Ros omelet in Goa
I was on my way back from a morning walk on Calangute beach in north Goa. I stopped by the market square, locally called tinto, to pick up the day’s bread requirements—the famous Goan pao and its close companion, the poe. As the shopkeeper filled my small cloth bag, the whiff of freshly baked bread whetted my appetite. An unusually early dinner the previous evening and the morning sea breeze made me rather hungry. My parents were not at home that morning so in no rush to head back, I decided to have breakfast nearby. I knew what I wanted. Ros omelet, a Goan classic: an omelet and coconut gravy.
Growing up in a Goan Catholic household meant I was more familiar with jam and butter for breakfast. Cold cuts were weekend treats. All this, an influence of 450 years of Portuguese rule. Coconut gravy-based breakfast dishes are predominately a Hindu preparation. In fact, ros omelet is usually served as an evening snack across Goa. My hometown, Calangute, is the only place I know of where the dish is available in the morning. A few years ago, a little eatery opened near my parents’ home. Yes, it served ros omelet for breakfast. My siblings and I are particularly fond of the dish so whenever we visit home, my father makes a dash across the road for some take-away. As my trips back home become increasingly frequent, the ros omelet has found a regular spot on the breakfast table.
I parked my scooter in the narrow unpaved gap between the road and rows of shops and walked a few meters to Anand tea stall. It shares its name with its more famous counterpart—the owners are related, I believe—nearby, which serves only vegetarian meals. As I settled into my seat, a few curious eyes followed me briefly before returning to their meals. It is unusual for a woman to dine-in alone at a modest place such as this. If she does come in, it is to pick up take-away or as part of a group.
My ros omelet arrived. A nice, thick omelet soaked in a generous portion of gravy, accompanied by two bread rolls. Finely chopped onion and a tiny piece of lemon are served separately incase you wish to garnish the dish. The combination of coconut and ground spices gave off a heady aroma. I tore off the bread hungrily and soaked a piece in the warm gravy. The mildly spiced flavors were comforting. I proceeded to polish off my ros omelet. It was only when I was done that I leaned back and looked around. The place had a steady stream of customers, all stopping by for a quick breakfast before heading off to work. The waiter asked if he should serve the milky tea that is usually drunk after the meal. I declined. I wanted the taste to linger on.