Goa Government Says Fish Curry-Rice Mandatory At Beach Shacks
Image Credit: Archana's Kitchen

In an effort to promote local cuisine amongst tourists, the Chief Minister of Goa, Rohan Khaunte announced on Sunday that shacks along the coastline must compulsorily serve fish curry and rice, as part of their menu. This mandatory inclusion of the Goan staple for all beach shacks to have on the menu is part of the new Shack Policy that was introduced in the state in a bid to bring the spotlight back to Goan cuisine.

Until before the announcement, beach shacks in Goa served a multitude of North Indian, Continental and Asian cuisines – from Chinese food to smoothies and English breakfasts. However, most of these shacks excluded the popular delicacy from their list of offerings, making it a necessary step to take to boost regional tourism through food. The Shack Policy passed by the cabinet also aims to address the issue of illegal hawkers and vendors that swarm the commercial beaches.

As a measure, the new policy demands that each of the shacks share a consolidated list of staff members working on location, as a way of spotting anyone who claims to be working in one of these eateries and does not have proper attestation. Khaunte also shared that these new measures are focussed on bringing back quality over quantity, towards an effort that involves working closely with shack owners without affecting tourism.

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For Goa, fish curry and rice represents more than being a meal – the coconut-based curry that is enjoyed with rice is a symbol of the rich culinary landscape of the state and serves as a great gateway into understanding and appreciating Goan cuisine – as it blends Hindu elements with the rich Portuguese heritage the state boasts of. “We have to work on our basic infrastructure. Anything related to tourism, we have to ensure Goa as a tourism state has to have all the infrastructure to support the tourism industry,” Khaunte said in his statement.