Bebinca - The queen of Goan desserts
I couldn't not write about the sweetest thing that happened to me on my Goa trip. Bebinca is called the "Queen of Goan desserts" for a reason. The sugar-coated layered coconuty goodness melts at every bite. My friends and I tried this dessert at a restaurant in South Goa, Fisherman's Wharf. Along with sea food, this restaurant also stands out for this culturally crafted Goan-style sweet, recommended by the chefs themselves.
Bebinca is also popularly known as bibik. Bebinca typically has seven to sixteen layers. The traditional ingredients of this dish include, coconut milk, butter, sugar, egg yolks, and flour. But some popular choices to this list are nutmeg, caramel, and coffee to add more flavour to it. There is one aspect I didn't like about it though, and that is the rubbery texture it has which shields its taste. It tastes best when served fresh out of the oven, or traditionally prepared by lighting fire on coconut husks. When we spoke to the chef, he told us that it takes about 12-14 hours to prepare this dessert in perfectness. What takes major effort is to perfect the layers and make them as thin as possible.
The richness of this dessert goes goes way back into its origin culture. Major contribution is said to be from the Portuguese ancestors. But unlayered versions of the same dessert also persists in Malaysia and Philippines. There are also similar parallel tradition of layered sweets like the Dutch-Indonesian cakes with European touch.
The infamous Bebinca may is not as widely popular as other sea foods among tourists but I would highly recommended it as a sweet note on your journey.