Minced pork wrapped around eggs, pork ribs with black pepper, a Naga pork chop curry with rice, Manipuri style pork. A quick scroll through The Porkaholics group on Facebook, with its photos and rich recipes will prove that its 8,900 members mean business when it comes to pork.
“It is common to hear discussions about chicken or mutton, but not pork. It used to irritate me that people who eat pork are sometimes judged. Through this group we advocate — eat and let eat,” said Rhea Mitra Dalal, a Mumbai-based home chef, who started this group on Facebook in 2012, and soon created the brand name Hokus Porkus, under which three Mumbai-based chefs offer their pork-centric pop ups and takeaway events.
Once in every two months, the three chefs whip up their own menu, with pork being the highlight. They then post it on social media and invite orders.
In one recipe, Dalal tweaked the traditional scotch eggs to make space for pork. “Traditionally Scotch eggs are coated with bread crumbs or vermicelli,” she said. The boiled egg was covered with minced pork, with strips of bacon wrapped around it and then baked.
When the pork lovers’ group The Porkaholics started on Facebook, Dalal did not expect to see such a huge fan base for the meat. People discuss which restaurants serve the best pork, chefs share new recipes that they try and members eagerly discuss what to eat next.
For Madhumita Pyne, pork is one of her favourite meats. “We felt like there weren’t enough options for people who want to eat pork. There is so much that can be done with it,” said Pyne, who is also a home-chef.
The idea of creating such a group stemmed from this thought.
“I myself have cooked a wide range of cuisines like Sri Lankan pork, Kerela pork stew, Filipino pork Adobo, American style BBQ pork ribs and pulled pork,” Pyne said.
In India, pork has garnered more love in the Northeast, Goa and southern states than in other states. Gitika Saikia, a native of Assam from the Sonowal Kachari tribe, started popularising pork recipes since 2014. She brings herbs and local flavours from the Northeast to Mumbai to cook a variety of dishes including pork.
“In Assam, pork was a common ingredient in our food. Here I cook dishes authentic to the Northeast region and sometimes, tweak traditional recipes,” she said, adding that she loved to cook for those ready to experiment.