RAMNATH N PAI RAIKAR | NT NETWORK
A country as wide and diverse as India, which is surrounded on three sides by a long unending coastline has the fortune of having a variety of dishes linked to seafood, offering large choices to food connoisseurs.
The Coast to Coast Food Festival which is presently being held at Simply Grills, a specialty fine dining restaurant at the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa, presents a platter of seafood dishes from coastal states such as West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and of course, Goa. The Goan seafood offers delectable assortment of recipes of local origin as well as those linked to the Portuguese influence.
The seaside restaurant maintains that it uses locally sourced vegetables as well as seafood, procured to make it “as farm to fork as possible”. “Our core strength is our seafood, but since states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Goa have signature dishes such as Chicken Vepudu, Mutton Pepper Fry, Chicken Xacuti and so on, we had to include these in our menu too,” the restaurant informs, pointing out, “Besides, Kanava Roast Squid from our entrées and Pomfret Moilee served with steamed rice – both from Kerala – are a must try.”
Executive chef Pavan Kumar Chennam, who is handling the Coast to Coast Food Festival, said the festival would be entirely dedicated to the non-vegetarian dishes dominated by various kinds of fish, with chicken and mutton dishes included in the menu. “We will be serving dishes made out of local fish, and would not concentrate too much on the fish found in other coastal states,” he said. “Say for example, the Hilsa fish so much popular in West Bengal, is normally not served in 5-star hotels, and therefore, we will prepare the dishes from West Bengal by using locally found fish, without changing the basic recipe of Bangla dishes.”
Speaking further, the executive chef maintained that Goa being a small state, has great relative dependency on fish, and therefore is seafood oriented, in turn providing large number of seafood recipes. “In fact, in Goa each community has its choicest mouth-watering seafood dishes, which we are trying to serve at this festival,” he said, observing that Machilipatnam, the port town in Andhra Pradesh is the biggest market for prawns, while fish like kingfish, shark and mackerel are popular in Karnataka.
On a parting note, Pavan Kumar said that the Coast to Coast Food Festival is being held when Goa is just on the verge of monsoon. “When the monsoon arrives in Goa, followed by the fishing ban period, people are bound to be longing for quality fish, and that’s precisely the reason to provide them with choicest seafood dishes at this festival,” he concluded, while appealing foodies to arrive at the restaurant by 6 p.m. to enjoy the eye-pleasing sunset over the Arabian Sea.
It was also informed that the seafood festival has specially prepared beverages like Curry Leaves Mojito cocktail to go with the recipes.
(The Coast to Coast Food Festival will be held at the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa till May 28 from 6 p.m. to 11p.m.)