Sorak Curry (Goan Vegetarian Coconut Curry)

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One of my personal favorite curries is this Sorak Curry, which is a typical vegetarian Goan Coconut Curry, that I usually make at home. This traditional Goan-style curry is made during monsoons, and is prepared with dried Kashmiri red chilies, fresh grated coconut and spices. The recipe is also naturally vegan, easy yet delicious and goes amazingly well with steamed rice, turning your mealtime into a comforting, satisfying one.

sorak curry in a black bowl with green chillies at side.

Why Sorak Curry Is A Winner

Sorak Curry is a specialty of Goa and is a must during the monsoon season. Due to heavy rains, it is impossible to get fish. So, the locals make sorak and a side dish of dried fish or vegetables with it.

What makes this curry even more amazing is the fact that it is naturally vegan. The ingredients used in it make for unique tasty curry for your vegan diets.

This Sorak Curry tastes best when cooked in earthen or clay pots. But if you don’t have any of these, then use a steel pan to make this curry. One variation that you can do in this curry is to add vegetables. But whether you’re adding veggies or not, the curry will taste good either way.

Some of the variations that I make with this Sorak Curry are:

  • Goan Vegetable Curry, with mixed vegetables and mushrooms
  • Tomato Curry, a spiced and mildly tangy one, made in Goan-style

This Sorak Curry is flavorful with tastes that are tangy and subtly spiced. It goes well with Goan pao (poi) and brun pao.

We even like to have the curry with toasted bread. During our growing up years, we used to have this sorak with pao (buns) along with steamed rice and veggies.

Typical Ingredients Used

Together with fresh coconut, onions, a few herbs and spices; this Sorak Curry recipe uses Kokum (Garcinia Indica), which is what imparts the desired sourness in the gravy. Kokum is now easily available online on amazon and other stores.

However, if you cannot source it, add tamarind or tomatoes instead. Though, both are not substitutes for kokum, but they do contribute adding the sour taste element to the curry. If you manage to buy kokum then you can also give a try to this delicious cooling tangy drink from Goa – Solkadhi.

Here are the measurements that you can refer to while adding any of the above mentioned alternatives to kokum in this Sorak Curry:

  • If using tamarind, then add 1 teaspoon tamarind (without seeds) while grinding the coconut paste.
  • If using tamarind paste, then add ¼ teaspoon directly in the curry.
  • If using tomatoes, then add 1 medium tomato while grinding the coconut paste.

Apart from the tanginess, the beautiful color of the Sorak Curry is due to the dried Kashmiri chilies that are used. These also help in balancing the tanginess and make the coconut curry not too spicy, as Kashmiri chillies are not spicy or pungent.

Thus, the gravy does not turn overly fiery. The mild spiciness is what makes it a choice of dish for many who have an aversion to spicy food.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Sorak Curry

Make Coconut Paste

1. Keep all the ingredients ready to make the curry. Only garlic cloves are missing in the picture below, which I added while grinding the masala paste.

ingredients for sorak curry.

2. Add the following ingredients in a sturdy grinder or blender:

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5 to 6 dried Kashmiri red chilies (broken and crowns, seeds removed)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 3 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • ⅓ cup sliced onions
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves (small to medium-sized and peeled)
ingredients for coconut paste.

3. Add ½ to ¾ cup water and grind to a smooth and fine paste. Set this coconut paste aside.

Ensure that there are no small chunks or tiny bits or pieces of coconut in the paste.

coconut paste for sorak curry.

Make Coconut Curry

4. Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a pot or pan. Add ⅓ cup sliced onions.

Instead of coconut oil, you can use sunflower oil.

sliced onions in oil to make coconut curry.

5. Sauté onions till they become translucent and are softened.

sauteing onions.

6. Add the prepared coconut paste.

adding ground coconut-spices paste.

7. Mix everything very well.

mixing the ingredients well in the pan.

8. Add 2 cups water or as required and stir to combine.

adding 2 cups of water in the pan.

