Celebrated Goan bread as it gets a global makeover at this food festival

Apr 15, 2018, 08:33 IST | Kasturi Gadge

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Ravi Bhuvad, the head chef at The Sassy Spoon. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
Ravi Bhuvad, the head chef at The Sassy Spoon. Pics/Datta Kumbhar

In the last couple of months, the city seems to have developed an affinity towards Goan food. We now have a Goan theme bar and two fine dining restaurants that are trying to bring back the forgotten dishes from the state. While they are focusing on the traditional Goan-Portuguese preparations, The Sassy Spoon has different plans - they are giving the Goan bread Poi a makeover with its month-long festival that starts today.

Choriz poi with Goan sausages, bell pepper and onionsChoriz poi with Goan sausages, bell pepper and onions

Ravi Bhuvad, the head chef at The Sassy Spoon says, "We wanted to provide our guests with an option that was similar to the burgers, yet not make for a heavy meal. That’s when we came up with the idea of using poi and stuffing it with various mixes."

This Portuguese dish entered India almost 400 years ago solely because they missed their beloved bread. It looked very similar to the pita bread that the Persians were eating. What made it different was the flour it was made with. While the pita was made from all-purpose flour, poi was prepared using whole wheat flour which gives it its fluffy texture making it perfect to dip in curries.

The Poi festival will feature 11 variations in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian option. In order to make it a global affair, they have improvised to create stuffings that are rather unusual. We sampled the Choriz with homemade poi, where the stuffing was made from choriz, bell peppers and potato that soaked in the saltiness of the sausages. The spiciness in the filling was balanced by the poi perfectly well. Next up, we tried the Mexican makeover with beans, salsa and avocado. The entire mix has a burst of flavours. Nachos added a slight crunch to the stuffing.

The other interesting options to pick from include a multigrain poi with carrot, turnip and mushroom cake that comes topped with chilli mayo and a bite full of salli (potato). If you have a taste for spicy food, then the Sri Lankan spiced chicken poi and Chermoula (the Arabic marinade) on spiced prawns and squid are for you. While both of them are a bit firey, the former gets its flavour from the dried spices while the Chermoula used fresh garlic, cumin, coriander and lemon.

What is Goa without its beer and beaches, isn’t it? While the ocean is close by, the beer has been hand-picked to be paired with the sumptuous buns.

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