Posts Tagged ‘bardez’

Village Chapel

Posted: December 10, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Goa 9

On the little road that led from the junction of the church road and the village road, on the way to Mae’s house, there is a chapel much like this one. A simple little chapel where you could see the cross through a barred off entrance. It wasn’t meant to be like a church where you stepped in, knelt down to pray and where a priest would preside. Instead, it was a little wayside chapel so that you could remember to stop and pray on your way to somewhere else. A ltitle whitewashed chapel. I loved to stop and stare inside it as if expecting something miraculous to happen. What I didn’t realize at that time is that the miracles were all around. In the kindness of the people I saw each day, my grandmother, my family, my friends, the fields, the animals, every single little thing. I hope that the chapel in Bodiem still stands where it used to.


Godshe from Goa

Posted: September 18, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Keep stirring the mixture

These days, I find myself thinking of Mae and all the special sweets she would make for us kids who had just arrived from the big city of Bombay.  Godshe was one of these sweets – yum.  For so long, I’ve been wanting to find a recipe so I could make it for my own little grandchildren and here it is now, thanks to

I cannot find jaggery easily where I live now therefore, I resort to a combination of brown sugar and molasses.

1 cup rice

1/4 cup moong dal

thick and thin milk of one coconut (I use 1 can of milk – separate it into two and thin one portion down)

1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup molasses

pinch of salt

Soak the rice and dal overnight and then cook it in the thin coconut milk.  Cook and stir occasionally until it is soft – use low flame.

Once rice and dal are a soft consistency, add the sugar and molasses, keep stirring until the mixture thickens and then add the thick coconut milk.  Stir, stir and add a pinch of salt taking care not to let it stick to bottom of pot.  When the mixture thickens enough to look like it could set, pour it into a pie plate and let set so you can cut it into soft wedges.  Some people like it warm like a pudding.


Posted: September 18, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Mae made this Bibique for us even when it wasn’t Christmas time.  All Coans made this this layered cake at Christmas but since us Lobos never went to Bodiem during Christmas, Mae would make it for us in May.  Bless that sweet woman who did everything in her power to give her grandchildren a good time.  I wish that I had got my recipe right from Mae but alas, she was gone before I got interested in culinary matters.  Priyanka Garpure has kindly supplied me with this one:

200 gms all purpose flour

10 egg yolks

500 gms sugar

Thick coconut milk from one large coconut

2 gms powdered nutmeg

200 gms ghee (clarified butter)

1. Extract coconut milk from the coconut by grating it and grinding it with water. Mix the flour, sugar and egg yolks with coconut milk and stir thoroughly till sugar has dissolved. In case you want layers of slightly different colors caramelize a little sugar and add to one half of the batter and use them alternately.

2. Now add the nutmeg powder and keep aside.

3. In an aluminum vessel, heat some clarified butter in a pan and pour in one cup of batter.

4. Bake this layer on low heat till it turns light brown in color.

5. Then add another spoonful of clarified butter and another cup of batter.

6. Once the bottom layer is done the heat has to be supplied from the top.

7. Continue to bake till all the batter is used up.

8. Once done, turn the tin upside down, remove the bebinca and cool before serving

Note:  I’ve tried this method by pouring batter into a springform pan and placing under the broiler (rack should be in the middle of the oven).  It’s effective!

The Bimbli Tree

Posted: September 7, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Ahhh!  Remember the bimbli tree?  I’ll bet there was one right outside your Goa house.   This one is much like the one just outside the hall window in Mae’s house located in Boddiem, a little village in Bardez.

As soon as we arrived here for our summer vacation in May, we dashed outside to the Bimbli tree and helped ourselves to its tart and juicy fruit.

‘at least put some salt on it’ Santan would yell and hand us spoons of salt which we held in the palm of one hand, leaving the other one free to pluck bimblis and dip them into the salt before shoving them into our mouths.

‘leave some for mae to make pickle with’ Santan would yell from the window laughing at our puckered mouths and shaking heads.  So, we quit eating all the fruit and left some for Mae to make pickle with because each day, the farm hands who left at break of dawn without breakfast, looked forward to their kanjee with pickles.  Out of the two or three pickle selections that Mae let them eat with their kanjee (also spelt like Congee), one of the selections was the bimbli pickle.  In case any of you have forgotten or don’t know, kanjee is a thick rice porridge made by boiling less rice with a lot of water and a little salt.  The result is this thick blandish soupy mix and generally accompanied by a piece of fried or pickled fish.  Pickles are nice with it too, the fiery taste of lime or raw mango, nicely complimenting the bland taste of kanjee.

Travel from Mapusa

Posted: August 27, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Mapusa Photo

These vehicles rock but make sure that your driver’s eyes are clear and that he repeats the directions to where you want him to take you.  Beware of the driver who has blood shot eyes and especially beware of the one who wears shades.

On my last trip, I was too tired to follow my own instructions, I got into the first rickshaw that offered to take me to Granny’s village into the interior.  My mouth had hardly closed from the tired yawn when the vehicle yanked me forward and my teeth were clamped onto the driver’s shoulder.  No, I’m not a vampire, I assured him.  He laughed and carried on driving like a madman sprung loose from an insane asylum.  I was too tired to feel any fear.  This is what it must be like to truly let go, I told myself.  Let go and let God.  It was a nice feeling.  Freeing.  I even slept, if you can believe that because the vehicle rocked from side to side, hit every pothole on the roads and bidi smoke from the driver’s incessant habit, filled my nostrils.

I didn’t even wake when he deposited me at the base of the village from where I’d have to walk.  He said loudly

‘you have to move from her miss.  I cannot drive up those rocks’

Startled out of my dreams of sorpotel and bibique, I blinked and surveyed my surroundings.  Nothing looked familiar to me.  After all, the last time that I had visited Granny’s village had to be at least ten years before that or more.   I gave the driver his fare, dragged my bag out of the vehicle and watched as he drove off in a cloud of dust.

Granny’s Field of Dreams

Posted: June 19, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Those who worked the fields were early risers.  They sipped on black tea in water carafes and went on their way to beat the sweltering heat of the late morning.  I listened for them to leave and went back to sleep knowing that when they came back from the fields, granny would feed them.  On occasion, i would wait to eat the first meal of the day with them.  Warm congee with a salty and spicy condiment to accompany the otherwise bland rice porridge.  The yield from hard labour was generally colorful and satisfying.  Crimson chillis, dark green spinach, light green marrow and wide bean pods of a yellow color.  We sat around on the verandah sipping on toddy, shelling the beans for our next meal and telling stories.Goa rice fields arun shanbhag