FOOD, FOOD EVERYWHERE!

BAKE HUB, ONE MORE COME-LATELY CAFE AT CARANZALEM, PANAJI : At Bakehub Capt Aditya Tambe & company is offering some enticing hand crafted popular fare such as sourdough pizza with Goan flavors…the recheado and cafreal pizzas are huge hits. Also check out such things as my favourite stuffed pockets of mustard-honey paneer, and ginger biscuits, bruchetta, calzones, quesadilla…what’s quesadilla?! Ginger biscuits for dessert!t!

By Tara Narayan

THE usual observation these days of stress and anxieties, driven as most of us are by the primordial emotion of fear of what today’s political dispensation will bring in its continuous wake…I’m overwhelmed by the number of eateries and cafeterias opening up here, there and everywhere in capital city Panaji (never mind that the city continues to be in a mess out on the roads and complementary streets, lanes, etc).
Close by where I stay in Caranzalem I recently discovered young Capt Aditya’s Bake Hub, where I found these delightful delicious ginger biscuits. Being a great fan of ginger I naturally get carried away and bought some of them – each round ginger biscuit/cookie at Rs45 and possibly priced higher now! Prices keep upping like crazy nowadays in times of absurd inflation!
Last week a veggie shop fellow said Rs10 for solo lemon and I almost paid. Second thoughts, I didn’t, these days I’m learning to resist buys and quick fix snacks somewhere up or down town, I tell myself positively, “Oh, thank Sri Ram, this is how much I have saved! I’ve saved a Rs100!” By not buying this or that or feasting on this or that while out of door on various errands! Funny or not funny, I save anything up to Rs500 or Rs1,000 and more.
Most of my friends is coping and dealing with runaway inflation and I must say I don’t care for a government which plasters itself all over town to tell how wealthy it is and how we’re all headed for amrit kaal or some such thing. In my book governance is not about boasting about supplying grain (we don’t even know what kind of grain) to 80 lakh people out of a total population of 1.44 billion (in 2024, 48.4% female and 51.6% male)!
Good governance would ensure decent jobs to all young or old, decent home, power and water around the clock; enough budgeting to educate the children and give them the chances they need in life to grow their mind, living with grace in the autumn and winter of life. Alas, in this country the good life has not yet percolated down to the bottom 50% plus, plus of the population as yet.
As I perceive it my dears, ours is colossally wealthy sarkar which can extravagantly squander multi-crore building temples, send of scientists to space (to impress the rest of the power nations), invest in any number of white elephants for the government, by the government, of the government…all in the people’s name mind you. However, too bad if your daily litre milk, curd, eggs, bread, veggies adds up to Rs500 expenditure every time you step out. At least I don’t see the common people of India living in clover in this country at street level.
BUT to return to my story of constantly opening and closing eateries nowadays, most are devoted to tempting you to die prematurely hogging on pizzas, burgers, ice-creams, bumper sandwiches lined with mayonnaise and all the refined junk carbs of our killer world! Once in a way comes a younger foodie entrepreneur like Capt Aditya Tambe of Bake Hub, he cares about food and is quite health-conscious. I’m glad about that at least!
At Bake Hub I discovered they’re doing some innovative stuff like sourdough base pizza with Goan twists — for example chicken cafreal pizza, Goan sausage pizza, prawns racheado pizza, chicken tikka pizza and some more. I just wish pizza-makers would invest in some other cheese other than mozzarella which is a horror cheese. I mean there’s cheddar, there’s feta, there’s adam and some more cheeses which do not turn leathery or plasticky once heated.
However I do love Bake Hub’s triangular pockets stuffed with honey-mustard paneer and the ginger biscuits are too good. They also do both vegetarian and non-vegetarian version of these economical pockets, then they do lavish bruchetta, calzone, a few more things…several kinds of brownies and a sumptuous lemon tart to wind up or take away. Go take a dekho! These days though everything is on order home online and sometimes if you are next door the Swiggy or Zomato delivery honchos will charge you delivery charges if they announce “Free delivery”! They collect both from the party doing the order as well as the party they deliver to, did you know?
Okay, no more, one of these days I’m going back more often to cooking at home only, it doesn’t happen no matter how much I want to (sigh)!

2024 FOMENTO CALENDER A BIG HIT!

CALENDERS for 2024 are still coming in but this is one calendar we covet! The 2024 Fomento calendar is imaginatively and enticingly dedicated to the…er…yes, Goa’s freshly made range of local bakery breads. All go with the quintessential snacks niz Goenkars tuck in for breakfast and tea time.
The calendar caught our eye at our friend Wallace Gonsalves’ friendly R’s Fusion House (opp Rosary Church at the end of the Caranzalen lane) and we were instantly charmed. The calendar sings a song to the breads of Goa introduced by the Portuguese colonialists nostalgic for their baked breads of home in Europe…
It wasn’t long before they were introduced in Goa and Goans took to the baked breads. Bread has such a distinguished history in India! The Fomento calender’s cover depicts a mouth-watering illustration of the Goa’s bread variety – recognize poie, pao, torrad pao (stretched out pao), the bangle-styled crusty kakon, undo, katre, even the godshe poie (dark sweet with local palm jaggery) and more.
Each calender month offers illustrations of the snacks with the breads – say patal bhaaji, sukki bhaaji, usal, alsande tonak, sangam bhaaji, the traditional spicy mirsang or “mirchi bhajia” (fried bumper large green chilli) — fried fritter. Not to forget mushroom zacuti or shogoti and the non-vegetarian versions…ros omlet, mackerel fish cutlets, prawn rissois, some more.
Reportedly, a very few old world ancient stone-oven bakeries still make the “poderacho bol,” a sweetish round flattish bread, can double as pita bread if you wish…the June illustration of “undo” (also pokshe/pokshie) with a plate of the tangy, savoury and light-hearted gravied tomat bhaji is our personal favourite! Find it in all the Goan cafes of old like Café Real or Café Bhonsale down town Panaji.
Less frequently seen bread loaves are the revde pao; other Goan “breads” are the Goan “idli” or sanna which is loved with sizzling hot pork curry “sorpotel.” Final call here is the “kazarache bol” like a half-coconut shell, dark and rich. “Kunneachi bhakree” is also a better version of what is known simply as poie, this too doubles well as a filler pita bread (that is, it is hollow enough for you to stuff something to arrive at a poie sandwich — hefty, filling meal all on its own).
The maska pao is soft, long, creamy hot-dog slender loaf…ideal for buttering and dip-dipping in tea or coffee for a quick fix of bread! Truly, this year’s Fomento’s calendar is a collector’s item and it can take a bow! Go get the calendar by hook or by crook if you love your Goa and Goenkar time-pass food. Enjoy.

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