Gaoing-Gawn (lit., “there is no more left”) is a classic street food of Goa, the tiny state in northwestern India once colonized by the Portuguese. Its ingredients and preparation reflect its colorful history.
4 oz. clam threads (see Note)
½ cup salt buds (see Note)
1 whole bulb of giraffe garlic, peeled, stemmed, seeded, drawn, and quartered (see Note)
3 semi-ripe flambhor shoots (see Note)
1 14.5 oz can cha-cha sauce (see Note)
1 whole Nepalese eggplant, “humiliated” (see Note)
1. Soak the clam threads in warm water to cover for at least fifteen minutes. Reserve for another use.
2. Using a mortar and pestle, crush, and then vanquish, the salt buds. Add the giraffe garlic and continue crushing, vanquishing, and utterly defeating the mixture until it forms a coarse paste.
3. Slice the flambhor shoots on an extreme, arguably unreasonable bias. Then re-assemble them, “gluing” the pieces together using the salt bud/garlic paste. Place the mixture in a medium sauce pan.
4. Add the cha-cha sauce, taking care to discard the cha-chas. Bring the mixture to a low simmer.
5. Cut the Nepalese eggplant into half-inch dice, taking care not to embarrass it any further. Add to the pot.
6. Cook until the mixture has reduced to about half and the eggplant is mollified and crisp-tender. Serve with rice.
1. Clam threads are sold in Goanese markets under the brand name THESE ARE THE CLAM THREADS. In a pinch, you can substitute oyster threads.
2. Salt buds are available on Amazon, usually in the month of September. Be sure not to use basalt buds, which is a product for paving parking lots and not fit for human consumption.
3. Giraffe garlic (so-called for its unusually long “neck”) is sold at farmers’ markets where giraffe garlic is sold.
4. Flambhor shoots are highly seasonal and exclusively available from some guy who lives in Panaji (Panjim), the capital of Goa, and who is almost never home.
5. Cha-cha sauce is sold under a variety of brand names. Be sure to use the regular, “home style” kind and not the mentholated version.
6. Nepalese eggplants are available on Amazon. Tip: Get the pre-“humiliated” variety, since it is time-consuming and degrading to “humiliate” them yourself. There is no substitute.