Pork and Beef never feature in Tamil non-vegetarian cookbooks. Both are eaten here, but this is rarely acknowledged by certain sections of society and never by those who write recipe books. However, eating pork for medicinal reasons is generally accepted.
I have always been fascinated by people from Coorg and their stories about roast pig served at their weddings. I spotted Cuisine from Coorg by Ranee Vijaya Kuttaiah in one Chennai’s major bookstores. The book has a section devoted to pork (pandi as it is called in Coorg). This is a simple and tasty dish, which, if you have all the ingredients at hand, can be made in an hour.
The author had suggested pressure cooking the pork and drying the stock. I have modified the recipe to turn it into a fry and reduce the cooking time.
- ½ kg lean pork
- 1 large Onion, sliced
- 3 Green Chillis
- 1 whole Garlic, sliced
- 3-cm-piece Ginger, grated
- 1 tsp Pepper powder
- 1 tsp Tamarind pulp
- ½ tsp Turmeric powder
- 2 T Vegetable Oil
- 1 C Water, if needed
- 2 tsp Salt, or to taste
- Cut the pork into 3-cm cubes.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet or frying pan.
- Fry the onions till almost golden, add the sliced garlic and green chillis and fry for a few minutes.
- Add the pork, turmeric powder, pepper powder, ginger, and the tamarind pulp and the salt.
- Fry till the pork becomes brown in colour. Cover the pan tightly, lower heat and allow the pork to cook in its own juice.
- Add ¼ cup or more water if necessary.
- Remove when pork is fully cooked.
- The original recipe mentions pork with fat and skin. But I have used only lean pork here, mainly to reduce the fat intake.
- The author has suggested using kokum as an alternative to tamarind, which you can use if you like the flavour. Kokum is a dried fruit used as a souring agent in the West coast of India, the same way Tamarind is generally used in other parts of India.
- Only the extract of the tamarind is used in curries. Here I have used the commercially available tamarind extract.