The Portuguese left behind the legacy of their proficiency at bread-making for the poders (local traditional bread-maker) of Goa. Though the customary method of using toddy to ferment the dough is rare to come by now, there’s nothing to beat the distinctive aroma, light smoky flavour and unique textures of the staple bread of Goans. Be it the soft, chewy, square, pao (पाव), crispy, crumbly, undo (उंडो), hard-crusted, bangle-shaped, kakon (काकोण), butterfly-shaped, katryo (कातर्यो) or the slit-in-the-centre, pokshe (पोक्शे). But even within this exalted lot, the poie (पोई) is a revelation which has to be truly experienced and relished.
The poie is a flat, round, coarsely crusty, dense though hollow in the centre, slightly chewy, bread made with a high ratio of whole wheat flour to refined flour (maida). A roll in wheat bran before baking gives it that distinct coarse crust and nutty flavour. Available only during the late afternoons, the poie is delivered by the highly punctual poders who cycle their way through the narrow village bylanes, announcing their arrival with a distinct “ponku ponku ponku” of their bicycle horns. And thus it arrives, just in time, to make the Goan high tea really special!
– Narendra Nayak © 2019