KARACHI: As Muslims wrapped up the festivities of Eidul Fitr, the Goans of Karachi laid out a spread fit for a king, indeed, Christ the King, at St Patrick’s Cathedral to raise funds for the renovation of the monument.
The aroma of the spicy beef sorpotel wafted across the stalls as people lined up to get their red chilly packets. “I prepared it two days ago as sorpotel tastes better two or three days later,” explained Rose Fernandes as she poured the stew into take-away bags. By the end of the afternoon, her two large pots were scraped empty.
“Preparing Goan food is time consuming so I’m glad we got to treat ourselves today,” said Maria Francesca, another contributor.
The event was organised by the Goinkars Own Academy. “People from different parishes have come together to raise money for the monument,” explained the academy’s representative, Deborah Santamaria.
The simple formula of a bake-sale worked. Other women brought Sanna, Godchey and prawn curry but apart from Goan cuisine, Pakistani food, such as kebabs and biryani, were also in demand. “Good food makes everyone happy and we tried to make it the best we can,” remarked Claudette who was selling the brown sweet dish Godchey for Rs40.
As the music blared in the background and youngsters gossiped and cracked jokes, the frequent announcements of apple tart and chicken hotdogs went largely ignore as it was the Goan cuisine that was the star of the day. Sister Margaret from the next door St Joseph’s Convent was caught with a big bag of food. “I haven’t tasted anything yet,” she swore. “I am buying the food and will eat it with the other sisters.”
The festival was inaugurated by Archbishop Joseph Coutts who stressed the importance of communities working together. He said that such events should be organised more frequently to promote unity and bring people together.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2012.