February is when Shhh Cooking Secretly group (started by Priya of Priya’s Versatile Recipes) had a virtual tour of Goa. Its been over 30 years since I’ve visited Goa. I remember when we were passing the town centre, there was a huge crowd of people. We asked the taxi driver what was going on and he replied “koi naya actor ki shooting chal rahi hai, aap ko dekhna hai?” he asked. We asked if he knew the actor and he said no so we didn’t stop to watch. Who was the new actor? None other than Shakrukh Khan shooting for the movie Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa! I remember we were staying at some hotel in town and would go to the Taj Holiday Resort to get onto the beach. Back then there were not many hotels. I remember getting to the beach and for miles there would hardly be anyone. There use to be a fish shack near Taj and hubby, my brother and my cousin would enjoy fresh fish and I’d get only French fries (fishy ones)! Goa is the smallest states of India on the western coast. To the west is the Arabian Sea, north is Maharashtra and south and east is Karnataka. The Portuguese landed in Goa during the 16th Century coming as merchants and soon conquered the area. Goa was ruled by the Portuguese for about 450 years and was finally annexed by India in 1961. At some time in history it was also ruled by Hindu and Muslim Kingdoms. Therefore its not surprising that Goan cuisine is strongly influenced by Hindu, Muslim and Portuguese cultures.The Portuguese merchants introduced passion fruits, potatoes, tomatoes, cashew nuts, pork, vinegar, beef, bread and other meats. Ingredients like seafood, kokum, coconut, rice,coconut oil, chilis, vinegar and other spices are commonly used to prepare many of the Goan cuisine dishes. Some dishes also took on the influence from the British cuisine too. Dishes prepared by both Christian and Hindus contain sweetness, sourness, salt and spices. While the Christians rely on vinegar for sourness, Hindus tend to use kokum and tamarind. My partner for this month was Kalyani Sri who blogs at Sizzling Tastebuds. Check out her blog for a variety of healthy recipes. Kalyani gave me rice flour and coconut as my secret ingredients. My search for recipes using rice flour and coconut led me to a variety of dishes but most used rice which was soaked overnight or for 6-8 hours before the dish could be prepared. Then I came across the blog Xantilicious.com. As I was going through the blog I came across this easy to make Goan style pancakes which used rice flour. Originally its made from soaked rice but this blog made a simpler version. Koiloreo is usually served with a cup of tea for breakfast or at tea time. These pancakes were ever so soft and delicious, a great gluten free option. I loved the taste of coconut and ghee combined. These pancakes remind me of vibibi which is a famous East African Coastal version of pancakes. The only difference was that the batter for vibibi is allowed to ferment as yeast is added. Check out the recipe for this so easy to make koiloreo recipe. I whisked the batter using my electric whisk. Though I served it with fruit and honey, you can opt to serve it on its own too.
KOILOREO/KUILODDE/KOILORI (GOAN PANCAKES)
1 cup rice flour
¼ cup grated fresh coconut
1¼ -1½ cups coconut milk
½ tsp salt
1-2 tbsp sugar (optional)
a generous pinch of soda bicarbonate
chocolate chips or cocao nibs
Whisk the egg lightly and add the coconut milk. Mix well.
Add salt , sugar if using any and coconut. Whisk it lightly again.
Add the flour and whisk till you have a smooth batter which is not too thick or runny.
Heat a frying pan or skillet over medium heat.
Smear the pan with some ghee. Let it melt.
Pour about a ladleful of the batter into the pan. The batter should be able to spread out on its own.
Cover with a lid.
Let it cook till the edges become light brown and the top is not wet.
Repeat steps 5-8 with the remaining batter. Serve immediately.
I topped mine with fresh fruit and honey as I served it for breakfast.
I made mini and normal pancakes. You can choose whichever type you want to make.
Make sure the batter is not too thick otherwise the batter will not spread out on its own.
After each pancake is cooked, make sure the pan is hot before you add the batter.
You may want to check out Cuisines from other states of India: