Last Friday I finally thought it was about time to show you all a real Goan market, so I packed my camera bag, tanked my bike and started towards Mapusa, the Province City of Bardez, North Goa. The market is happening everyday, only Tuesdays its a bit emptier then usually, running without the Vegetable vendors. Mapusa Market is famous for its Friday markets, that’s when all type of vendors appear to sell their goods. Mostly in this whole post I ll take you on a tour to visit the Food dealers, I have kept out the furniture part, clothes, jeweleries and other schnick schnacks because of the bazaar size and because the food is much more alluring! =P
Mapusa Market is one of the last authentic markets in Goa. Neighboring Village woman come early mornings to sell their precious home grown or home made goods. But it has changed a lots too! How the market in Mapusa started,is lost knowledge in the past. The city is well situated at the center of Bardez and regions such as Maharashtra and Karnataka are very near. Most of the vegetables and goods come nowadays from outside of Goa. I found a page describing the situation in the mapusa friday market. If you are interested to learn more, check it out!
The market itself is not for the faint hearted, the odors may be overwhelming and its boiling hot. Its actually very dirty, but I can say I have seen worse in the north of India. Anyway I have not added any disgusting images or controversial clicks to this tour. No need of scaring you all!
So lets get started, shall we? =)
When you enter from the southern “gate”, you will see the first Vegetable vendors and local ladies. The auntie in this picture is selling dried fish and prawns. The first time I saw that and smelled it, it was kind of weird because I couldn’t understand how one could eat the dried seafood! Locals use them in curries and pickles to give a dish a special flavor. By now I LOVE dried sea food ingredients, and I believe one has to taste it to understand how wonderful and brilliant those ingredients are.
Here we have some few local veg goodies. If you look at the basket with the sellers hands you will see Ivy Gourds (known as Tendli). Those long light green beans are called Iriel in konkani (Goan language). The other darker green long Vegetables are drummsticks and the big fat oval balls are Jack-fruits (known as Pnns). In the back I had seen Ladyfingers/Okra too (known as Bende).
Here we see some more drumsticks and ivy gourds, they seem to be in season now, and you can see some fresh big Aubergines too at the back. Right next to the Aubergines are vegetables called in Konkani Gosai. If anybody knows the English name for gosai, please let us know here! The vegetables who look like an old persons skin are called Bitter Melons in English (known as Karela or Karanti). In Between you will recognize Bananas and right down Banana flowers.
Besides the local Vegetables you will see plenty of common vegetables as you have seen in your country. You will notice that there are no prices indicating the value of the goods. Like all Indian markets its about merchandising, you have to have an idea of the current prices of items or you ll get cheated. That can be quite stressful if you are in the heat with a thousand people around and when you have no idea of the value and qualities of goods. Plus prices seem to be changing in no mans time, so you either get informed and learn to shop or you simply don’t care and pay whatever they are asking for without much headache. Sometimes I enjoy bargaining but sometimes I have to confess too I d like things to happen faster and easier too.
At the time when I am writing this article, the prices for Onions for example are around 20-30 INR (~0,5 Euro). Tomato, Carrots Potatoes etc are in the same price range. Garlic is the most expensive Vegetable ingredient at around 100 INR for half a kg. If you are looking for special Vegetables and herbs such as Ice Berg leaves, Asparagus and Parsley then you can count on that, that they will be as expensive as in Europe or sometimes even more.
What are we having here? Plenty of Betel leaves (known as Paan) to chew on and to get a natural high. Mostly the lower class of India’s population is buying them. (but even there I am not sure). You can see a video, on how to make an Aphrodisiac by including betel leaves, in my Spice Garden Article.
Now that’s something I hadn’t discovered before in the market. What you see here is lots of Salt. Sea salt is beige brown, that’s all what I was able to recognize. Those 2 rocks, one brown and one black are salt too. I tried to ask the vendor but he seemed to be in his own world so I can’t give you any more info of the name, origin and use of the dark stone salts.
Aunty is selling Coconuts and home pressed Coconut Oil. She was sitting alone in a corner of the market, I felt a bit sorry for her… but when I asked her if I can take a picture she didn’t answer but posed in such a way as if she wanted to tell the viewer a story of her life. She is a proud Goan woman and she is proud of her heritage too!
Here we come to our all time favourite delicacy the Goan Choriz! It is made of Pork meat and cured, flavoured with spices and Coconut Vinegar. I don’t know how I lived all this time without these amazing pungent flavours!
