What is Sarapatel?

Janis Adams

Often referred to as the Brazilian haggis, sarapatel, or sorpotel, is a meat dish made from pork. Sarapatel is said to improve each time it is reheated after the first time it is cooked, with the flavors deepening and becoming richer. There are numerous recipes for this dish, as there are many different cuisines that have adapted the basic premise of the dish.

The coastal region of Konkan in India has become well known for its sarapatel recipe.
The coastal region of Konkan in India has become well known for its sarapatel recipe.

Preparing sarapatel is quite time consuming. It is for this reason that the dish tends to be made for special occasions and celebrations. In many places, it is served as part of the traditional Christmas meal.

Sarapatel is made from pork, and it includes the intestines, liver, and often the kidney as well. Some recipes call for the addition of pork blood. Other recipes also call for meats such as lamb or beef. The methods of preparing the meat differ from recipe to recipe. Some call for par boiling, while others call for the meet to browned before adding it to the pot of sauce.

The sauce of sarapatel is most often a combination of vinegar and spices. The spices are often roasted and mixed prior to when the cooking process of the dish is to begin. The spice mixes differ from family to family and are often guarded and treated as deep secrets not to be shared. The sauce is made and allowed to cook for some time before the meat is added to it.

Serving the sarapatel is largely dependent on the thickness of the dish when the cooking process is complete. Some serve it with bread or over the top of a sticky white rice. It is also served on bread as a hot sandwich.

While this dish is said to have originated in Portugal and have then been brought to Brazil, it is now common in India. The coastal region of Konkan in India has become well known for its adaptation of the sarapatel recipe. The recipe derivative common to this area is very spicy.

Sarapatel has traveled from land to land. While the dish originated in Portugal, it is now considered a true flavor of Brazil. Furthermore, the adaptation found miles away in India is considered to be traditional Indian food as well. While the taste differs from place to place, the basic ingredients and the cooking process are nearly the same from country to country.

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