Lokotsav – perhaps Goa’s best attempt at celebrating folk art and culture in a grand and well-organised fashion, could well qualify to be a full-fledged regional food festival. Best known for its scintillating dance performances that mesmerize the audiences at the mammoth stage set-up every evening, the ten-day national level festival has on display and sale, a lot of interesting offerings ranging from handicraft, furniture, apparel, etc and lots more. And despite some of the participants still in the middle of setting up their stalls, the food court is already buzzing with action and attracting foodies from across the state.
A major change from last year can be seen in the fact that there are far more local stalls, mostly by self-help women groups from across Goa, as compared to last year. These stalls have on offer the best of Goan cuisine ranging from Squids Chilly, Chicken Xacuti, Prawn Curry to the good ole’ fish curry rice and more. And because these are home-cooked by our mothers and sisters from across Goa, the love with which it is prepared is evident.
Aside from Goan cuisine the food court at Lokotsav is bustling with regional flavours hailing from the rest of the country. Akin to last year, all the variations of chaat such as kachaloo, pyaaz kachori, moong ki kachori, dahi papdi chaat, and more are available. Then there are the jalebi guys making piping hot jalebis in different sizes. These are not your regular orange-coloured jalebis that are easily found in sweet marts. In fact, it’s best to try them to know what we mean – you’ll love it! Other sweetmeats include gulab jamun, rasagulla, rasmalai…and lots more. And when you are done stuffing down all your cravings, there are plenty of options to wash it down with. A variety of sherbets, along with different varieties of lassi are sure to interest you. Then there is the tender coconut stall, the sugarcane juice stall and other pure natural ways of quenching your thirst.
A new addition this year is a stall by Biryani chefs from Lucknow who have brought in Mughlai flavours to the festival. Apart from Biryani, one can find several preparations of chicken and mutton served with roti or rice, on offer at this stall. Head to Lokotsav now before things start selling out. The festival is on till the next 8-odd days.
Written by: Pauline D’Mello
Pics by: Viresh Chari