Some of the sausage ladies are selling dried Sea food specialities, such as Parra, Bombay duck and Prawns Balchao (Baltschao). Its hyper spicy food! I am totally addicted to those ingredients and I usually cook them together with rice Curry or with some Goan Dal. Parra is my absolute favourite, which is dried mackerel fish cured with a masala paste and lots of Vinegar.
That’s the meat market as you can see. Each shop is selling one of the common meats such as here Beef, Chicken or pork. I have honestly no idea if one can buy mutton and goat meat there too. What I know is that deer, wild bore, frog and turtle are illegal and banned. I didn’t make any closer shots since its not a feast for the eyes…
As you guessed that’s the fish market which is temporarily relocated right now since they are still renovating the fish market premises. The fish market is no fun people! I never go there because of a few reasons. Anyway I clicked you some shots of the day. I wished that I could have made better pictures but the fisher ladies were grumpy and wanted a 100 INR for each picture made and I am not ready to support their money making “vision”. Plus I made some pictures which were anything but appetizing.
Everybody knows that India is famous for their pulses, every home prepares a Daal or beans dish every week. Goa has a population amount of 1.5 million, so… I leave you to guess how much pulses are eaten and sold every day. You can find any type of beans and lentils in the mapusa market, anything your heart wants! The chillies are chillies in the picture by the way and not pulses.
Spices, yay! Here you can see single spices such as Turmeric (bright yellow), Nutmeg and Cinnamon and many more. Plus that merchant is selling masala spice mixes too such as Chaat Masala, Onion masala, Chana Masala and so on. You get Saffron too if you ask the seller. A box will cost you ~200 INR (~3 Euro) which is ok I feel but I can’t tell you about the quality. The one I bought was alright quality wise, I feel… Some merchants have different types of dried red chillies too, such as Kashmiri and Piri Piri Chilli, and they are cheap!
When you buy spices always be attentive when they weight and that they really give you what you had asked for!! (actually that’s with all groceries but especially with spices)
Mapusa market was famous in the past for the pottery wares but with time and the world continuously moving…. they all broke! Just joking, what happened is that pottery isn’t needed anymore how it used to be before. Even Goa is commercialized folks! The Sir in this picture sold me an unbreakable coconut shell ladle.
Fancy Bottles, plates, jugs anyone? The seller told me that the huge bottle on the far left is costing 500 INR (~9 Euro), I would see the value in it as decoration but I surely would try to get the price down. As you can see you can get other odds and ends such as coins and foreign things.
The flower blossoms are so pretty! You can buy nearly any type of flowers and they can even arrange your wedding deco etc. I never bought flowers so no idea what they cost ( I usually receive flowers! =D )
Who is up for some pakora snacks and fresh pressed Sugarcane juice? After a long walk you need to replenish your system, because the heat is unbelievable. By the way the sugar cane is pressed through that mechanical machine and the juice is savored with lemon. Great energy kick!
People if you are the first time in India and you eat anything on the street or anything too spicy, you will get tummy ache and sick. That’s normal and it happens to all foreigners at the beginning. Our experience is that over time your body gets used and afterwards you ll be fine eating anything! Keep in mind though that I am not a doctor by all means!
To end our Market trip I want to just let you all know certain things. As a foreigner you ought to act respectful and correct in a foreign country. I know India is a dangerous place at times, Goa however has been very different till now and the danger of being cheated and misused is less then in the rest of the country. So please don’t act with attitude towards the sellers, you wont make friends! Sometimes I see foreigners of the cheap kind arguing a price which is not ok for the seller. When everyone else is paying 20 INR, then you will certainly not get a cheaper price! Then of course there is the other extreme where the seller cheats you with an unreal price. I have seen Russians for example paying 3000 INR for a cloth which is worth 200 INR. This is common, so when you intend to go shopping inform yourself for the current market prices, so the hassle and stress will be less. Be aware of thieves too, keep your bag close to you and don’t keep it open for everyone to see how much you own. If you intend to go to the market in the monsoon, then I can only advice you one thing, don’t go to the Mapusa market in the rains! You will thank me for that one.
I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour through Mapusa Market Goa!
That’s not the end of this Post! I had promised you all the first Masala Herb Give away! I hope you’r excited because you ll have the chance to win this package, which includes…
…A wonderful wooden hand engraved bowl, an unusual ladle made of a Coconut and a set of different original Indian tea leaves (Assam, Darjeeling, Masala blend and Nilgiri Tea). The flower is not included!
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