The Essential Goa Cookbook - Maria Teresa Menezes Being a Mangalorean Catholic myself, we are a community that are closely aligned with Goan culture, especially religiously. Mangaloreans speak Konkani, which is the state language of Goa, albeit in a different dialect. We also share a lot of cultural markers, including our names. Along with culture, the other important element that we share with Goa is the food. Mangaloroeans, like Goans, love their spicy hot meat dishes. Hot red chillies give our sauces their characteristic red colour, while a liberal use of vinegar (and ocasionally, tamarind) give them a delicate tanginess, that is associated heavily with Goan dishes. The use of tomatoes in sauces is relatively rare, and the thick sauces are a result of slow cooking the dishes, which encourage meats to release their juices and make a natural stock and spice based gravy. This little book is a gem! I picked it up from a tiny bookshop in India, and I adore the recipes, and Tessa's beautiful stories that go with them. The book doesn't have pictures, but does have some cute, quirky illustrations by the celebrated Indian cartoonist Mario Miranda. For me, it's the stories in the book that catch my imagination. When I am 'suffering' minus 40 C temperatures here in Canada, I pick up this book and I am transported to the beaches of Goa, with their swaying coconut palms and picking over steaming plates of spicy, red fish curry and red rice.