I wanted to find a way to truly make you feel the raw, fresh beauty of the Indian coastline – a way that lets you immerse yourself in the warm, dusty brown sands that edge into the grayish green water. Even hearing the cacophony of the auto rickshaw’s harsh tinny dissonance melt against the bustling roads is an experience unto itself. Fortunately, I discovered how to capture the melodic chaos of one of India’s most unique cities through taste. In fact, I’ve decided to make a Goa inspired smoothie bowl just for you. As a little bonus, it takes barely five minutes to whip together from start to finish.
The intention of this recipe is to make two servings, but feel free to make more or less. The base is mango (after all, it is India’s national fruit). Start by peeling one large mango and dicing it into large blocks. Now, measure out half a cup of two percent milk. It is important the milk isn’t whole milk because then the smoothie loses its thicker consistency. If you are feeling particularly health-oriented (congratulations, this gravy-smothered-steak-loving Texan gal will start taking lessons from you), you can even substitute almond milk.
Toss the mango and the milk into a blender and blend until the mixture is frothy and creamy. You don’t want any mango chunks inside your smoothie but you also don’t want the texture to be watery. This is the main flavour of Goa. It’s tart and strong and tropical. For this specific smoothie bowl, I also chose not to combine any other flavours. I wanted the mango to be a beacon on the tongue, much in the same way the mixed palm fronds sputtering along the Goan coastline and the bustling seascape draws attention with no distractions.
Now, for the best part of the smoothie bowl – the aesthetics. I picked fruit that reminded me of those found lined haphazardly under the thatched straw roofs of the outdoor markets – bananas and papayas. Using a spoon, slice out thin cylindrical pieces of the banana and lay them one on top of the other, following the curve of your clear bowl (on a side note, it is a fact that all smoothie bowls looks more gorgeous in a glass bowl). Then dice thin slices of the papaya and lay them alongside the banana. I love not only the added textures in this dish, but what the papaya and banana represent. They are both foreign-originated tropical fruit that were brought to India and grown there. Yet, these fruit are still closely associated with Indian culture. I always thought the role of the Portuguese in Goa was similar. The two are very closely intertwined. Today, each complements the other through architecture or even nuances in spoken dialect (though, once upon a the time, they weren’t looked as fondly upon).
Now, back to the regularly programmed recipe. The last topping? Fine powdered coconut. This wouldn’t be a Goa inspired recipe without coconut. You can find a packet of this in any Indian grocery store and sometimes, the international section of a major grocery store. If you want, you can substitute coconut flakes or even fresh coconut. The coconut gives the mango a little kick. This to me, represents the lucrative nightlife, the casinos, and the museums dispersed throughout the beach-ridden region – everything off the shore that still wraps Goa together into a one-of-a-kind city.
So let’s taste this, shall we? The flavours burst in our mouths. First, one at a time and then they shower together. The dish is slightly reminiscent of a five-minute microwave cake version of traditional Indian custard. It’s faster, easier to make, and still maintains a level of richness. Goa is on (If you got the reference, I can tell that you’ve been watching several Netflix foreign films recently, my friend. That’s okay. Me too).
Did you enjoy this mango smoothie bowl? Let me know in the comments below! As always, I would love to hear from you.