You know how the saying goes- a rose by any other name… Well nowhere is it more true than with the Sorpotel. Amongst the various sub sects of the Indian Catholic community, the versions- East Indian Sorpotel, Goan Sorpotel and Manglorean Sorpotel make absolutely no difference to the deliciousness of this celebration of offal. My current favourite version is the East Indian one is a breeze to make. The only difficult part actually is getting your hands on a good Bottle Masala. That fragrant mix of dry, ground spices, lovingly stuffed into bottles (empty beer bottles of course, what do you expect a Catholic family to have lots of) whose recipe is fiercely guarded by the women of the community. It’s easier to get the Coca Cola secret, but nothing deliciously porky would come out of that! This is a recipe of a dear East Indian neighbour. I’m sure something’s been left out in true East Indian style of recipe disbursement :), but after trying it for myself I can say that the taste is pretty much the same. In some versions, blood (yes blood) is used and though you may wonder how to ask the shop owner for it… all butchers in Catholic localities keep small bags of blood to be disbursed with the pork and liver. All you have to say is ‘I’m taking the pork for sorpotel, do you have blood?’ It’s an unsaid rule that the blood is on the house. My recipe below takes cognisance of readers who may be faint of heart and makes no mention of the blood.
I’m using measurements for 4 or two greedy diners.
200 gms pork liver
250 gms boneless pork with fat
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
To chop and slice
2 tablespoons oil
4 green chillies
1 inch piece of ginger chopped fine
12 cloves of garlic chopped fine
2 bayleaves torn roughly
3 tablespoons East Indian Bottle Masala
Vinegar as needed.
Boil the pork liver and pork whole for about 6-8 whistles in a pressure cooker with some turmeric and water. If boiling outside, it will take about 45 minutes on medium heat. Remove, cool and chop both liver and pork into small cubes. Retain the stock.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy based pot on medium heat till shimmering. Add the green chillies, ginger and garlic together and stir fry till fragrant for 2-3 minutes. Add the bay leaves. Turn the heat to low, add the East Indian bottle masala and stir so as not to burn. Fry till oil is stained red and the mix is fragrant- about 2 minutes. IF it tends to stick then add a few drops of water as you fry it. Now add the chopped meats. Stir to coat. Then add the stock and mix thoroughly. Bring to a boil. Adjust seasoning and vinegar while the sorpotel comes to a boil.
Serve with sannas or pav or if you’re me, with rice- I eat everything with rice!