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Lou from Dona Lous Goan Cuisine

Dona Lou's Goan Cuisine was founded in 2020 by me ‘Lou’. In Portuguese Dona means Lady hence the name ‘Dona Lou’. 

The Goan cuisine is rich and diverse, influenced by various cultures and historical events. It’s culinary heritage is strongly influenced by the Portuguese, as Goa a coastal state in the southern part of India, was ruled by the Portuguese for 450yrs until 1961. Hence Dona Lou’s Goan Cuisine is a fusion of Indian and Portuguese flavours. Its natural aromatic spices, hot, tangy and exotic rich flavours exemplify the food of Goa.

At Dona Lou’s I initially started off making the very popular Goan Chouriço (Portuguese style sausage), but has since evolved, creating a unique culinary identity as Dona Lou’s Goan Cuisine. 

My interest and passion for food started at an early age growing up in Goa with Mum being in the kitchen helping her to cook every day from making rice, masala pastes, curries, pickles, preserves, coconut oil, vinegar etc. I just did not really take it seriously or recognise this as a potential pathway to a career. Back in the day, getting an education and becoming a qualified doctor, engineer, teacher etc. was considered a professional career.

I remember those childhood days just relishing my mum’s amazing food every day. My mum was my biggest mentor and influencer. She said me in simple terms "If you don’t have an education it won’t matter too much, you will survive, but if you don’t know how to cook you will not". What she really meant was, learning how to cook would set you up for life, nourish your body, mind and soul. All the rest will flow as its meant to be. So I have learnt everything I know about cooking, saving for a rainy day and staying humble no matter who you become in life, from my mum. 

l ate food from the land, and all of it was homemade. This was the norm back then when you live and grow up in a village like Goa. The food was from the land, it was self-sustained living from poultry, piggery, dairy and home-grown vegetables. It was a significant time in my life that has left a mark, the fondest memories of Goa and my love for Goan cuisine.

When I arrived in New Zealand 2002, I began to cook every day for myself, friends and family. It was such a pleasure to do so. It all came flooding back to me, the memories, the flavors, aromas and tastes. I reignited with my roots and recognised my love for food all over again.  I began to hone in on the skills I was taught, experience I had and rediscover my taste buds. In the process I also discovered how much I enjoyed feeding people. This passion to cook and see the joy on people's faces became my drive and motivation.

It was then that I started to master some of the very famous Goan Portuguese dishes along the way. One of them being the Goan Couriço. Dona Lou’s Goan Chouriço, is a Portuguese influenced sausage, also known as chorizo, a signature type of sausage that originates only in Goa. They are handcrafted in small batches, in my little kitchen, made with all natural ingredients,no fillers, preservatives or artificial colours.


Each delicately wrapped with a labour of love. A unique, versatile sausage that can be added to pastas, rice, pizzas or curries. This sausage is a prominent delicacy and a 'must have 'at every celebration. I ventured this challenge 4yrs ago, and has taken me 2yrs to experiment and develop with all the right ingredients, finally bringing it to the closest perfected Goan chouriço. 

The Goan chouriço was integrated into Dona Lou's Goan Cuisine alongside my takeaway and other products. The highlights of starting this venture is the 'Dona Lous Goan Chouriço'(Portuguese style sausage). Its standing in the top 8 finalist of the NZ Food awards 2022, the recognition of receiving the GOLD award at the NZ Artisan awards 2022, has been a proud and humbling moment for me. The biggest surprise was also winning the Bronze Medal for my Lamb Xacutti (Portuguese style curry) at the Outstanding Food Producers Award 2022.

All of these acknowledgments has given me so much more confidence, encouragement and motivation to continue this journey.

The Auckland Food Show
Dona Lous at the Food Show
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Customer trying Dona Lous food
Lou at the Food Show stall
Serving food at the Auckland Food Show
Dona Lou describing her Goan Cuisine
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