Goan Mackerel cooked in hay

Goan traditional way to cook Mackerel in Hay

Family picnic (Vorsa volichi picnic) is something we always organize in the month of May, when we all come to Goa for our vacation. This is something that I look forward to all year long. Every year the men get together and cook “Mackerels in Hay” this is as traditional as it gets and this activity helps us live our childhood along with our children and doing so we pass on our great Goan Tradition to them.

Tonant Bazlole Bangde khaupak ruchik lagta ani bhurgeponacho uggdas hadta.



Mackerels (gutted and cleaned)

Sack full of dry hay

Salt to taste (rock salt)

A cardboard / pot cover (something to use as a fan to blow the hay off)

2-3 long wooden sticks

*** You can even wrap the mackerels in banana leaves and cook in the same way.


1. Apply salt to the mackerels and set aside.


2. On a flat surface spread the hay to the desired length to accommodate all the mackerels.

3. Ensure that it’s an even floor.

4. Now arrange the mackerels on the hay.


5. Once that is done take a good amount of hay and pile on top of the mackerels.



6. Keep 2-3 long sticks handy as it will be used to control the fire. If it’s windy the fire will burn the hay faster and leave the mackerels raw.

7. Now light the hay from one side, keeping the sticks at a distance.

8. As the hay catches fire slowly then lift one stick at a time allowing the fire to burn through and in a control manner.


9. Once the hay is burnt slowly fan of the hay it will easily move away reveling the golden red mackerels.


10. Now turn the mackerels and add a good amount of hay again on top and repeat the above process (point 7, 8 & 9).





11. Your mackerels are ready to serve.

bangdo - bangde



12. We removed the skin of the mackerels and served.


13. We enjoyed our picnic lunch with Goan boiled rice, Sorak with raw mangoes, Chepni tor / Folantlem tor and dry mackerel salad.

Goan - Bangdo - Picnic


Enjoy life, it’s delicious.



12 Comments Add yours

  1. Sumith Babu says:

    Hey smoked mackerel!!! That should be great. Would love to try this.


    1. alvesnaaron says:

      Hi Sumith,

      Go for it.. do let me know how it turned out. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sumith Babu says:

        Will do Alves.


  2. Joseph Fernandes says:

    Thanks for the recipe Was desperately looking for the same.


    1. alvesnaaron says:

      You are welcome.


  3. Shirley says:

    Sounds very interesting. Waiting for a good summer day to give it a try.


  4. Blossom lobo says:

    Holy smoke! That’s one of the best ways to have mackerel.


  5. Blossom lobo says:

    The loves pictures and the step by step instructions are very useful. Thanks.


    1. alvesnaaron says:

      Thanks Blossom … 🙂


  6. Sue-Ellen Colaco says:

    Oh my gosh! We do this every single time we make trips to Goa. Its sort of a ritual to us as well. My mom smokes them in dried jackfruit leaves (kholyo) though. I’ve been searching for some proper authentic Goan recipes and I’m so glad I came across your blog 👍


  7. Sue-Ellen Colaco says:

    Ohh My Gosh! We do this on every single trip of ours to Goa too. Its sort of become our family ritual as well. My mom smokes it in dried Jackfruit leaves (kholyo) though. I have been looking for some proper Goan food blog and I’m so glad I came across your blog 😀


    1. alvesnaaron says:

      Glad you liked it …


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