Goan Pork Sorpotel Recipe
Goan Pork Sorpotel, a traditional dish of Portuguese origin is frequently prepared for all festivals and occasions in Goan households. Made with pork meat and offal that are first parboiled, then diced into very small pieces, sauteed before cooking and then cooked in a spicy tangy sauce. It tastes better as it matures. Usually accompanied by sanna, a white spongy rice cake or enjoyed with bread. Also, served with pulao at weddings and special gatherings.
For church feasts in Goa, sorpotel is available at various stalls, at the fair. It is served in a bun topped over some spicy sausages. This spicy tangy meat dish is “sinfully delicious”.
Goan Pork Sorpotel
1 kg pork belly (cut into half)
1 pork liver
4 pork kidneys
1/2 cup vinegar
1 to 2 tablespoons feni (optional)
2 large onions (around 4 cups, sliced)
1/2 bouillon cube
a pinch of sugar
3 tablespoons oil
To be ground to a paste (with water)
20 Kashmiri red chillies
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 cinnamon sticks (1.5″)
4 green cardamoms
6 large garlic cloves
1″ piece of ginger
Parboil pork belly, liver, kidneys, together in a cooking pot, with enough water to cover, for around 20 to 30 minutes on medium heat. Dice the cooked meat into very small pieces keeping pork pieces separate from liver and kidney. Strain and reserve stock aside for the gravy.
In a skillet (without oil), add fatty pork pieces first as they will start to release fat. Fry them lightly, they don’t have to be crisp. Remove and keep aside. In batches, lightly fry remaining pork meat, liver and kidney pieces in the fat. In case, pork does not have much fat, then add very little oil as you fry.
Heat oil and saute onions till golden brown. Add the ground paste, mix with the onions and fry for a while. Then add the fried meat pieces along with the reserved stock, vinegar, feni, bouillon cube and sugar. If stock is less for gravy consistency, add some water. Cover pan with lid slightly ajar and simmer on medium flame till meat pieces are tender and have absorbed the flavour from the gravy, around 45 minutes to an hour. Taste for salt, spice, sourness and adjust according to your taste. A good sorpotel has a perfect balance of spice and sour. It tastes better the next day as it matures.
The smaller the meat pieces, the tastier the sorpotel.
Important to fry the onions till golden brown as with every bite, you will enjoy the sliced onions.
If sorpotel is too sour, add some green chillies or chilly powder to balance flavour. Green chillies are not added to sorpotel but some do.
In case it is spicy, add some vinegar. No tamarind water required for this dish unless it is too fiery. You may want to use some tamarind water to cut down from being too vinegary.
A couple of pork hearts can also be added to this dish.
People in Goa add a bit of jaggery to sorpotel for colour. I have never used jaggery in sorpotel. Colour is achieved with the addition of liver and kidneys (see picture). A pinch of sugar does the trick of balancing the flavours.