I was never taught how to cook. It was when I arrived in Australia in 1968 that I began to cook, mainly out of necessity. I wrote frantic letters to my mother (who was still in India at the time) for her recipes, then tried to make do with the ingredients available here in Perth.
The main flavours in Goan cooking are vinegar, coconut milk and chillies. Goa is situated on the coast, so fish is a staple food. However, pork is a close second. Goan cuisine is not chilli-hot, rather it is the marinating of meats in spices for a day, which gives the finished product its aroma and taste.
The dish I cook that everyone enjoys is bhooni, a simple but fiddly dish made from pork strips and very basic ingredients. I cook it every time I have the family over, as it is their favourite. They love it so much that a doggie bag is a must!
Goan fried pork (bhooni)
Interview by Mei Leong. Photography by Jackson Eaton.