It is always fun when you have a wedding in the family.Now speaking of weddings, An Indian wedding usually means a huge family affair with almost everyone getting involved with something or the other. Great pains are taken to ensure that the couples special day is indeed laden with memories they would cherish for the rest of their lives. That said, detailed attention is paid to the menu planning. Meals are planned with taking into account culinary preferences of guest from both sides. Considering how much we Catholics love pork, it is a given that a pork dish would take center stage in the buffet. Now in case you are reading this and are health conscious let me tell you that the remainder of the blog is laden with fats. For the rest it’s a meal you would run to your kitchen to prepare.
Now the dish for today is Pork Sorpotel. Though not much is known of the origin of the dish, some say it has its roots in Portugal. The secret lies in the tangy sauce and getting the proper mix of the vinegar and spices where the sweet, spicy, and tangy flavor all marrying together and none holds dominance over the other. The soft, succulent meat covered with a sauce and the fat is a delight.
Here is the recipe. I do hope you enjoy making it as much as I did
1 kg pork with Fat
3 Large onions
15-20 large cloves of garlic
1 large piece of fresh ginger
2 Green Chillies
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
1 small tablespoon oil
1 table spoon Bafat powder
Grind to a paste:-
8 Bedki Chilies * Refer notes below
12-15 Kashmir Chillies
15 pepper corns
1 tablespoon cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tablespoon Poppy seeds
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 large cinnamon stick
A lemon sized ball of tamarind
Vinegar for grinding
Wash, drain and dry the pork
Now, this pork needs to be cooked in a large vessel on a slow flame. I do not add oil during this time as the pork usually cooks in its own fat. However, if you feel like, you could add a teaspoon of oil. Make sure the pork is nicely cooked if there is some water in the vessel you could either drain out or let it evaporate. This should take about 45 minutes to an hour.
Once the pork is done, cut into small pieces and keep aside.
In a vessel add the oil and sauté the pork.
Chop the onions fine and fry in the same oil till they turn brown. Do not burn them. Remove and keep aside.
Repeat the process with the ginger, garlic and chillies. You could fry them together as well.
Now, combine all ingredients mentioned under “grind to a paste” and grind to a fine paste. Use vinegar as a lubricant for the mixing. You may need to reserve the masala water to adjust the thickness of the gravy later on.* Refer notes below.
In a large vessel, add just a teaspoon of oil, and quickly stir the onions, ginger, garlic and the chillies.
Now, add in the ground masala and let it cook for a while. Add in the bay leaf and the bafat powder.
Add in the pork, Salt and cook on medium flame for 15-20 minutes.
Serve hot with sanna or polay (dosa)
Chef’s Tip: Try making this a day or two prior to consumption. This will allow the spices to permeate well will the meat and will only help to enhance the flavor.
I have combined bedki and Kashmir chillies for a mix and match of taste and colour. The spice comes from the bedki chillies and colour from Kashmir ones. However, please note that bedki chillies are spicier and so you will need to adjust accordingly.
Usually, any pork gravy is neither too thick nor too thin. The water from the masala was to adjust the thick should your gravy be too thick. Adding plain water will reduce the pungency of the masala.