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Chef Edridge Vaz on the lesser known Goan dishes we’re not to miss at Hyatt Regency’s festival

Spice Haat at Hyatt Regency will be taking things easy for the next 10 days. They are after all hosting a Goan chef who is as cool as the food festival he is here to curate. Edridge Vaz, sous chef, Park Hyatt Goa, spends his free time fishing in the river Mandovi near his home in the Chorao island. With a couple of beers for company, no less. And his laid-back nature reflects in his food as well — both his mother’s recipes and his minimalistic plating have garnered him a following — and perhaps this is why Hyatt Regency have titled their festival Sussegado-Just Like Goa.
Vaz’s signature being his pork vindaloo, we try to yank the secret out of him. “It is my mother’s recipe and the slow cooking makes it special,” is all he reveals. Vaz does share that he will be bringing down Goan toddy vinegar, pork sausages, coconut jaggery and dry prawns for the festival, and we must try the chicken cafreal and prawn peri peri too.
Now it goes without saying that you will be picking some form of xacuti or the other, but Vaz insists you not leave without sampling the chicken jeri meri, batata bhaji and fish ambot-tik — Goan dishes that have not got their due as yet. “The ambot-tik translates to sour and spicy, the jeri meri is a dish that is dominated by the flavour of jeera and pepper and the batata bhaji is potatoes cooked in clarified butter. Popular in small eateries,” Vaz reveals. If you enjoy these unusuals, be sure to try his mangane, a kheer-like dessert made with lentils, gram, jaggery and coconut milk. We’ll see you there.
Buffet at Rs 1,550 plus tax. Sunday brunch at Rs 1,850 plus tax. Details: 61001234
— Ryan Peppin

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