With its choris sausages and beef curries, Goa is a carnivore’s paradise. The flipside of this is the notion that the state has little to offer vegetarians. But Goa’s food landscape is getting greener, with a growing tribe of mindful eaters and vegans flocking to its shores. There’s something for every vegetarian traveller, from regional Indian cuisines to international fare.
For a feast in the forest
Set apart from the crowded beach-shack scene of north Goa, Mojigao is an oasis of solitude with groves of pink ginger flowers and prime conditions for a digital detox (the network’s sketchy). The 1.5-acre eco-village—with six cottages and a yoga shala—is managed by Israeli owner Moshe Inbar and his wife Anastasia, who run two Artjuna cafés, here and in Anjuna. Inbar grew up eating a lot of vegetarian food, and this is what gets preference on a menu full of salads, juices and raw foods. You’ll find Artjuna favourites like the signature boreka (cheese, mushroom and spinach puff pastry), a Mediterranean thali of hummus, tahini, and baba ganoush with homemade pita, and excellent coffee. Stay back for tapas evenings in the wilderness: these mindful eating experiences include dishes like blue cheese arancini and mashed yam with tomato sauce. mojigao.com
KEFI CAFÉ & BISTRO
For Lebanese fare with an international touch
Kefiis a Greek word describing a state of bliss, and it’s an apt name for this oasis of calm in Assagao, with comfy indoor and outdoor sections. Kefi Café & Bistro offers a friendly vibe in an idyllic setting, and a Mediterranean menu that’s pure joy for vegetarians. Except for a tuna melt, every dish is plant-based, and many reflect owner Tony D Dewan’s childhood in Beirut. You’ll find an armchair escape to Lebanon via sesame-flecked falafel, fire-roasted aubergine rolls, a Levantine platter, maghmoura (slow-cooked chickpea, tomato, and aubergine stew), and the lentil-andrice dish mujadara. A section of international menu offerings includes Hawaiian pineapple rice, vegan meatballs xacuti, and Mexican chipotle. A wellstocked bookshelf and a stack of board games are further sources of kefi. kefigoa.com
SAPPADU—THE WEEKEND POP-UP
For a traditional Tamil meal
Sappadu, the eight-month-old lockdown baby of Anjuna-based couple Anuj and Priya Shah, brings the rare taste of a traditional, vegetarian Tamil meal to the Anjuna-Vagator party belt. The Shahs started Sappadu because Anuj, who used to live in Matunga, Mumbai, craved south Indian food. Their kitchen is run by Gauri, a cook from Nagercoil. Wholesome meals are served in an open-air setting adorned with kolam art and marigold garlands (Priya is an interior designer from Ahmedabad). Carnatic music fills the air as a dozen items appear on your banana leaf, from rasam (with pineapple, pomegranate, and plum versions) and sambar, to a spiced potato roast, okra poriyal, karamani kuzhambu (black-eyed peas in tamarind curry), medu vada and homemade pickles. The menu changes every weekend and sometimes includes Keralite dishes. Ask nicely and you’ll get a parcel of Sappadu’s oh-so-good homemade puli milagai (green chilli pickle). @sappadugoa
For an eclectic, five-course dinner
Suzie’s by chef Suchint Dhillon and entrepreneur Kanak Seth is hidden away and reservations-only (part of its allure and efforts towards zero wastage). If you do make a date to visit, you’ll find yourself in a charming garden with soft jazz and pretty lights. Specify your vegetarian preferences at the time of booking for a carefully curated five-course meal that showcases local produce, sometimes in unusual ways. The menu keeps changing, but you may find dishes like eggplant gazpacho, a seasonal veg terrine (served with a charred hemp roti), and mushroom and banana blossom salad with peanut-tamarind sambal. While Seth slings flavourful and potent cocktails at the bar, Suzie is an expert at converting established tastes and overturning prejudices. Seth claims that she once turned a bitter gourd-hating filmmaker into such a fan with her karela wontons, that they returned for the dish three times. suzi.es
For appetising renditions of paneer and beetroot
Some vegetarians may find paneer boring, but even carnivores cannot resist Bate-Papo’s sesame-crusted version, paired with orange reduction, and served with buttery mashed potatoes. Baneen Karachiwala runs this new, cosy, boutique bed-and-breakfast with her husband Rohit D’cruz, a trained pilot-turnedpassionate chef. D’cruz took on various culinary internships in Goa after the couple moved from Bengaluru three years ago, and the menu’s select vegetarian fare reflects his experience through familiar and global flavours. Try a delicate marinated baked brie with balsamic glaze, crostini three ways topped with wild mushrooms, and a hearty beetroot burger— the chef’s ode to his school-day memories of eating beetroot cutlets in Asansol. The space also hosts film screenings and other events that foster a community of creatives and “bate papo”, which in Portuguese means endless conversations. 9243434318
