you must move quickly.
  1. In pan on medium high add coriander and mustard seeds.
  2. When they begin to pop add olive oil, red onions, seasonings, and flour; quickly stir in prepared mustard and wine, blending well; add diced tomatoes and juice; let simmer until thickens. Set aside to meld flavors.
  3. let a few tablespoons of butter soften, and coat the lobster pieces before placing on top of sauce; then sprinkle some light mixed shredded cheese on top and bake.

*Vindaloo- Actually Portuguese in origin, though it comes from the Indian subcontinent. The name is ultimately Portuguese, from the phrase vinho de alho or "wine of garlic." Portuguese sailors brought their garlic-flavored vinegar stew to Goa, which from 1510 to 1961 was a Portuguese colony on the southwestern coast of India. The Goan spiced up the recipe and the name, making it vindaloo in their Konkani language.

-W. H. Dawe explains in The Wife's Help to Indian Cookery, published in London, 1888: "Vindaloo or Bindaloo--A Portuguese Karhi.... The best Vindaloo is prepared in mustard-oil....


  1. Wow, great post! My kids love pizzas. Guess I'm going to make some next week. Thanks.

  2. I love Chef E's blog, too! This pizza looks and sounds soooo good, even if the 'fiery' part is a little intimidating!

  3. What a very informative post on the historical origins of and religious influence on Goan cuisine!

  4. Fabulous pizza I'm cravin'

  5. Lovely recipe and presentation. I love, love, love spicy food (ate quite a lot of it in S. Africa) - now I have some great new recipes to try.

  6. Of all the food of India I love the Goan style THE BEST ! This is amazing...I can totlly imagine it tasted DIVINE ! Thanks Rebecca, i will check out echefs blog...

  7. Very intersting history. I am interested in the Portugese aspect. I found it odd, but there are a few Indian families on this tiny island. I thought it was strange because we are small and in the middle of the Atlantic which seems a bit removed from India, but now it seems really interesting since the Portugese have had their influence on Indian culture. Hmm, cool. Thanks for the post.

  8. That pizza looks so yummy! I am going to have to make some of your delicious meals! Thanks for checking out my blog!

  9. Yeah I have internet back!

    I enjoyed doing this guest piece, and had fun finding out just how easy Vindaloo sauce really was to make. Who does not like Pizza, or lobster!

  10. Great to learn about Goan cuisine and the lobster pizza sound amazing! I love that sauce!

  11. I could happily live there with just seafood and vegetables! And I love the fiery food!

  12. Great post..and I love anything goan. So even gonna try Pizza! Thanks for this one.

  13. Hi all so happy you enjoyed the guest post go visit Chef E's blog for more of the same I LOVE IT


  14. Wow1 What a fantastic post! I have to check her blog. Thank you for sharing!

  15. What an interesting post Chef E. You pizza looks incredible. I had no idea about the Goan.
    Happy Halloween.

  16. hi all will forward the comments to chef E lol

  17. hi all will forward the comments to chef E lol

  18. Very interesting, I never knew about Goa although I have worn a feathered boa, but that's another story altogether;)

    The pizza looks really great. I can imagine the kick from the seasonings.

  19. This is heaven! Wonderful job Chef E!

  20. without any chile besides the tomato sauce I can hardly see how this is vindaloo - I would love some lobster pizza - I need to make this!

  21. Oh believe me it was fiery With hot mustard and seeds

  22. Great idea to use naan for a pizza! Sounds fantastic.

  23. Oh wow!! If only I could afford lobster, LOL :D This sounds over the top awesome! Great guest spot, E.

  24. Wow, fiery and lobster. And on Naan. OMG. Sounds and looks amazing!!!!!!

    I would have to stop myself from shoveling it all in.

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  37. Hey delicious recipe thanks for sharing this post about Guest Post: We're Goan Make Pizza!
    Posted by Chow and

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