Seafood South Goa EP 1 | Martin’s corner & Fishka
I really love the approach road of this beach. There is greenery on both sides, coconut trees, this narrow road – driving through here feels good. Hello friends! Welcome to Visa2Explore! This is your host, Harish Bali. Right now, I am at the Betalbatim Beach of South Goa. Look at the sea waves! The beach is so clean! To stand here, spread my arms wide, I am enjoying this like anything! We are going to start our food journey from here. Let’s check it out! There is a famous food joint nearby, where famous personalities drop in frequently. This food joint is called Martin’s Corner. We’ve already ordered fish for ourselves. I was looking at the local catch on display here. I can see Red Snapper, Sea Bass, lobster, King Prawn, Pomfret, etc. Now let’s wait for the order to come. I don’t know for how long I had been waiting for this day… when I would get to eat fish cooked in Recheado Masala. Today is the day. I am having Sea Bass cooked in Recheado Masala. There is Goan fish curry too. You must have heard about it for sure. Goan fish curry is made with Surmai fish and we will eat it with rice. This Sea bass fillet looks too tempting. Sea Bass – this fish is known as Chonak in Goa. So you can imagine Chonak fish along with Recheado masala is going to taste good! I had heard about Chonak fish that Goans like it a lot. It is a very tasty fish. And all that I heard about this Recheado masala is nothing as compared to the actual taste of it. Two things that are clearly evident in this masala are … – Number 1 is red chili, giving a brilliant flavor. Another thing creating magic in this taste is the local vinegar produced in Goa itself. This gives a very traditional taste to the fish. I am enjoying eating this fish. Chonak is actually the kind of fish which melts in the mouth. If you ask anyone in Goa about the most popular meal, the answer will be – fish curry with rice. So, this Goan fish curry, again…. Just look at its colour! One look at the color of this fish curry, how tempting and inviting it is to eat. As I pour this fish curry over rice, I can feel a typical fragrance,… … which I’ve never experienced before, trust me. I am sure that this fragrance is because of two things – Number 1, use of coconut in fish gravy. Second is own fragrance and flavor of the fish. What a taste! The delicious taste of this fish curry makes it worth coming to Goa and enjoying this taste! I have just served a little bit of rice and curry to myself. Too good! I feel like serving myself a lot more fish curry and rice and eat it before talking about it. This is so tasty & so much different! Trust me, eating this meal here gives me a feeling of authenticity as far as the food is concerned. I enjoyed this experience overall! I watched a part of the cooking process and what I could understand… … is that if your curry is good, then your dish is a victory. And this Recheado masala fish that we ate, the total game is that of the masala. The fish is marinated in masala for hardly 5-10 minutes before being shallow fried in the pan. If your masala is good, the fillet preparation has to be amazing too. So, to start my seafood journey in South Goa by coming here… …, enjoying this kind of food at Martin’s Corner was a good experience for me. I really loved the taste of Sea Bass, cooked in Recheado masala. So, I asked them to show me what all goes into making the masala mix. So, here it is – they have arranged everything in a tray to show me. This is toddy vinegar, Ginger-garlic, salt, clove, cinnamon, Kashmiri red chili, and cumin seeds. I will try to find an opportunity to watch this masala mix being prepared too in the coming days in Goa. I can see a lot of pictures of famous personalities who’ve visited here. Sachin Tendulkar seems to be a regular visitor here. His pictures are displayed here. We’ve reached Benaulim Beach. I saw a lot of boats on this beach. Let us go to one of these boats and check out their catch of the day. Host: “How long have you been catching fish?” Woman: “Our family has been doing this work since a long, long time, since the times of my grandfather, …. …great-grandfather. And now this is our business too…… …We go out daily and bring back this fish… …some days we don’t get this type, so we catch some other type. …. …Today, we were able to catch only Jheenga (prawn), Mackerel fish, King fish and some Shark fish.” Host: “Okay. Can you show me Shark fish?” Woman: “Yes. This is Shark fish. These are prawns.” Host: “What time do you leave for sea to catch fish?” Woman: “We leave at 4 am.” Host: “And when does the boat come back?” Woman: “That depends on the sea. Whenever it gives us fish, we come back. There is no set timing.” Host: “Still, it must be afternoon by the time you are back?” Woman: “Yes, some people return in afternoon, some come back earlier… ….Whenever God grants us, we come back.” Host: “Okay. Thank you!” Man: “My home is 2kms away from this beach. I come here to buy fresh fish daily…. …This is called King Fish. We bought 4 pieces for Rs. 500/-.” Host: “Which is your favorite type of fish?” Man: “Our