It is rightly said that the poet and the pig are often appreciated only after their death. Howeve,r many a poet has risen to fame only when his/her poetry got published much later ~ sometimes several decades too late. Thankfully, the pig is appreciated almost immediately. Pork is a much celebrated meat in Mangalorean Catholic cuisine. We celebrate every good occasion with this meat - cooked in the famous Bafat style
. Today, Mangalorean homes cook many different varieties of pork - this includes the much Indianised pork chilli
Pork Sorpotel is a fiery dish made of pork meat (with liver added to it sometimes) and a medley of spices. A dish that originated in Goa soon found its way along the Konkan region and became very popular in Mangalore. It is primarily eaten by the Catholic community and is very common on the festive occasion or wedding menu. Kaleez Ankiti is a crude form of the Sorpotel and is also called as Sarpatel (pronounced as sarpa-thel) in Mangalore. Crude in the sense that this recipe travelled to Mangalore along with those Goan Catholics who migrated from Goa between 1560-1763 and now involves the addition of the offal - the 'spare parts' of the pig. While the mention of the offal is enough to put off those who have never tasted it, every Mangalorean Catholic who has eaten it swears by its taste and aroma that tickles one's senses.
(intestines) are just among the few things that go into this dish. The rest of the flavour comes from the aromatic & fiery spices, vinegar and tamarind that are absorbed by the meat and offal, slowly cooked for over a couple of hours in an earthen pot called the kundlem
over a crackling fire fueled by firewood. If you think this was not gruesome enough - listen to this! Sometimes the dried blood of the animal is added to it giving it a unique flavour and taking the taste to a different level. This is the most traditional way of doing it. Little wonder then that the current generation of Mangaloreans has almost abandoned this dish and don't as much as even look at it when offered on a party menu.
Today, modern gas stoves have replaced firewood and more than this dish being prepared at home, it is prepared by caterers or small restaurants that specialise only in Mangalorean food. A lot of die hard Sarpatel lovers who live outside Mangalore make sure they carry their annual quota by freezing it into packets and carrying it back home - usually overseas. Because of this demand, a lot of people sell good quality and well prepared Sarpatel in Mangalore. Should you wish to prepare it yourself, the butcher will know exactly what goes into a batch of Sarpatel and give it to you. However, since the offal cleaning process requires a bit of time & effort it has become a ritual that is only indulged in once or twice a year.
Sarpatel is often found on the menu of the pre-wedding function called the 'Roce' along with the mutton polov
. It is also one of the best loved starters during a booze party (I bet many of you are smiling here!). A nice glass of whiskey and a plateful of sarpatel goes really well and keeps spirits high (literally!) I am told
. (he he, I stick to wines, just in case you thought otherwise)
Since the husband is an expert at making the Kaleez Ankiti, having learnt the recipe from his mother who makes it fabulously well, we picked up a kilo on our recent trip to Mangalore. It was high time we posted a truly traditional Mangalorean pork recipe that is so close to everyone's heart, so here it is, just in time to be made before Lent officially begins on Wednesday, or enough to tempt you to try it for Easter :-)
About this dish
Experience Nirvana - serve yourself a large portion of piping hot sarpatel and wipe it clean with freshly steamed sanna
. Bliss! The dish speaks for itself!