Cheat's Version of Sorpotel

Sunday, 17 June 2012

My favourite Goan/Manglorean dish is Sorpotel-a spicy pork curry with oodles of pork fat. I love it so much I could live on it. But I'm lazy and never bothered making it the proper way. My dear friend Michelle shows you how to make the proper version of Sorpotel here in her very cool blog Food, Football and a Baby. My other school friend Shireen also has a fabulous blog ( Ruchik Randhap) on Manglorean food and also shares a bafat recipe for Manglorean pork curry. Father's day was looming and we were hoping to do a nice meal for the FIL. He loves a good curry and I'd made the fish, chicken, beef versions of all sorts far too many times. So Sorpotel it was. I thought I'd try and do it properly and checked out Michelle's blog. I had three main problems 1) I didn't have time to make the spice mix or source pork liver 2) My tamarind had gone out of date. 3) I had very little time to make a curry paste or parboil the meat-it was the end of a very long working week and about 10 PM! But I wasn't about to give up. Hence this cheat's version of the curry was created. The end result was still tasty and bore resemblance to the real thing.

Pork loin steaks, cubed including the fatty bits ( 1 kg)
2 medium onions
1 tsp chilli powder
A pinch of turmeric powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1 Cinnamon stick 
2 Star anise stars
4 cloves
2 tbsp garlic paste ( or fresh garlic crush. I can't wait for my allotment garlic to grow!)
2 tbsp ginger paste ( or fresh ginger ground)
2 tbsp Sunflower oil ( there is plenty of fat in the pork which will add to the taste and texture)
2 tbps tomato ketchup
2 tsp fish sauce or cider vinegar
Salt to taste, I usually add 1tsp
2 cups water  ( use more or less according to the desired consistency)

For the marinade:
Cinnamon powder
Chilli powder
Cumin powder
Rub it well into the meet, marinade it for a couple of hours or stick the meat in a quick marinater and give it 10 mins. (I used the VacuVin quick marinater. A word of caution if you do use this, don't pump out more than 5-6 times and don't let it stay for more than 10 mins. We had one that exploded and Vacu Vin still haven't got back to us with an explanation!)

Heat oil in a casserole dish and add the onions. After a couple of minutes, add the marinaded meat and spices and fry for about 10 mins. Add ginger and garlic and continue to fry. Add water bit by bit as the frying progresses and to avoid charring. Close the lid and cook under low heat for about 20 mins. Now taste, add ketchup and the fish sauce/vinegar and add more ketchup if required. I like mine to have more gravy so I added more water towards the end  and let it simmer for about 30 mins. Once cooked, its ready to serve. However, as any good Goan or Manglorean will tell you, sorpotel get tastier with time. The people in the know recommend cooking at least a day in advance which is what I did. If you have the luxury of time, cooking it a couple of days earlier helps develop the taste even better.


  1. A slightly biased comment here but I love cooking this for you and it's one dish that always works because I follow the receipt. When Ann has had a long day this is one of those firm favourites. However when I cook it I use belly pork ;)


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