Whispering Palms Beach Resort, Goa
(Review by Laughing M)
Well, it’s only the second day of this Goan adventure and acclimatising to the heat is still the watch word of the day. Yesterday proved that the 30 degrees of searing heat, a dozen Kingfishers plus a brace of G&Ts (purely for their medicinal power of keeping the mosquitoes at bay you’ll understand) make for a heady mix.
I’m convinced that the bartender can’t count, but at the end of the night neither could I. The only recollection I have is that his uncle runs a taxi firm and his mate has the best and cheapest restaurant in town (which I’ll have to find). All travellers will recognise this situation and take it with a pinch of salt. I would suggest that the above estimation be taken the same way, or consider the question coming from your doctor, “How much do you drink?” So I’m claiming the fifth and the above estimation is merely for the record.
The point of my story? Well, the result of this exuberance was a sore head and a missed breakfast at the Whispering Palms Beach Resort. It would turn out that apart from the sore head, this was more than a mistake on my part, as when, I did make it to breakfast the next day, it was superb.
For the curry lovers among us there was a revelation of Goan curry dishes and condiments. I started with plain rice, to this was added a fish curry using a Goan favourite Kingfish, a plain white fish. This was in a sauce that was not hot but very tasty; I suppose I’d say it was a type of korma.
Okra (lady’s fingers) has never been a dish I’ve enjoyed. However, this breakfast was to force me to reconsider this vegetable again. It was presented as Bhindi Bhaji, with the okra cut into small pieces, (10cm) along with green pepper and red onion, again both cut into small pieces, then fried with garlic and fennel seeds. There seemed to be little oil in this dish so I’d try this more as a dry fry, adding just a little oil at a time.
The most revealing vegetable has been the cauliflower. If I was looking for a national vegetable of India, then apart from the red onion, this would have to be it. It seems to appear in so many dishes; one was deep-fried with a batter of mustard seeds with a taste of cardamom and chopped coriander in there. The Aloo Gobi (cauliflower and potato) seems to be available at every meal.
Another vegetable to come to the fore is the humble pea. Vatanyachi Bhaji (Green Peas Curry) has quickly become a favourite dish; the textures and taste of the bhaji of peas, potato, green chillis and coriander are truly amazing. I would recommend looking this one up one the internet and having a bash at this if you like those surprising little peas.
The aim is now to taste as many dishes as possible and where possible to learn how to recreate the menu and add to the repertoire of my curry cooking. So look out Greenwich Curry Club, you might all become guinea pigs in the next few months…
The Whispering Palms Beach Resort, Sinquerim Beach, Candolim Bardez, 403505, Goa. Tel: +91 832 6651515
The Whispering Palms Beach Resort snapshot
Food ① ② ③ ④
Decor ① ② ③ ④
Value n/a (Inclusive of holiday)
Atmosphere ① ②
Service and friendliness ① ② ③