Savoury Goan Sorpotel

Sorpotel – Goa’s Sumptuous Pork Curry

July 18, 2020
Written by Suzan Tompal

Sorpotel or Sarapatel is the heart and soul of Goan cuisine, with the locals and every one of those foodies who visit Goa wanting to feast on it. The dish is usually prepared as part of a traditional Christmas fiesta, a Goan wedding, or any other special occasion. Every grand celebration is incomplete without Sorpotel. Goans always make sorpotel two to three days before any auspicious festival. The more the meat is ripe, the better it tastes.

Goan Sorpotel and Pav
Goan Sorpotel and Pav Dish - by Suzan Tompal

The Origin of Sorpotel

Sorpotel was passed on to the Goans by the Portuguese, but there was a slight twist to this history. At first, this dish was prepared by African slaves as part of their attempts to feed Brazilian sailors. It comprised the intestines, tail, ear, and tongue of a pig, with a hint of blood applying the finishing touch.

Who brought Sorpotel to India?

Delicate Sorpotel Meat Curry Ready to Eat
Sorpotel with Flavored Leaves Sprinkled Over It - by Suzan Tompal

The Portuguese brought Sorpotel to India during their colonial reign over the state of Goa. They were pork-loving people. So they redesigned the dish and inculcated its eccentricity within the Goan culture. The pork we Indians prepare is an adaptation of the inhabitants of the Alentejo region of Portugal. As time passed, the Christian Goans and East Indians added a pinch of their own culture to this dish, leaving an aroma of happiness wherever it was cooked. Today, Sorpotel is the most popular dish of Goan cuisine.

The Making of Sorpotel

Sorpotel is a thick red gravy with chunks of pork meat. It not only oozes a tangy flavor but also manages to remain savory. The traditional version of the Sorpotel utilizes ingredients such as meat, offal, vinegar, and liquor. “Soro,” as it happens, translates to liquor in Konkani. In the good old times, a generous amount of toddy or any other form of liquor would be added to this dish to make it more flavorful. In the modern era, obtaining pork blood is a tricky affair, so people usually avoided it.

Savoury Goan Sorpotel
Savoury Sorpotel Prepared for Special Occasion - by Suzan Tompal

Every household nurtures its own procedure of preparing Sorpotel, each capable of narrating a unique cooking experience. Sorpotel has a variation even in Goa. You can find people from North Goa making a slightly different kind of sorpotel as compared to the people of South Goa. In Goan villages with a touch of Portuguese culture, people prefer making their sorpotel in an earthen pot. The dish is prepared atop a pile of burning wooden logs that lend a smoky flavor to their Sorpotel. This is the conventional Goan variation of this cultural delicacy.

P.S. I guess those taste buds must be tantalizing after running your eyes over this Goan Sorpotel. We felt the same!

That’s why here is an enticing food vlog that helps you prepare your very own version of Sorpotel:

Check out Saturday’s Delight by Hazel on YouTube to catch up on a host of other mouth-watering cuisines.

Suzan Tompal contributed to this article.


Mumbai, India

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