Wednesday, June 9, 2010

RECIPE - Sarapatel

I promise this will be the last in the current series of Brazilian recipes featuring blood as an ingredient. I know that to concentrate on an ingredient that many people find distasteful if not disgusting runs the risk of sending readers of Flavors of Brazil flying, never to return. But I really can't finish this series of posts without including a recipe for sarapatel, the most famous Brazilian dish which includes blood. If this blog is to showcase the traditional foods of Brazil, it really can't exclude these dishes which have blood as an ingredient. For those of you who can't take any more, I hope to see you back tomorrow, when I promise I'll feature a dessert, and one that doesn't have a sanguinary ingredient in it.

For those of you who are curious enough to stick around for the rest of this post, here's a little bit of history about sarapatel before we dig into the recipe itself. In Brazil, sarapatel is associated with the state of the northeast. However, its origins are not Brazilian, but instead are European. Sarapatel is an ancient dish from the Alentejo region of Portugal, and was carried with Portuguese colonists and settlers to the New World. Interestingly, these same Portuguese carried the recipe for sarapatel when heading for colonies in the opposite direction from Brazil, and today sarapatel is considered a traditional dish in the parts of India that were formerly Portuguese - most famously Goa.

Whereas the chicken dishes that were featured the past few days on Flavors of Brazil used liquid blood to flavor the sauce, and added vinegar to the blood to make sure it stayed liquid, in sarapatel the blood is cooked in boiling water to coagulate and solidify it, and then it is added to the sauce as a solid ingredient. When I lived in Vancouver, Canada, I'd often see solidified cubes of pork blood in the meat markets of Chinatown, and the blood used in sarapatel is essentially the same as this Chinese ingredient.

I must say, before I add the recipe, that I can't vouch for how this recipe tastes, as I'm unable to even think of eating a bowl of sarapatel. I am assured by some of my sarapatel-loving friends here in Fortaleza that this is a typical recipe, and that it sounds delicious (to them!)

Bom apetite!
RECIPE - Sarapatel
Serves 6

1 set pork viscera as follows: lungs, liver, heart
2 cups solidified pork blood, cut into 1 inch cubes**
2 cups water
lime juice to taste
fresh limes
2 large red onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
4 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 serrano chiles
4 Tbsp. lard

** If the pork blood is liquid, pour it into a boilable Zip-Loc bag, and cook in simmering water for approximately 15 minutes. Let cool, and remove from bag, then cube.
In a large pan or stockpot, combine the water, the pork innards, a good amount of lime juice, and some halved limes. Bring the water to a boil, drain the innards, and then repeat the process with fresh water and lime juice. Remove the innards from the water, let drain, then cool,. Chop the innards into bite sized pieces and return them to the water with all the other ingredients except the lard and the blood. Cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours.

The next day, remove all the solid ingredients from the pan or stockpot. Drain them well. Heat the lard in a heavy duty frying pan, and fry all the ingredients, in batches if necessary to avoid crowding. Once they are golden, place in a fresh pan, cover with fresh water and lime juice, and cook for 2 to 3 hours, or until the pork is tender. Carefully add the cubed blood, let simmer for a few minutes for the sauce to thicken, then serve.

Recipe translated and adapted from Mundo de Sabores.


  1. I hate to be the one to say this, but this is not a Brasilian recipe.
    If you google it you will find the Wikipedia with this information: "Sarapatel, also called Sorpotel, is a dish of Portuguese origin now commonly cooked in the coastal Konkan region of India primarily Goa and Mangalore and in northeastern Brazil".
    Just wanted to let you know this. One thing is true, even thought this is a time consuming dish to make its worth it. The taste compensates all the work put on it.
    Enjoy your Sarapatel.

    1. I lived in Recife for 2 years and I was served sarapatel many times ignore wiki it is wrong

  2. But it says it comes from Portugal and yes it's very typical here in Northeast of Brasil.

  3. Maria doesn't know what she's talking about. In Pernambuco it is also ubiquitous. I am interested about the version that exists in Goa, though. Also, dear blogger, you should really try this. When it's made well, it's really good, albeit heavy. I usually can't eat more than a little at a time, and I only have when it's made by friends or a restaurant that I know well. I still prefer galinha cabidela, but I learned to like sarapatel.

  4. Eating some now - absolutely yum and it tastes better a couple of days later. My parents are of East Timorese descent (another Portuguese colony) and this is a favorite dish. Also there are many versions of the dish if you don't like the idea of blood you can omit and it will still taste yummy (though if you game with it is so much better!). Btw love your site!

  5. I am Goan and I love sarapatel n make it too .Goan style or so I think but its yummy. No blood , no heart, just pork n liver.

  6. Both dishes,Sarapatel and Sorpotel, have a lot in common with the Portuguese Christmas dish Carne Vinha d’alhos – Pork marinated in wine / vinegar and gsrlic.
    Both this and Sorpotel (The Goan version ) are traditional Christmas dishes (I don't know about Brasil).
    In Britain this dish is known as Vindaloo (a corruption of Vinha d’alhos), a staple of most Curry houses

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