Pork chop bhooni Masala pork chops

Until the late 18th century, pork was not used much in Indian cooking. Although most of the country was Hindu, and consumption of pork was not barred, a large proportion of the population was vegetarian. It was only in Anglo-Indian cooking and in the hills in the eastern part of the country that pork was consumed. This recipe originates from Darjeeling, a hill station very popular with the British when they lived in India. The term bhooni refers to the dry, almost coating consistency of the spices that remain on the pork chops when the dish is finished.

INGREDIENTS

8 pork chops, about 4 oz (100 g) each, excess fat trimmed 1 tsp salt

1 tsp red chili powder 1 tbsp corn oil

Masala

1/2 tbsp mild chili powder 1 tsp ground turmeric 1 tbsp ginger paste 1 tsp garlic paste 3 tomatoes, finely chopped 74 cup corn oil 72 tsp fenugreek seeds

20 curry leaves 2 large onions, finely sliced 2 tbsp tomato ketchup 1 tsp salt 1 tsp caster sugar

1 tsp ground garam masala

To garnish

2 large potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise 72 tsp salt

72 tsp ground turmeric 2 tbsp corn oil

2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves

METHOD

Sprinkle the pork chops with the salt and chili powder and rub in well. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan and sear the pork chops for 2 minutes on each side or until they are colored. Remove from the pan and set aside.

For the masala, mix together the chili powder, turmeric, ginger and garlic pastes, and tomatoes in a bowl. Set aside.

Heat the 74 cup corn oil in the pan, add the fenugreek seeds, and stir for a minute. As the seeds begin to brown, add the curry leaves and onions and sauté for 6-8 minutes or until the onions begin to turn golden brown. Add th tomato mixture to the pan and sauté for a further 3-5 minutes or until the spices are fragrant.

Return the seared chops to the pan, and stir in the tomato ketchup, salt, and sugar. Spoon the spice mixture over the chops to coat them evenly. Reduce the heat to low and add 3/4 cup water. Simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until the chops are cooked through and tender.

Serves 4

Lobster Ala Plancha

While the chops are cooking, prepare the garnish. Cook the potatoes in boiling water seasoned with the salt and turmeric for 6-8 minutes or until they are just tender but still firm. Drain. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the potatoes, and cook until crisp and golden. Keep hot.

Remove the chops from the pan, transfer to a serving platter, and keep warm. Continue to cook the sauce, uncovered, for a few more minutes, until it has a thick coating consistency. Finish by stirring in the garam masala.

Pour the sauce over the pork chops. Arrange the crisp potatoes around the edge and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro. If you like, serve with chapatti, rice, or even some crusty bread.

rustic, fresh, and spicy

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