Goan Breakfast Dishes 101: Ros Omelette, Paos, And More
Image Credit: Paos and poees dominate Goan breakfast.

Did you know that Goa is not just about sand, beaches, and nightlife? While they are some of the major tourist attractions, it is the food of this region that is quite appealing to the taste buds. Because of Dutch and Portuguese colonization, as well as the latter's widespread influence in various aspects of their culture, the resulting cuisine is an amalgamation of local and foreign influences.

The vast variety of seafood dishes stems from Goa's geographical location, while dishes such as prawn xacuti, chicken cafreal, pao buns, and others find resonance in Portuguese cuisine. Did you know Goa has a diverse breakfast menu too? Yes, you read that right. Local eateries in the sand-filled beachy state serve delectable authentic Goan breakfast that includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.

If you happen to crave the flavours of the coast, here are a few Goan breakfasts that you can make at home.

1.  Ros Omelette

Ros omelette is a regular omelette dipped in tangy gravy that makes a great breakfast or street snack. The eggs are whisked and mixed with onions, green chillies, and coriander leaves before being poured into a sizzling pan. Once you’ve cooked the omelette, prepare a hot and spicy curry referred to as "ros" and cut the omelette into small pieces to be dunked in it. Serve it hot with a side of pao.

2.   Patal Bhaji

This is a divine lentil-based gravy with a runny texture that is typically served with deep-fried bread, also known as "buns" in the local language. Chana dal, paired with colocasia leaves and flavourings like tamarind, grated coconut, green chillies, and jaggery, lend a sweet and sour taste to this bhaji. The crispy, puffed-up bread is made from wheat flour dough and fried until golden brown.

3.  Goan Tonak

Tonak, for the unfamiliar, is a term used for spicy curry in the Konkani language. The Goan tonak could be made with mushrooms, green peas, or red cowpeas. However, one can never say no to a non-vegetarian tonak called "kalvaa tonak," which refers to an oyster curry made with coconut milk, potatoes, onions, and a host of spices. It is best eaten with pao or poi.

4.   Chicken Cutlet Pao

While paos are commonly paired with Indian-style chickpeas or other lentil gravies for breakfast in Goa, there’s a delicious snack hack that works well for breakfast too. This is the Goan chicken cutlet pao. Although you can dunk prawns, fish, beef, or even pork in it, this chicken cutlet pao is a crispy bite of juicy chicken breast sandwiched between a pao, poee, or poi and slathered with onions and all kinds of chutneys to enrich the taste.

5.   Patti Samosas

These crispy conical puff pastries get a whole new shape and flavour in the Konkani region. Stuffed with sweet pea filling, the samosas have bits of potato at times too. The triangular or half-moon-shaped dough is then deep-fried in hot oil and served with coconut and coriander chutney, giving it a coastal spin. These are often part of the Goan breakfast as side dishes and can even be eaten as snacks too.