One of J’s very favorite things to cook is a recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Spice Kitchen (a super nifty little book) called, appropriately, Delectable Pork. It consists of pork chunks braised in highly flavored liquid which is then reduced to nothing but a very highly flavored coating on the pork. The meat is tender and spicy and goes great with rice, chapati, yogurt, vegetables…it would probably make a great sandwich, too, although I haven’t tried that yet. When J made this for dinner last Monday, he discovered we were out of rai masala, which is a key flavor component, so he made more:
One batch of rai masala is made by toasting:
- 2 Tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
- 1 tsp whole peppercorns
- 1-2 hot dried red chiles
- 5 cloves
Toast in a pan until slightly darkened. Grind together in a spice or coffee grinder to a fine powder.
These are all the spices that go into the pork:
- 2 tsp rai masala
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
To make Delectable Pork, heat oil in a large pan, add some chopped ginger and garlic, then add the pork (about a pound of boneless country-style ribs, cut into one inch cubes). Stir it up, then add the spices plus a chopped green serrano chile (or whatever chile you have on hand). Stir that all together, and add a cup of water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat for an hour. Take the lid off, turn the heat back up and boil the liquid off until it’s almost dry – the meat will be sitting in a little bit of oil and gravy. If you remember (we never do), add a squeeze of lemon juice and a bunch of freshly ground black pepper.
And this is the finished product:
Indian food isn’t big on attractiveness on the plate, but yum.