Clever ways Goans prepare for the monsoons

At a particular time of the year, rain clouds roll overhead and water the land of Goa heralding the monsoon season. As beautiful as this season is, some ingredients and other things aren’t available at that time. Many locals of Goa start collecting twigs, wood, and coconut shells, and carry it home to use as firewood before the rains hit.

Sheryl Gonsalves | NT GoGoaNow

Here are some other ways Goans deal with the rainy season:-

Chillies: Drying red chillies (Kashmiri, musureo, Moira chillies) in the sun and storing them.

Coriander seeds/ jeera/ turmeric: Mix salt and water in a vessel. Put the coriander seeds in that water and mix well. Take it out from the water and leave it in the sun to dry. You can do the same with jeera (cumin) and whole haldi. This is to avoid insects from attacking it during the moist rainy weather.

Dry seafood: Goans store dry fish and dry prawns as there may be fish scarcity during the monsoons.

Pulses: They dry pulses like beans (vousane) and small white beans (meerulio) in the sun.

Tamarind: Remove the tamarind seeds and discard, apply salt, and pound a little with coconut oil to make softer tamarind balls and sun-dry them for 1 or 2 days.

Onions: They keep a stock of local onions.

Pork: Some of them even dry pork in the sun with salt.

Dry leaves: Those who follow traditional ways gather and store dry leaves as they catch fire easily.

Sea salt: It is bought, sun-dried, and stored.

Palm leaves: Palm leaves are woven and these are used as shades for cowsheds and houses. They are soaked in water for 3-4 days and then interwoven.

Mangoes/ Kokum: Locals skin the mangoes, cut it in pieces, and dry in the sun. When it is half-dried, the mangoes are mixed with salt water and further dried in the sun. This is then used in gravies. Fresh Kokum fruit can be dried in a similar way but doesn’t have to be cut into pieces.



Bonus Read: Purumentachem Fest – The Festival of Provision

The Purumentachem Fest is one of the last feasts that take place before the monsoons. ‘Purument’ means provision.

It’s also known as the Pentecost feast which celebrates the first occasion of the Holy Spirit coming upon the apostles and the church.

It takes place in Margao near the Holy Spirit Church towards the end of May.

The fair lasts for 3- 4 days or a week.

With this fest, people stock up for monsoons and get to purchase various items like salt fish, chillies, crabfish, dry mango, clothes, footwear, pickles, kokum, jackfruit chappatis, masalas, furniture, sweets, etc.