Poder, the Traditional Bread Maker of Goa

Elsewhere in the world people wake up in mornings because of the milkman, if not then may be due to newspaper delivery boy, okay if not both, then definitely by an alarm clock. But not people of Goa! Ask people of Goa, you will be surprised to know how they wake up to poder’s (bread maker) call early in the mornings!

Poder, the traditional bread maker of Goa follow the same traditional art of making bread that has been practiced since last 4 centuries. Early mornings they set off in their cycles to sell pao or the pav as we all know it in different parts of India. Other states have brought out different variations of this pav like pav-bhaji, vada-pav. Whatever the form may be, they are no doubt everybody’s favorite!

bread-fresh-from-oven

Poder, the Traditional Bread Maker of Goa

During my several tours of Goa I have bumped into these poders, particularly in old parts of Goa, where life moves at a slower pace. Watch out for this week’s Faces of India series where I will be featuring a Poder with his cycle. Faces of India – 285

I visited one of the baker’s factory in Aldona villgae of Goa, which is actually a part of his house. He was kind enough to tour us around his little factory. What I saw amazed me, this baker was still following the traditional method of baking breads.

poder-machine-for-kneading-the-dough

Kakon from Goa

Making of Pao

Only the initial step of kneading the dough is mechanised. Shaping them and placing them on trays is done with hands. Yes, they are shaped with bare hands. And over the years the hands have become so experienced in this job that they haven’t tried out a modern approach. Look at the ovens, they are the traditional wood fired ovens.  Dough in trays is passed in to a hollow space, a niche on the wall. It is placed in to the room which acts as oven. As they rise and turn golden brown the tray is pulled out and emptied into a huge basket.

dough-in-to-oven

dough-in-oven

Bread being baked the traditional way in Goa.

He gave me a bun, too hot to handle, I placed it on a sheet of paper. I was eager to have it hot, digging fingers into it was next to impossible so I waited. Finally I had it warm and it tasted so different from the ones we get in shop. Warm, crunchy crust and soft flesh inside, it tasted too good. I came out of this little factory happy with the bread but still wondering how long they can sustain this traditional method of baking!

It seemed to me as if time has stood still within these walls. Can they withstand the modern market of breads? Goa is going all out to preserve and celebrate this traditional method.

Is his business doing well? I asked. “”I am satisfied” was his reply, “but the young boys don’t like it too long here” he added. This method has been coming down from generations and he hasn’t thought of other methods yet.

Bread Basket

Pao, Bread from Goa

 

Poderachem Festival

Goa is celebrating Poderachem Festival, the baker’s festival from October 1st to 3rd.  Bakers from all over the state participate to show case the different type of bread they bake. This unique festival of Goa

Baker's Festival Goa

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Faces of India - 285
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40 Responses to “Poder, the Traditional Bread Maker of Goa

  • All set for the festival. Nice to know about it.

  • Your post made my mouth-water. I can only imagine the taste of that fresh bread! Loved this history you included in this as well!

  • It’s great to know about the entire mechanism of fresh bread preparation in Goa. The post left me drooling 😛

  • So authentic this is.

  • So nice to know all this. Your visit must have been a memorable one for sure. Thanks for sharing. It’s difficult to maintain traditions in today’s time. All the same, kudos to them who are taking the pains of preserving them.

  • good to read about the mechanism and the festival. very well described.

  • I have Indian friends and have tasted Indian dishes as well… I know paratta, chapati and many others I forgot the name. And now I’m wondering how good to taste bud is pao,,, i hope a colleague from Goa will go vacation soon… 🙂

  • I could smell the freshness of bread.. .. 🙂

  • Interesting account of the Goan Pao- its making and the festival dedicated to it.

  • Oh yum, the smell of freshly baked rolls is so mouth-watering. Looking at your pictures makes me want to go to the closest bakery and get myself a nice loaf of bread :), Great post Indrani, places like these is what keeps all us foodies happy 😉

  • An interesting post!

  • Freshly baked Bread, Pav is the Food for Soul 🙂

  • That bread looks so delicious. I was recently also in a bakery where they make the bread by hand and it was very fascinating to watch the process. These days, everything seem to become more mechanical and I think it’s nice to see a little bit of the old in a new age.

  • YUMM nothing quite like homemade bread, this looks scrumptious!

  • This is right up my alley. I love bread. All shapes, sizes, flavors. Bread is honestly my favorite meal…throw in some fresh fruit or cheeses and seriously, it’s my favorite way to eat! I know I’d love the Poderachem Festival!

  • I always get excited about food and eat it when it’s still too hot haha.. I imagine being in the bakery I would have tried to eat it hot also! Looks like a really unique experience.

  • I love finding out about the history of every day things like this. I bet the bread smells amazing!

  • Warm, soft bread is the best! I love that they still use old traditions!

  • Wow! They kind of look like rolls from Texas Roadhouse! lol

  • Wow I would love to try these out. Warm bread is the best!

  • A baking festival??? Sounds like pretty much the best thing ever! I love that the poders still do all the shaping by hand. Some things are just best left to humans!

  • What a wonderful experience to learn how the poders make such delicious bread. To experience it warm straight out of the ovens must have been a dream come true!

  • That is the coolest thing ever! I would love someone to deliver me bread every day!

  • What a truly fascinating post. Love the history of the Goa people and the bread. With delicious bread like that, I can understand why it makes sense to wake up early for the bread! Yum!

  • Even I had a chance to taste the bread direct from the oven. It was heavenly. Yum.

  • Those like crunchy outside, soft inside. Just the way I like them!

  • So fun to be able to see the process in person and then taste the warm buns right out of the fire. I can just imagine the crunchy, crusty exterior and soft interior, just as you’ve explained it. Yum.

  • Your post makes me regret not going to Goa while in India! This looks so amazing! Would have loved trying the bread made there!

  • Your trip looks really cool! The bread looks delicious,too. I would love to visit India!

  • Oh, wow, I love how the bread looks! Would really like to visit and have a taste. Okay, time for breakfast, I am super hungry now.

  • Yes ! Nothing tastes as good as freshly baked loaves of bread !
    Loved reading this post .

  • Nothing better than a freshly baked bread and a hot cup of tea. Bliss!

  • I am such a bread person this post made my mouth water! Have fun at the festival! I know I would eat my weight in bread if I went lol

  • I so miss the Goan pao here in Bangalore… nothing tastes better than a good katre pao..

  • Makes my mouth water. I wish I tried these when I was in Goa.

  • That bread looks really good! Way better than what I find at the stores here.

  • As a bread lover… this looks so delicious! I love fresh bread!

  • The information of the making of Pav is really fascinating. Also loved the bit about Poder’s being the people who replace millmen and paper boys as wake up alarms in Goa.

  • Oh… I’ve always been interested in the process of baking a bread. It’s so fascinating… fun to watch. Plus the smell of freshly cooked bread.. So good!

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