9. Simmer the curry on medium-low to medium heat for 5 minutes.

simmering sorak curry for 5 minutes.

10. Add salt as per taste.

adding salt to sorak curry.

11. Next, add 1 to 2 slit or sliced green chilies and 3 to 4 pieces of kokum.

Kokum gives a sour taste to the curry. So, if you prefer just a hint of sourness, then add 1 or 2 pieces of kokum in the curry.

slit green chilies and kokum pieces added to goan coconut curry.

12. Simmer until the curry bubbles and you see some oil specks on the top layer.

cooking sorak curry.

13. Turn off the heat and serve Sorak Curry hot with steamed rice.

sorak curry in black bowl with green chilies at side with a tray of steamed rice above.

More Curry Recipes To Try!

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sorak curry or goan coconut curry in a black bowl with green chillies at side.

Sorak Curry (Goan Vegetarian Coconut Curry)

Sorak is a traditional vegetarian Goan Coconut Curry made during the monsoon season. The curry is prepared with dry red Kashmiri chilies, fresh grated coconut, onions, herbs and spices. The recipe is also naturally vegan, easy yet delicious and goes amazingly well with steamed rice.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine Goan
Course Main Course
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 4
Units

Ingredients

For the coconut paste

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5 to 6 kashmiri chilies – dried
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
  • 1 cup coconut – fresh & grated
  • 3 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • cup onions – sliced
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves – small to medium-sized, peeled
  • ½ to ¾ cup water or add as required for grinding

For the sorak curry

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or sunflower oil
  • cup onions – sliced
  • 3 to 4 green chilies slit or sliced, can add less if needed
  • 3 to 4 kokam pieces or add as required (*check notes)
  • 2 cups water or add as required
  • salt according to taste

Instructions
 

Preparing the coconut paste

  • Grind all the ingredients mentioned under the heading above "for the coconut paste" with ½ to ¾ cup water to a smooth and fine consistency in a sturdy grinder or blender. Keep this coconut paste aside.

Preparing sorak curry

  • Heat coconut oil in pan. Then add the sliced onions.
  • Sauté the sliced onions till they turn translucent and are softened.
  • Now add the ground coconut paste. Stir and mix very well.
  • Next add 2 cups of water or as required. Stir and mix again. Simmer for 5 mins on a medium-low to medium heat.
  • Add salt as per taste.
  • Next add the green chilies and kokums.
  • On a medium-low to medium heat, simmer until the curry bubbles and you see some oil specks on top.
  • You can opt to garnish the curry with some coriander leaves if you prefer.
  • Turn off the stovetop and serve Sorak Curry hot with steamed rice.

Notes

  • The curry is mildly spiced but you could add more red chilies if you like it spicy.
  • You could also reduce the number of green chilies in the curry. 
  • The curry tastes best with fresh coconut, but you could make it with frozen coconut. Ensure that the frozen coconut has a lovely nutty aroma, and has a fresh faintly sweet taste. It should not look slimy or sticky and must also not taste sour or bitter. 
  • Sorak has a medium consistency but you could make it slightly thick if you prefer by reducing the amount of water.
  • If kokum isn’t available then:
    – If using tamarind, add 1 teaspoon tamarind while grinding the coconut paste.
    – If using tamarind paste, add ¼ teaspoon directly in the curry. You can add more if required.
    – If using tomatoes, then add 1 medium tomato while grinding the coconut paste.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Sorak Curry (Goan Vegetarian Coconut Curry)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 163 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 418mg18%
Potassium 168mg5%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 173IU3%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.03mg2%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.03mg2%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.3mg2%
Vitamin B6 0.1mg5%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
Vitamin E 0.1mg1%
Vitamin K 1µg1%
Calcium 35mg4%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 11µg3%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 19mg5%
Phosphorus 45mg5%
Zinc 0.4mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This Sorak Curry recipe from the blog archives was first published on July 2016. It has been updated and republished on May 2024.

Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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