Goan Sorpotel

Photo by hirsute_urtus/flickr

Serves 6-8


1 kg/2 lb pork from leg or shoulder
250 g/8 oz pork or calves liver
10-15 dried large red chillies
250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup coconut vinegar
or other mild vinegar
2 or 3 fresh green chillies
2 tablespoons chopped ginger
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
1 teaspoon sugar


Put the pork into a saucepan with just enough lightly salted water to cover, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Cook the liver separately in the same way. Discard stock from the liver, allow liver to cool and cut it into very tiny dice. Reserve the pork stock and cut the pork, together with its skin and fat, into larger dice.

Discard stalks of the dried chillies. If a milder curry is preferred discard the seeds as well. Soak the dried chillies in the vinegar for about 10 minutes. Put dried chillies, vinegar, roughly chopped green chillies, ginger and garlic into an electric blender and blend to a purée. Add the ground spices and salt. Put pork, pork stock, diced liver and the blended spices into an enamel or stainless steel saucepan and simmer, covered, until pork is tender, about 1 hour. Meanwhile soak tamarind pulp in 1/2 cup hot water, squeeze to dissolve the pulp and strain through a fine sieve. Discard seeds and fibres. Stir in tamarind liquid and sugar. Cook, uncovered, until gravy is thick and dark. Serve with rice.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)