The pig boss
Full-time music producer and part-time chef Rayan Dsouza's two-month-old food delivery service is dedicated to pork alone. And although he does a strange mix of Mangalorean and Manipuri flavours, it's enough for us to go, oink!
If you think Grammy nominated American musician Kelis Rogers is the only one creating recipes while writing songs, that's not the case. Rayan Dsouza, a member of Rhapsody Out Loud band, is slowly turning up the heat on his new career born in the kitchen of his Madh Island home. In fact, when this writer turns up, he is shuttling between his workstation in the living room and the kitchen counter. "I mostly produce music from home, so, it isn't difficult to take food orders from those living in the neighbourhood," says, Dsouza, 30.
He launched Pork Deli, a delivery-only service, two months ago. Along with wife Shangkhu Hongsha, he distributed flyers within the township of nine buildings. Soon, residents were keen to try his traditionally-cooked pork menu. He has shipped off 60 orders in two months. "We do a mix of North Eastern and Mangalorean style pork, using a six-spice powder, some of it from Manipur and the rest from Mangaluru," he shares.
While Dsouza doesn't come from a family of cooks, his mother spoiled him with elaborate meals. "My mother was OCD; she would want everything to be perfectly served on the table when the guests arrived. Sometimes, I had to calm her down. She'd get paranoid!" he remembers. It's no surprise that she didn't allow him in the kitchen. Her excuse: "you create a mess". "It was only when I moved to Hyderabad between 2016 and 2018 that I got the chance to experiment with recipes. We were all bachelors in a 3BHK, and I was the only one who could more or less prepare a meal."
But it was when Dsouza began dating Shangkhu that his love for eating, preparing and experimenting with pork was born. "She asked me to try North Eastern-style pork. They don't use too many spices, but just one naga chili is enough. While I had tears running down my face, I loved the taste. So, I began mixing a few elements of her cooking style with mine."
Dosuza specialises in pork ribs, pork roast, pork pepper and pork bafat. The pepper is his favourite. "I use a green marinade, which includes basic green masala like coriander and chilli. After marination, I keep the meat in the fridge, not freezer, overnight. The next day, I add the six-spice powder. It has this wonderful pepper from Dimapur. After chopping it up, I bathe it in soy sauce." Normally, chefs prefer adding ajinomoto to the meat, but Dsouza replaces it with fish sauce. "The latter is a healthy option. The pepper from NE has a minty aroma, adding value to the dish."
But if you want Dsouza's special smoked pork, you have to place an order at least a week in advance. "While I have pork sitting in the fridge at most times to prepare the deliveries, the smoked pork comes straight from the North East," he says.
Because there is no believing without trying, Dosuza serves us the pork roast and pork pepper. Each has a distinct flavour. While the roast is on the spicier side, the meat in pork pepper melts in the mouth. We think his food is worth the trip to Madh, but he says he is going to be delivering across Kandivli soon.
Rayan Dsouza with wife Shangkhu Hongsha and son Zack at their Madh Island residence. Because he makes music from home, running Pork Deli is convenient.
Price: Rs 250 onwards (300 gm)
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