As a lover of traditional dishes it was most refreshing to read “Goan Cookery
Book” by Elsie Antonette Maciel. The writer skillfully demonstrates how a
traditional dish can become not only an experiment on the family ‘guinea pigs’, but an
exercise in culinary expertise.
The reader discovers, for example, that the simple boiling of rice, Goan style,
involves the addition of sugar and vegetable oil whereas normal curries omit this
variation of taste. Again, Goan dishes tend to be somewhat sweeter than those of
Burma and Malaysia, the latter carrying a hint of garlic and lemon juice. Indian curry
dishes on the other hand sometimes include sultanas, raisins.
The section dealing with Goan fish dishes was particularly interesting. The
description of stuffed mackerel, for example, together with accompaniments and a
glass of FENI added a stimulating touch of local colour to our ordinary English fare.
Maciel’s book will, I am sure, be read with interest by all those who strive to
introduce a touch of imagination to the dinner table.