When it comes to spices, our country stands a champion without a doubt. We are the masters of turning any dish into one that is bursting with flavours, in every morsel. All our dishes need to be chatpata or masaledaar. And don't even try denying it. After all, the permutations and combinations of spices is what sets our cuisine apart and the reason why it is loved by many. Coming back to the crux of this story, spices have been an inherent part of our cuisine. Separating an Indian from spices is like trying to separate Allie and Noah, in The Notebook. It just ain't happening!
For all those reading this, by now you have been made aware what this story beholds. A while ago I went on a virtual hunt, looking for some amazing places to visit. Places that value the steps, processes and efforts that go into making even the most simplest meals delectable. One such place that I want you to know about is Sahakari Spice Farm, located in Goa. An offbeat estate in Ponda. Known to be the cultural heartland of Goa, the city is home to many magnificent temples and lush green surroundings, adding to the stunning scenic views here. And in this very city, Sahakari Spice Farm is an all-rounder. Be it to make merry at a picnic or just to learn about all the ingredients that go into your food along with their many health and medical benefits. It by far exceeds all your expectations from the moment you step foot here.
You are welcomed into the estate with garlands and an aarti (similar to Daya ben from Tarak Mehata Ka Ooltah Chashma welcoming her guests sans the enthusiastic dancing). Along with this you are offered a herbal tea and some snacks, as a way of welcoming you. All ingredients are grown and procured in the farm itself, making sure the refreshments are 100% organic, healthy and sustainable. Once you have explored the area a little bit by yourself, you can enjoy a guided tour of the farm that is spread across 130 acres, learning everything about the produce, their benefits, how they are processed and almost anything else that you are curious about. They also offer elephant rides in the estate, for all those interested.
Once the major part of touring the landscape is done, visitors are escorted to their in-house restaurant where you can binge on authentic Goan cuisine. The spread may not be fancy, but the food lends a homely quality, putting you at ease instantly. Once again, most ingredients are sourced directly from the farm, lending a certain element of freshness to all the dishes served. Devour the meals without a worry in the world, it's the best opportunity to enjoy authentic Goan food on your trip to the Sunshine state.
As the day comes to an end, visitors can opt to shop for various spices, seasoning and herbs to stock up on their inventory. They also sell a range of dried fruits, Goa being famous for its cashews. As you bid farewell to the property, you are also handed a memento, as a token of thanks and a reminder to visit once again when you come around.All in all those are the main highlights of Sahakari Spice Farm. They also have a couple of activities that you can participate in or jus bond with the elephants if you are an animal lover. It is after not an opportunity that presents itself everyday.
Now that you have been briefed of the wonder that is this spice estate, when will you be planning your next trip to discover the beauty of Goa, a little away from its beaches this time?
All images are owned by Sahakari Spice Farm and other respective owners.
Natasha Kittur is an aspiring writer. Her love for anything with cheese and spice is profound, but a white sauce pasta always tops her list. In her free time you will catch her reading or watching crime books and shows or go on and on about psychological experiments and theories. She aims to write a book in the fictional genre someday.