IF YOU have always wanted to try Goan food but have never been to the Indian state, worry not as Sapna Anand will be sharing her favourite hometown delicacies with Kuala Lumpur folk.
The renowned chef and TV host has teamed up with the Soul Society Group to allow Malaysians to have a taste of what Goan food is all about.
Born in Kerala, Sapna’s family later moved to Goa, where she spent most of her life including completing her education.
Sapna traced the beginnings of her love for food to her convent school in Goa.
“It is funny to share now, but my classroom was always next to the nun’s kitchen. Today, if you asked me what I learnt or who my teachers were, all I could remember was what the nuns cooked daily, ” she said at the launch of Goa by Sapna Anand in Kuala Lumpur.
She thanked Soul Society’s Fred Choo and wife Michele Kwok for the opportunity and trust given to her for the new restaurant in Jalan Pinang.
“It has been a long journey for me and I have to thank them for this launch pad and a chance to share Goan delicacies with Malaysians, ” she said before signing her cookbook New Indian Kitchen for guests.
Goa by Sapna Anand shares the same address as Tujo but occupies the top floor, giving guests a more private dining space.
Kwok shared, “We ‘fell in love’ at first sight (with each other) when we were first introduced; we talked a lot about food.
“That conversation got Sapna to help us with curating our menu which was just a one-off project, but that friendship has led us to what we have today, ” Kwok said, adding that the menu features about 20 Goan favourites.
At the launch, guests were introduced to dishes such as the Rava Seafood Fry, which is a medley of fresh seafood delicately coated in spices and crusted in semolina; Goan Masala Chicken marinated in a Goan red spiced paste; Panaji Fish Parcel that was inspired by a popular fish market in Panaji; Konkan Ghee Roast Chicken Tortillas, a dish that originated from Kundapur, a coastal town in the state of Karnataka, and Goan Beef Vindalho, derived from a dish the Portuguese first brought to India in the 15th century.
There was also Malabar Mutton Curry with Plantain Fritters, Fish in Saffron Sauce, Eggplant Curry, Goan Chili Prawn, Paneer Pea Cutlet, Chicken Cutlet and Shredded Mutton Mantao.
“Access to fresh seafood from the Arabian sea and influences from Muslim and Portuguese cuisines have helped Goan food evolve from traditionally Hindu fare to the melting pot it is today.
“The one constant over centuries of growth is that the tropical region’s cuisine has always been centred around intense flavours and spices. Stop by the restaurant for a visit and live life with a little spice, ” urged Sapna, who is also known as the “Queen of Spice”.
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