favorite is King fish only, but this one is smaller. Here, we like this bigger one.,.. And prawns.” When we came to Benaulim Beach in early morning, it was absolutely peaceful. However, now in the afternoon, since fishing boats are returning to shore, it is full of hustle & bustle. So far, we’ve seen 6 beaches in South Goa. Right now, we are at the Benaulim Beach. We began this journey from the Betalbatim Beach. Mobor and Cavelossim beaches are located close to each other. We also visited the Colva Beach. In the 19kms between Betalbatim and Mobor, we saw 6 beaches already. We did not shoot the video of our visit to the Varca Beach. I noticed that in these 6 beaches, Colva beach is the most popular. Fishing is prohibited in the monsoon season due to sea-storms. This affects the availability of fresh seafood. Yesterday it was 2nd of August and sea-fishing has already been resumed. So, we will get fresh seafood to eat. We’ve come to Fishka for seafood in Betalbatim area. What you are looking at is Creamy, Spicy Prawn with rice. This is Red Snapper, with a filling of prawns inside. The fish we ate at the Martin’s Corner was Sea bass. In terms of taste, Sea Bass and Red Snapper are similar varieties but there are other differences. Thank you! It is my first experience of eating Red Snapper. And to eat this fish filled inside with prawns cooked in Recheado masala, obviously, I can’t even imagine! See, this is the masala I am talking about. This masala was applied to the fish inside, as well as added to the prawn stuffing. After the first bite of this Red Snapper, I can feel clear difference from Chonak fish. If I talk about softness, Chonak is a softer fish. Red Snapper has more of a fishy feeling as compared to Chonak. So, it feels obvious that you are eating fish meat. Second thing, the Recheado masala added to the fish is also giving it a good taste. I have already seen the ingredients that go into the making of this Recheado Masala. So, this is very nice. And the vinegar is the real game-changer to some extent in this spice mix. So, I am getting a good feel when I’m having this. The fish was already deboned before it was stuffed with prawn masala. See, this is the prawn stuffing inside the fish. It would be difficult to experience this kind of seafood anywhere else than in Goa, at least in India. This is the whole bite representing the actual serving of the fish. To sum it up, the overall taste of this dish is great! Just look at the preparation! Now, let me have this! I can see large chunks of onion, and the thick cream is clearly visible in the texture of this sauce. Nice taste! It has red chili, cream, plus the fresh prawns! This is the tail of the prawn, which they haven’t removed. This prawn is served with its tail on. Which obviously means you can eat the rest of the prawn and leave the tail as it is. I enjoyed the overall taste of prawns. This dish also has some sugar in it, probably to compensate the chili. The flavor of cream is clearly visible. And I would repeat myself – this preparation is a fusion food with two different flavors. Now, let me finish this off slowly. After that, I would check whether there is a Goan sweet dish to finish off the meal. By the way, this is not a traditional ice cream of Goa but I still found it exciting – coconut ice cream. I have never had the combined flavors of vanilla and coconut in an ice cream. So, I thought of ordering this. Interesting taste! What I mean to say is it is something new, something different. I had a lot of coconut in the curry as well as in this ice cream. A good end to today’s meal! I have not thought about what else to do after this meal is over. Now, I am going to finish this ice cream and then decide… …whether I want to shoot more today or just take rest. Goans are crazy about football. You can imagine the extent to which people in Goa are fans of football by looking at this scene. In Benaulim, everyday at 5pm, a football match takes place like this … …between professional teams and people stand like this to enjoy. We’ve come to Goa in Monsoon season. And I’ve been noticing that weather changes are quite frequent here. Like today, since morning, the weather is rainy, though it hasn’t rained yet. We’ve come to famous Colva Beach in South Goa. You can see a lot of people around, who are enjoying themselves here. A lot of tourists come to this beach. That is because of multiple reasons – eating, shopping, etc. Since it is monsoon season, there are no shacks, otherwise you can see shacks right on the beach. The water is clear, the beach is clean. Though one shouldn’t venture too deep but one can walk some distance into the water. Since it is monsoon season, there is a life guard too… …, who prohibits people from venturing too deep into the sea. You can walk on the beach. But the view is beautiful. One can spend 2-3 hours here at this beach. Did you like this episode? Which seafood variety did you like the most? Do share with us in your comments. As always, I shall be waiting for your comments. We’ll meet soon with seafood journey South Goa Part 2. Till then, goodbye! See you soon!