IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


24th June, 2024 Culture


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  • Last week, the Goa government formally applied for a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for the Goan sweet Dodol.
  • The All-Goa Baker’s and Confectioners Association filed the application with the Department of Science, Technology, and Waste Management of the Government of Goa acting as a facilitator.

What is Dodol?


  • Appearance and Ingredients: Dodol is a classic Goan sweet, dark brownish in color, made using rice flour, coconut milk, and black palm jaggery. It has a firm, jelly-like texture.
  • Preparation:
    • Cooking: A mixture of rice flour, coconut milk, and black palm jaggery is cooked in a copper vessel on a slow fire and continuously stirred with a wooden ladle to prevent burning.
    • Setting: Once ready, the mixture is poured into a vessel greased with ghee, flattened with banana leaves, and allowed to cool before being cut into thin slices.

Unique Characteristics

  • Method of Preparation: Constant stirring during the cooking process is crucial to avoid burning.
  • Cultural Significance: Traditionally prepared by Christian households during Christmas for 'consoada' (confectioneries sent to relatives and neighbors). Dodol has become an integral part of Goa’s multi-cultural culinary history.

History and Significance in Goa

Historical Origins

  • Disputed Origins:
    • Some scholars suggest it was served in royal banquets in the Medang Kingdom of Indonesia between the 8th and 11th centuries.
    • Another variation likely originated in early 20th century Indonesia under Dutch colonial rule.
  • Introduction in Goa: Believed to have been introduced during Portuguese rule in the 17th century.

Cultural Importance

  • Goan Beliefs:
    • A common belief among Goan households is that a Catholic woman must take back Dodol and bananas as “voje” (gift) when she returns to her husband’s house after the birth of her first child.
    • Traditionally prepared in a big cauldron named ‘kail’, which is part of the dowry and must be returned with Dodol as a form of gratitude if borrowed.

Variations and Popularity

  • Other Regions: Dodol and its variations are also popular in southern India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and parts of Southeast Asia.

Benefits of a GI Tag

Protection and Recognition

  • Geographical Indication: A GI tag signifies products originating from a specific region, indicating unique characteristics and qualities.
  • Trademark: Acts as a trademark in the international market, protecting creators from impersonation and helping customers identify authentic items.

Standardization and Quality Assurance

  • Standardization: The GI tag will help standardize traditional methods, practices, and quality to ensure the authenticity of Dodol.
  • Quality Control: Bakers and traders would need to register to get the GI stamp on the packaging to sell the sweet.

Cultural and Economic Impact

  • Safeguarding Cultural Identity: Protects the cultural identity of Dodol, ensuring that traditional methods and recipes are preserved.
  • Promotion and Export Potential: Helps in popularizing Dodol and may facilitate exports in the long run, boosting the local economy.


  • The application for a GI tag for Dodol represents a significant step in preserving and promoting this traditional Goan sweet.
  • By securing a GI tag, the authenticity and cultural heritage of Dodol can be protected, ensuring its legacy for future generations and potentially enhancing its market reach both domestically and internationally.


Q. Which of the following statements correctly describes Dodol?

a) Dodol is a traditional Goan festival.

b) Dodol is a traditional Goan garment made from silk.

c) Dodol is a classic Goan sweet made using rice flour, coconut milk, and black palm jaggery, with a firm, jelly-like texture.

d) Dodol is a type of Goan dance performed during celebrations.

Answer: c) Dodol is a classic Goan sweet made using rice flour, coconut milk, and black palm jaggery, with a firm, jelly-like texture.