The intermingling of Arabian, Portuguese and native cultures is very much reflected in the cuisine of Goa. Goan cuisine is a unique blend of richness and simplicity- the constantly recurring notes being struck by the fish and the coconut. Goa is also unique in the sense that this mixture of East and West co-exists in a friendly and peaceful lifestyle. The best of both worlds has been absorbed and knit into a culture very distinctly different from that of any other parts of India. This is well reflected in its cuisine.
In the villages, food is generally cooked on wood fires in clay pots. The requisites for authentic Goan cooking are certain ingredients peculiar to it. Hardly any Goan dish is complete without coconut as one of the main flavoring agents. Fresh coconut, in one form or the other, is added or grated, ground fine into a paste or in the form of milk, extracted from the flesh of the fresh coconut. These ripe coconuts are available in every open market in Goa and often in grocery stores too.
For most Goan fish and meat dishes, red, dried chilies / peppers are used. The Goan native chili / pepper are large and pungent. It gives red colour to the cooking without the fierce pungency of the normal Indian chili / pepper. The Kashmiri chili / pepper is used as a substitute, instead of Goan due to non-availability sometimes, as it has the same qualities as the Goan red, dried chili / pepper. This red dried chilies / peppers form the major ingredient for the ground spices in most fish and meat dishes.
Fish is one of the most important ingredients of Goan cuisine. For all practical purposes, “fish curry and rice” is without doubt Goa's staple diet. All along the coast, fishing trawlers can be seen casting their nets to collect the bounty of the Arabian Sea. The catch usually consist of king fish, mackerels, sardines, shark fish, squid, sting rays, other small fish of many varieties and then the lower sea fish like prawns of all sizes, crabs, mussels, oysters and crayfish. The Pomphret sometimes called "Plaice", is not a common find, and hence is more expensive.