Goa Diaries: Mangaal Farmstay

We had spotted the signboard on our way to Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary. I was the one who caught the term 'farm fresh food' in particular. After having spent few hours in unbearable heat we thought we should give this place a try while returning. We were exhausted and ravenous. The place was deserted leaving one local guy who turned out to be the caretaker. He asked us to wait till the cook returned and we were offered icy cold mint kokum juice. The first things that caught my eye were the quirky tables where the tabletops also serve the purpose of game-boards. We sipped on our kokum juice while playing snake & ladder and took a round about the whole place. It turned out to be a small farmhouse where one can come and stay for few days; or just take a day trip. Everything served at the farm comes from the nearby Mangaal village (hence the name) and is purely organic. We met a family from Pune who were staying over for the weekend. The cook was a middle-aged Goan lady who arrived after some time. We were still not sure what we would get for lunch but the lady assured us to cook something. We hadn't eaten anything since morning and time seemed to tick away at a much slower pace than usual. In the end I had started loitering around the kitchen in pretense to play with the resident cats. Boy do they have a lot of cats! Perhaps the fire burning in my stomach was evident in my face as the lady was poking her head out of the kitchen several times and telling me smilingly to wait for few more minutes.

Food was served on a buffet table in pots large enough to feed a group of four people. Obviously it was more than enough for us. Everything was hot and fresh. And even though simple, it was indeed home-cooked food made of everything organic. The thaali consisted of rice, rava fried fish, goan fish curry, two types of saag (one was a raw salad with pomegranate), potato curry, three types of pickles (the raw turmeric one was my favourite), roti dipped in ghee, and some homemade curd as dessert. We literally devoured away till we were full. Be it for the fish or the savoury tanginess, or the local variety of rice, I was already in love with Goan cuisine. I hate Darjeeling food. Those idiots don't know anything beyond pork, refined flour and a very disgusting molestation of potato that they so affectionately call aloo dum.

How to Reach:

Mangaal Farmstay comes somewhere in between Patnem to Netravali. We couldn't spot the place on map as GPS doesn't work up there. Just preset the destination and keep your eyes on the road while crossing the forest area.

What to do:

Basically it's a farmhouse for rent. So one can pre-book the rooms (limited options) and spend a quiet weekend away from the usual hustle and bustle of Goa. Although you may as well skip the place if you are in Goa only to indulge in cheap hippie stuff. Oh and by the way, the place IS expensive.

Call them up and book a day trip. Then just drop by after having explored the waterfall. Relax in the garden. Play with the resident cats and dogs. Enjoy farm fresh food. Take a tour of the village. We did not have any prior appointment as we were unaware of the place's existence and yet we got to enjoy warm hospitality from the hosts.

Buy some farm fresh goods from the kitchen and help the local farmers. I brought home a packet of dried kokum fruits.