BEAN ME UP
For tasty vegan food
Founded in 1996, Bean Me Up became a vegan hotspot after animal rights activist Shawn Rodrigues came onboard in 2009. His aim: to propagate plant-based fare without sounding preachy. Over a decade later, Rodrigues has done just that, turning the cafe, B&B and yoga space into a destination for kombucha-loving nomads and mindful eaters. Soak in the rustic vibes and mantra music while relishing dishes like the wild burrito loaded with guacamole and a hemp falafel sandwich. There’s also a gluten-free BBQ tempeh pizza and the house special, a tofu burger. Rodrigues, who learnt to make tempeh in Indonesia, supplies it to other restaurants too. He’s curated a similar menu for the plant-based Gratitude Café in Anjuna, which has become a popularly bookmarked spot within a short span of time. beanmeup.in
For jackfruit tacos and smoothie bowls
At this second, stand-alone outpost of a cafe attached to an eco-friendly guesthouse, the focus is on food that’s fresh and healthy. Still, Chef Varoon Nair (also an artist and musician) prefers making dishes that appeal to both vegetarian and non-vegetarian palates. The jackfruit tacos are popular, he explains, “because it’s a novelty for vegetarians and its meaty texture appeals to non-vegetarians too.” If you’re dropping in for breakfast, relish a croissant French toast with cashew cream or a mango banana goji smoothie bowl. Or watch the sun set over Anjuna’s lush paddy fields while enjoying a dinner of warm quinoa salad with pea puree, walnut ravioli with beetroot ricotta, mushroom parmesan croquettes or portobello mushrooms with crispy leeks. vaayuvision.com
Discover local roots and indigenous rice
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
A trip alone to the Maldives has Aatish Nath reflect on how it prepared him for this pandemic
10 people to know in the Maldives
WHERE TO STAY
Before you book your stay, get the low-down on the country’s different island resorts
NOTES FROM A YEAR OF TRAVEL
When the world was locked in and the threat of COVID-19 loomed large, Priti Mahajan and her family decided to quit the city life and take to the road
SUNSHINE & SUSEGAD
These luxury villas in Assagao trace the history of Goa while embracing conscious living, writes Andrea Pinto
ALL THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
BEFORE BOOKING A TRIP TO THE MALDIVES
FROM CRUISES TO CRAFT GIN TOURS: IDEAS FOR AN INDIAN SUMMER HOLIDAY
This year, skip the long flights for these dream vacations that will bring the world home says Arundhati Ail
20 Unmissable Maldives Experiences
Make sure to make time for one (or all) of these quintessential island experiences
50 Essential India Experiences With The Kids
Mountains, monuments, markets and meals—it’s always the best time to get the kids to fall in love with our incredible country.
Monsoon Retreats Just For You!
Check in for spa rituals, high tea and private terraces with sublime views at these hotels in India and beyond
The Rolling Stones: Goats Head Soup Super Deluxe Edition
Show of hands, please—how many of you rate August 1973’s Goats Head Soup as your favorite Rolling Stones album? Anyone? No? Can’t say I blame you.
Yes, you *can* have everything you want
It’s time to manifest your biggest dreams. Because making (and not keeping) new year’s resolutions is so last year.
Goa and Greenhouses
A well-to-do Russian tries to bring his green new ideal to life in a Russian village. Not all goes to plan.
A Fresh Space For Your Child With Special Needs
For the majority of Americans, the start of a new year means setting new goals and resolutions.
OVERBOARD IN A DESERTED ANCHORAGE AT NIGHT, CULLY PETTIGREW IS IN TROUBLE
Top Scholars Road To Success Requires Setting The Bar Higher
The pathway to success in career and life starts with goals, motivation, and commitment. Setting the bar high academically is but one of many routes to success, as is pursuing professional experience through internships and seeking leadership opportunities.
Get Freakin' Started
This time of year, everybody loves to make wildly ambitious fitness resolutions. But the truth is, converting your body from a doughy blob of fat to a sexy slab of muscle is far easier said than done. As much as it takes discipline and hard work, it also requires a solid game plan. Here’s yours.
The Power Of Visualization
Sometimes it’s not enough to have a goal. Sometimes you have to picture yourself achieving it.
How To Help Children Set And Achieve Goals
Helping children set and achieve goals
What's Your BTS Make Over Mood?
Want an instant upgrade for the new year? Change is good—and we’re here to help with a smart, cinchy strategy for those #newyou vibes...