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Mouthwatering meals for an Easter get together

Easter is one of the most popular festivals in Goa. The festival is celebrated with a lot of fun and vigour across the state. Several parties, dances and other activities are organised to mark this beautiful occasion. Also, many Goan households celebrate the day with family. Housewives usually prepare many popular Goan dishes which are a staple during festive occasions in Goa. One of these popular Goan specialities is the famous Pork sorpotel gravy.

Sorpotel is a popular Goan pork dish that is both sweet, as well as spicy. The dish has many Portuguese influences and is prepared during festive occasions in Goa. It is as popular as other popular Goan dishes like beef xacuti or chicken cafreal. It is prepared using a fatty portion of pork along with pork offal.

For festivals, weddings, and birthday parties, sorpotel is frequently prepared in huge quantities. As a result, the curry preparation begins several days ahead of time. This is a blessing in disguise, as the taste of Sorpotel enhances with time. The meat is marinated in vinegar, spice and chillies for an extended period, allowing the flavours to meld. Sorpotel is often eaten with sannas, which are sweet and spongy rice cakes that are prepared by steaming. With the addition of homemade toddy, or palm wine, the rice batter ferments overnight, producing puffy cakes. Bread, plain rice, buns, or poached eggs during breakfast are some more good options for side dishes when having the Sorpotel.

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Sorpotel is common in India’s Konkan region, including Goa, Mangalore, and places inhabited by East Indians. There are minor differences in how it is cooked in each of these places. In this article, we’ll show you how to make the Goan version of this classic dish.

Goan style sorpotel:

Ingredients 

Measuring cup used, 1 Cup = 250 ml, 1 teaspoon = 5 ml

1 kg of fatty pork, belly/shoulder

350 grams of pork liver

3 cups finely chopped onions

1 tablespoon tamarind pulp/lime size tamarind soaked in about 1/2 cup warm water (strain the extract and use)

1 tablespoon turmeric powder

2” piece of white cane jaggery and one 2” piece of Goan palm jaggery

3-4 bay leaves

2- inch cinnamon stick

2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons oil

Salt to taste

To make a smooth paste of mixed spices

35 red chillies

25 cloves

2 tsp peppercorns

2- inch cinnamon stick

4 green cardamoms

2 teaspoons jeera seeds

14 garlic cloves

3-inch piece of ginger

1/2 cup red wine vinegar/Goan vinegar to grind the spices to a smooth paste

STEPS

1. Parboil the pork belly and liver on a medium flame in sufficient water along with bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. Add a pinch of salt for seasoning. After roughly half an hour of cooking, strain the stock and reserve it for later use.

2. Take about half or more of the chillies (as per your spice preference), remove the seeds from them and soak them in hot water. After half an hour, drain the water and grind the chillies along with ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom, to a smooth paste with homemade Goan vinegar. 

3. Cut the pork into small pieces ( 1-2 cm in length) and add them to the same cooking vessel. Add the liver pieces as well. Pour about 1 tablespoon of oil into the cooking vessel and sauté the ingredients until they change colour. Do not overcook, or else the meat will turn tough. Set aside.

4. Now in a separate cooking vessel, pour 1 tablespoon of oil and saute the finely chopped onions on a medium-low flame until they turn translucent. Add the fried pieces of pork and mix the contents well.

5. Now add the prepared paste of ground spices along with jaggery and Haldi powder. Saute the contents on a medium- flame for about 2-3 minutes.

6. Rinse the grinder with about 1 cup of water, add this to the pot along with the reserved stock, tamarind pulp, sugar and salt as per taste. Cook for about half an hour over medium heat after thoroughly mixing everything together. To balance out the tang and spice levels, taste the mixture at regular intervals and modify the flavour as needed by adding more vinegar and sugar. Sorpotel tastes best a week after it is cooked because it takes a couple of days for the flavours to blend well. Additionally, the longer it is kept, the darker it becomes. Every day, heat the sorpotel until it almost boils. Allow it to sit at room temperature, covered. There’s no need to boil it every day if you’re going to keep it in the fridge.

Pork Sorpotel with Sanna's
Goan Pork Sorpotel (Image Credit xantilicious.com)

Sorpotel is best enjoyed with sannas, a soft and fluffy steamed rice cake. They are a sweet and savoury variant of idlis. Depending on the time of day and the meal at hand, there are several variations of sannas. Sweet sannas, also known as godachi sannas, are made with jaggery and are ideal to have for breakfast or late tea. You may make them somewhat sweet and savoury to go with any Goan mutton or prawn dish, or you can try one of the original Goan recipes that use toddy (palm wine) instead of coconut water. Whatever variant you choose, the sannas will come out soft, fluffy, and delicious! To wow your friends and family, try making these fluffy sannas this Easter. There are several recipes for sannas; some use urad dal, while others do not. 

Here is a simple recipe that you can use to prepare soft and tasty sannas with just a few basic ingredients

Goan Sannas

Soaking and fermentation time: 10 hours

Sanna Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml, 1 tsp = 5 ml

2 cups of parboiled rice

1 cup of freshly grated coconut

1 & 1/2 cup of homemade toddy

1/4 + 1/4 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 + 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Filling for sweet sannas

3/4 cup of freshly grated coconut

1/2 cup of grated palm jaggery

Steps to prepare the sanna batter

  1. Wash the rice and soak it for 4-5 hours in a bowl of water. After soaking, drain the water and set it aside for later use.
  1. Add the soaked rice to your mixer/grinder and grind it to a smooth batter with around 1 and 1/4 cup of toddy. To ensure that the batter grinds well, add the toddy in small amounts.
  1. Transfer 1 and 3/4 cups of batter to another large mixing bowl.
  1. Place the remaining batter in a separate mixing bowl.
  1. Grind the freshly grated coconut with about 2-3 tablespoons of toddy and set it aside.
  1. In a mixing bowl, add the grated coconut and grated jaggery and mix well. Cook this combination over low heat until all of the moisture has evaporated and the mixture is completely dry.

To make plain sannas, combine the rice batter in one bowl with the coconut batter (made in step 3), 1/4 cup sugar, and roughly 1/4 teaspoon salt. If the batter’s texture needs to be adjusted, add more toddy.

For sweet sannas -To the other bowl of rice batter, add 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Cover it and set it aside in a warm area for about 4-6 hours to ferment and double in size.  

Preparation

Grease the sanna moulds with little oil.

For plain sannas: Fill three-fourths of each sanna mould with the sanna batter. Steam the sannas for about 25-30 minutes.

Rice sanna (Plain)
Plain Sannas (Image Credit: Dusty’s Foodie Adventures)

For sweet sannas:

Fill a quarter of each sanna mould with sanna batter, then top with a good amount of the coconut-jaggery mix, then add additional sanna batter filling the remaining three-fourths volume of each mould. Steam the sannas for about 25-30 minutes.

Rice Sanna with coconut Jaggery
Sweet sannas with jaggery filling (Image credit: www.ellaroyrecipes.com)

Transfer the prepared sannas to a serving tray. Serve the plain sannas with your favourite gravy. The sweet sannas can be had for breakfast in the morning or as a tea time snack in the evening.

So now that you know how to prepare sorpotel and sannas, what are you waiting for? Put on that apron and head to the kitchen to prepare a delicious Easter Sunday meal for your family and friends. Bon appetite!

You may also be interested in: Goan Pork Sorpotel And Why It’s Considered Sacred Among The Diaspora

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