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Dining in the midst of rural charms

By Kuheli Bhattacharya Rane
One of the fascinating things about Goa is the lack of urban-rural divide in many parts of the state. Paddy fields lie shoulder to shoulder with office space, and housing societies share space with old world family homesteads. In a small village ensconced within Taleigao is a village called Kevnem, complete with its narrow roads, cow sheds and idyllic pace of life. Take the first right while facing the Taleigao church and then the first left to find yourself near Kismoor on your right.
Ambience: Rustic and rural based in Prasheel’s family home, the place looks much like the other houses on the street and you may very well miss it. But the bottles hanging from the ceiling and the lanterns promise that the atmosphere will be different by night. The red and yellow tiled floors match the yellow and red tablecloths thus setting the mood for a shack-like experience along with the thatched roof. All these quaint touches are not a novelty in Goa, because as I said, we live cheek by jowl with the small villages of Goa, and all of us have at least one family home which looks like Kismoor. Welcome then to a homely dining space.
Food: Owned and run by Prasheel, who does most of the cooking himself, the place began with takeaways and home deliveries before it started offering sit down meals. With no formal training but a flair for food, and a lot of trial and error, it’s nice to see someone follow their dream.
We started with the butter garlic prawns, succulent, with a generous helping of garlic. A good rendition of a classic served with a side of fries. The eponymous kismoor available in a choice of different dried fish is strong flavoured with a healthy helping of coconut to mellow down the flavours. The kismoor moves from being a side dish to a main event at this place. They don’t serve fish thali, but when they do, the kismoor will shine.
Next, we tried chicken cafreal and it came with a very dark green paste and a lot of it. Ok so, it wasn’t the most photogenic of gravies, but was one of the best cafreal pastes in a while. We lapped it up, the hint of sweet with an aftertaste of spicy green chillies that just made you go for more. The chicken itself was marinated well.
The place is known for its sea food, and yet has a large number of North Indian and even Chinese dishes on the menu. If a place claims to be multi-cuisine, then we had to try one from the non-Goan cuisine. We tried the butter chicken, a staple in most menus, but treacherously difficult for the non-Punjabi palate to get it right. It came with a swirl of cream, deep red gravy with tons of methi, all good things in a butter chicken. The chicken itself was a bit of a letdown, plus there was little of it, but the sweet creamy gravy was a decent rendition, very close to a Punjabi dhaba. The tandoor is open only for nights, and one can attempt kebabs at that time, they even do some seafood tandoori as is evident from the menu.
The serradura, the Portuguese ‘saw dust’ pudding with crumbled biscuit on top and sweet custard below is a good note to end the meal. The service can get slow here, but that happens in one-man shows. Small and simple, Prasheel may have moved from engineering but this place is much like the start-up companies by young engineers; full of enthusiasm, anxious to please, they have a very savvy marketing plan of giving discounts if you review them on various forums. Good, wholesome flavours, served in simple surroundings, a restaurant living the Goan spirit.

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