Monday, 6 September 2010
I have actually been meaning to add this recipe to the blog for a long time, as its one of my absolute favourite pork dishes. I used to carry it all the way to Delhi when I was at University there... a whole three days on the train, nibbling at it every so often. Always promised my friends the taste of pork indad, and sadly, none would remain by the time I actually got to the hostels ;-)
This pork dish works well with 'Western' cuts of pork, as you can use chops, steaks, whatever you prefer, really. I use the cheaper cuts, as they are fried and then soaked in a sweet/ spicy sauce, so the dish is all about the flavours. The pork can also be slow cooked in this sauce, so its tender and practically melt-in-your-mouth. These, technically, are some unusual flavours for South India, mint, for example, and rum. I put it down to the Portuguese influence on Goan and Mangalorean cuisine. Do add the rum at the end for a kick of deep flavour. This dish keeps very well, and as most Indian food, tastes awesome the next few days. It also freezes well, but try to avoid microwaving as it takes away the moisture integral to the dish. Defrost, then toss into a heavy pan to heat through instead.
1 kg pork, marbled with fat, sliced thinly
1 tsp salt
To grind -
5 long mild red chillies
1 short spicy red chilly (more for added spiciness)
4 medium onions
1 piece ginger
½ tsp cumin
12 garlic cloves
1 green chillies (more for added spiciness)
2 tbsp mild red paprika (will give you colour without the heat)
½ tsp of the following
Small ball of tamarind, soaked and squeezed or 4 tsp tamarind paste
A little vinegar (around 25 ml) and water (around 50 ml)
Small handful fresh mint leaves
Fresh mint leaves
50 ml dark rum
Salt and sugar to taste (or 2 tsp salt and 3 tbsp sugar, brown is better)
Salt the pork slices and keep aside for about half hour.
In a heavy pan, toss together the chillies, cumin, pepper, cinnamon and cloves, for about 2 minutes until they are toasted and smell heavenly! In the same pan, roughly chop the onion, ginger and garlic and fry for a few minutes until the raw smell has disappeared and the onions are very lightly browned.
Grind together all of the ingredients, including the toasted spices, with a little water, a dash of vinegar and the mint leaves.
Fry the resulting masala in ghee or oil on a medium flame for a while until the oil separates, around 10 minutes or so. Don't let the masala burn. Season lightly. Add a little more water and let the masala now simmer for around 30 minutes or so, until the raw smell and and the taste of spice hitting the back of your throat disappears. Keep adding water if the masala dries out too much.
Fry the pork slices in a little oil. Lift them up gently and place on absorbent kitchen paper. Discard any left over fat in the pan.
Gently lower the fried pork into the fried masala. Bring to a gentle boil, then stir until the slices are well coated with the masala.
Sprinkle the salt and sugar to taste, then stir in the rum with a little water if the masala is too thick.The sauce should be thick, but not dry.
Simmer for 10 minutes or so, then take off the heat and garnish with the fresh mint leaves.