Panaji: If you love the evergreen, ever-delicious combo of fish curry-rice, it's a great time for you to check out Goan beaches, relishing the delightful dish. The Goa government has made it mandatory for beach shacks here to serve the dish, saying it reflects the 'spirit of Goa.' Fisherfolk and a shack owners' body of the state have also welcomed the decision, saying visitors need to be made aware of the traditional Goan cuisine. This will also help in promoting food tourism in the coastal state, they said. Goa Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte recently said shacks on beaches will now have to mandatorily serve 'fish curry-rice', along with other Indian and international cuisines.
The compulsory inclusion of the coconut-based preparation, savoured for its tangy and spicy taste, in the menu is part of the state's new Shack Policy that aims to promote the Goan cuisine, Khaunte said. Till now, shacks along the shoreline offered North Indian food, but Goan dishes were not available at these places, he said. The government has now made it compulsory for shacks to "display and serve" the Goan food, including fish curry-rice, the minister said. Fish curry-rice is the spirit of Goa which we need to introduce to all visitors arriving in the state, fisherman Francis Fernandes from South Goa, locally known as Pele, told PTI.
He said the state's traditional food has been made part of the tourism industry through the Shack Policy, which is a welcome step. Tourists should know about the traditional Goan cuisine, said Pele, who shot to fame when UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's wife Akshata Murthy earlier this year took a ride in a boat owned by the fisherman at the Benaulim beach in South Goa. Shack Owners' Welfare Society (SOWS) president Cruz Cardoso said they are willing to abide by the rule. We are happy that the Goan cuisine, and especially fish curry-rice, will be served at the shacks. This will help us introduce food tourism to the visitors, he said. All the shack owners should abide by the government's rule, said Pele, who in November last year showed traditional fishing techniques to cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and later served him cooked fish at his place.
(With PTI inputs)