• Best New Restaurants in Goa in 2018

This is India! 151

Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal of my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Hippie in Heels.

What I was up to other than here:

  • Ben and I are back in Goa after a really fun time in Mexico. I will be sharing about the many Airbnb’s we stayed at in Merida (bouncing around between them was actually one of my favorite things because they are restored old mansions). I’ll also write a little about Tulum, but not a guide as I was only there two and a half days.
  • Not going to lie, after a long trip I love to work on the couch while catching up on TV shows. Right now, I’m on a Shameless marathon
  • I ended up reading the sequel to the book I mentioned last week, The Bronze Horseman, which is called Alexander and Tatiana. Again, it’s not as much about the love story as it is about the battles between Russia and Germany in WWII. The second book brings in what it’s like in the USA during that time, at Ellis Island. Really enjoying it! There’s a third book, The Summer Garden, so I’m sure I’ll read that, too. For Christmas, I’ve asked Ben for more books which is what I ask for every year.
  • This week is a mad rush to try all the new restaurants, shops, beach shacks, bars, etc in Goa to write a post about what’s new this season. It’s fun research!
  • The Omni seems to be not possible to repair… our white van we’ve had forever. I want to fix it just for the novelty, but the boot/trunk has actually fallen off and needs welded back on. The brakes, tires, and electric don’t work… the radiator is gone, and it could do with a new gear box. The body has rusted too much which is why the boot fell off, so only 1 door works and two windows. We had been driving it like this (ropes tying the doors on) but it’s hot sitting on the engine and the radiator now makes it kind of impossible – plus, you have to downshift to brake! lol. Luckily, we have the Bolero, so I think we might have to sell the Omni at a scrap yard… for some reason this is really making me sad!

Now your story,

I wanted to show you what a traditional Goan meal might look like! This is a fish thali, which is the perfect lunch in Goa and can be around $2.50 give or take depending on where you get it. This isn’t totally basic though as it’s a big meal and more expensive than just having rice and fish curry (which is part of what goes inside a fish thali).

What is a thali? I don’t know the actual definition but it’s when you get a plate like what is feature below and there are a lot of different curries and dishes on it. It will be different state by state so it’s fun to try when you travel in India so you can see what is the local food of the area you are in.

goan fish thali copperleaf

goan fish thali copperleaffrom left to right: crab, clams, prawns, veggies

goan fish thali copperleaf

So what you get in this thali (at Copperleaf in Porvorim):

  • Prawn or Fish curry (prawns or fish in a spicy coconut gravy)
  • Prawns Kishmoor (tiny prawns in the shell)
  • Tisryo Sukha (clams cooked in coconut)
  • Fish Rava Fry (dry rubbed fried fish)
  • Sukhi Bhaji (fried veggies)
  • Crab Masala (crab curry)
  • Rice
  • Solkadi (Kokum drink, local, good for digestion, it’s the pink drink in the photo)
  • Salad
  • Pickle (not an American pickle but pickled veg)
  • Papad (thin fried flour based)
  • Gulab jamun (dessert, the ball above)

Lots of stuff right!? Here it’s a set amount but in some places they will walk around and refill your thali as you eat. If you like seafood then you’ll love this and each curry will have different flavors but it all compliments each other. For me, I mainly got this to take the picture and share with people because I pretty much like the rava fry fish and the prawn curry – I’m not crazy about crab and clams (but luckily Ben is).

We of course get food on the side, because we are serious over-orderers so I’ll show you some other dishes that we regularly eat here in Goa.

goan fish thali copperleaf

This is Malai chicken tikka, which is chicken marinated in creamy cheesy sauce and cardamom and cooked in a tandoor oven on a kebab. It’s always leg meat so it’s juicy and tasty!

Below, there are rava fry prawns (spicy dry rub on prawns, best with lemon squeezed on top), a veggie curry, and some rice.

goan fish thali copperleaf goan fish thali copperleaf

The last photo, below, is a papad or as some people say “papadam” and it’s a crispy fried (sometimes roasted) thing – kind of like a tortilla chip in texture but it’s flour based. They are good to snack on while you wait for your food!

goan fish thali copperleaf

This is India!


About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Hippie in Heels, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. neelampuri December 15, 2017 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the valuable info. I was born in India but now am in USA for more than 3 decades and India has changed in some way and not in all the ways.
    I have send you questions about Jaiselmer, please respond as I need yr feedback . My email is neesapphire@gmail.com
    Tel : 810-813-5862. Thx. Neelam

  2. Ryan Biddulph December 17, 2017 at 2:51 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel,

    Thali is great. Your serving looked delicious! I recall enjoying Thali in Pondicherry at a famous local haunt. The dish with everything was like a few bucks. Insane. Food was delicious, and the range of tastes was something else. Indian fare is delightful. Incredibly healthy for you too.


  3. Tom ! Plan my trip December 19, 2017 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness, It looks so tasty!!!

    And 2.5$ a meal is an average price? I guess it’s not worth it to cook at home ^^

  4. Pradipta December 19, 2017 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    Thali (in Hindi and also in some other Indian languages) means PLATE where we take foods from different serving bowls and eat. You take everything in your plate then eat. That is why this “ALL IN ONE” dish is called thali.

    This is very economical when you want to try so many dishes at a time. Otherwise when I visit a restaurant with a group of people then I do not prefer thali as in such case I can order multiple dishes of our choices & try all, haha.

  5. […] I can’t get enough of this place! It opened last season sometime and I started to hear from my Indian friends that it was the bomb.com. I finally went over the monsoon and loved every single thing I ate. It is SO tasty. I actually wrote a blog post about it because I wanted to show what Goan food was – so you can see all the details about that here. […]

Like the Article? Leave a Reply