Trip to Goa and an heirloom recipe rediscovered!

Sharing some of our photos and an heirloom recipe for Godi Dal!

Spice garden, Goa, India
Pedestrian bridge to a Spice garden in Goa , India.

Our recent trip to lush, tropical Goa seems like a dream now that I am back in wintry, cold Boston. Being in Goa with family, at our ancestral 450 year old temples and eating the traditional vegetarian thali food at the priest’s home brought back a lot of happy childhood memories for me and I was happy to see how much our son relished the experience.

Authentic recipe for Godi dal- delectable Indian sweet and sour dal served with rice
Godi Dal- An authentic heirloom recipe

With its rich red soil and tropical weather, Goan food is well known for its spices and an abundant use of coconut and coconut milk. It is also known for its mouthwatering seafood dishes, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed….needless to say 🙂Fish Thali, Goa, India Fish thali in Panjim, Goa!

A tour of the spice garden where they grow green and black cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, betel nut, cloves,turmeric, nutmeg, black pepper, peri peri peppers as well as betel nut, bananas, coconuts etc..was very enlightening.

Spice garden, Goa, India
The tour of the spice garden begins here!

We were delighted that the tour concluded with a buffet using fresh vegetables and spices from the garden. Most of the food was cooked and served in earthen pots and served on plates made from the betel nut leaves from the garden itself! To add to this eco-friendly atmosphere, the bowls and serving spoons were made out of coconut shells.

Food served in eco friendly leaf platters, earthenware pots and coconut shell bowls and serving spoons
Food served in eco- friendly leaf platters, earthenware pots and coconut shell bowls and serving spoons
Food served in eco friendly leaf platters, earthenware pots and coconut shell bowls and serving spoons
Love earthenware so had to get a close up:)

Of all the foods we enjoyed, our son seemed to like a particular dal, called Godi Aamti, which we ate at the priest’s home. Godi means sweet and this dal has a balance of sweet and sour in it. On further investigation, I found out that it was the minute details which made the dal taste so good. After getting back home, I tried my hand at it and was happy to get our son’s stamp of approval 🙂

So I am happy to share the recipe, in detail, with all of you.

Godi Aamti

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 cup tuvar dal (pigeon peas) cooked in water (about 2 ½ cups cooked dal)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 5~6 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • 1 small fresh green chili, split lengthwise
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¾ teaspoon red chili powder (or to taste)
  • 2 cups water
  • Pulp extracted from a lime sized ball of tamarind, soaked in water or 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
  • 1 ½ tablespoon jaggery
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 ½ teaspoon store bought goda masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon dry shredded coconut, toasted until golden in color
  • A fistful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine

To make the Godi Aamti-

  1. Wash the tuvar dal well and pressure cook it until soft. Whisk the cooked dal with a wire whisk. Set aside.
  2. In a deep saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds start to splutter, add the chilies. Stir lower heat and add the asafetida, turmeric and red chili powders.
  3. Add the whisked dal and the 2 cups of water. Increase heat to medium and add the tamarind, jaggery, salt and goda masala. Mix well and let the mixture come to a boil.
  4. Powder the toasted cumin seeds and the toasted coconut together in a mortar and pestle or a dry grinder. Add to the dal.
  5. Turn down the heat to low and let the dal simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chopped cilantro leaves and continue simmering it for an additional 10 minutes. Check for seasoning. The dal should be sweet and sour- the tamarind and jaggery balance is important.
  6. Serve with freshly cooked white rice and a simple vegetable dish like the Healthy Green Bean Upkari.

Hope you enjoy this heirloom recipe for dal as much as we did!

Sharing a couple more of my favorite pictures of Goa with you all-

trip to Goa, India
The vendors selling young coconuts -Love the coconut water and the tender coconut flesh! Yum!
Vegetable, fruit and spice market, Panjim, Goa
Vegetable, fruit and spice market, Panjim, Goa

Taking my Godi dal and photos of Goa to share with Angie@Fiesta Friday and the wonderful co-hosts Linda @ La Petite Paniere and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook




25 thoughts on “ Trip to Goa and an heirloom recipe rediscovered!

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    1. Happy Holidays to you too Suzanne. I was thinking of you at Thanksgiving .My daughter was making pies at Thanksgiving and was looking for good crust recipes and I told her to check out your blog. i also told her that your pies and tarts (among other things) are worth looking up to as an ideal!
      Thanks so much for your sweet words about the dal.


  1. Ahhh Goa!! Great post and pictures reminiscent of my last trip there about 10 years ago. Whereabouts were you staying Sandhya? It’s great that you were able to replicate the recipe and get your son’s stamp of approval. I too love the earthenware pots and the coconut shell spoons. My grandmother had all these vessels that she used everyday. Gosh, I’d love to have brought some over before she passed. My second daughter was on a business trip to India 2 years ago, so she made a trip to Goa and visited that spice farm. Love the eco friendly idea. The thali looks amazing! I believe there’s a spot close by where you can actually bathe elephants and get in the water with them? Such wonderful memories for you and your family Sandhya.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Loretta,
      I was thinking of you as I wrote the post 🙂 We stayed at our temple dorm rooms- beautiful air conditioned rooms in the Shantadurga temple complex in Kavlem area. Yes the spice farm has the elephants. There is a choice of 5 different spice farms that are recommended by the travel books. We also visited old Goa and Panjim where we had the fish thali. The fish in Goa is out of this world!
      I remember Goa from when I was a kid- we went there once in two years and now Goa has become much more touristy. I know what you mean about getting vessles from your grandmother.I wish I could find the old style pots and pans there. I did buy some of the eco friendly coconut shell and betelnut leaf bowls.
      Luckily we had a driver who took us to the best places to buy some of my favorite foods there.
      I am very happy our son came with us as he thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. My daughter was not so keen on going for just a week- it is a lot of travel for her, plus the jetlag. She felt she might get sick. Hopefully some other time.


  2. Wow, that spice garden! I love all the pictures and it seems like such a wonderful trip! I am memorized by the fresh veggies and delicious food! I bet your son was thrilled for you to create his favorite dish of the trip. It looks delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful photos! Beautiful place! I want to go to Goa 😄 Love the figure friendly recipe, Sandhya. And how gorgeous are those eco-friendly plates! So clever! Oh, btw, Sandhya, you’ll be cohosting with Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju. Thanks! 😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was a wonderful opportunity to share with your (husband and) son. I am loving the colorful market scene and the tall trees in the spice garden area! I am sure it would be nice to stay in warmer climate and enjoy the beautiful scenery and weather! Thanks for sharing, Sandhya. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Robin, enjoyed the tropical weather there and am back to cold wintry Bost0n. We have a cloudy, dark day today here where the sun is refusing to even peek through:)


  5. Dal is my all time favourite. Loved the post with all the detailed explaination of the tour in Goa. I love that place . Been there number of times but still would love to go.

    Liked by 1 person

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