Main Attraction, Pork

Cinnamon-Scented Pork Curry with Chickpeas

13002420_1251474571547304_7907994798291464784_oOh boy, I sure do love Indian food. My Mom started experimenting with recipes from Neelam Batra’s The Indian Vegetarian when I was a kid. At first I thought the idea of chutney was too weird to possibly be good, never mind the lime pickle that my father was crazy about. Now the smell of dhal, basmati and coconut cauliflower curry makes me hungrier than anything! I read recently that the appeal in Indian food is largely due to the widely contrasting flavours that are combined in each dish. Whatever is going on scientifically, it’s just unbelievably delicious.
I totally ripped this recipe off from Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala’s restaurant cookbook Vij’s. I hope they don’t mind that I adapted it for my home kitchen!





Cinnamon-Scented Pork Curry with Chickpeas
Don’t be daunted by the long list of ingredients. This curry comes together quite easily and I bet you have almost everything on hand already. It can also be prepared days in advance and reheated, and is guaranteed to bring you great pleasure.

1/4 cup Canola Oil
1 tablespoon Cumin Seeds
2 large Onions, chopped
7 large cloves Garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon grated Ginger
2 tablespoons ground Cumin
2 teaspoons ground Coriander
1 teaspoon Turmeric
10 Cloves or 1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves
1 Cinnamon Stick or 3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Salt
1 can (541 ml) Tomatoes
1 cup Plain Yogurt or Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Canola Oil
2 pounds boneless Pork Leg Steak or Shoulder, cut in 1 inch cubes
1 (540 ml) can Chick Peas, drained
1 cup fresh or frozen Peas
1/2 cup chopped fresh Cilantro (optional)

Choose a large, heavy pot and set it over medium heat. Add the canola oil, let heat a few seconds, then sprinkle in the cumin seeds. Once they sizzle, add the onions. Cook and stir until softened and golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another few minutes, then stir in the ginger, ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cloves, cinnamon and salt. Continue to cook another 5-10 minutes, until the oil starts to separate from the spices.

Break up the tomatoes and add them and their liquid to the pot. Cook for another few minutes and add the yogurt or cream along with one cup of water. Reduce to simmer while you complete the next step.

Heat the canola oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the pork and brown on all sides. Remove from the heat and add to the simmering sauce. Cook over low heat 1 1/2 hours, until the pork is tender. Add the chickpeas and simmer a 15 minutes longer. Remove the whole cloves and cinnamon stick if you used them and stir in the peas and cilantro. Serve with Basmati rice, Chutney and Chili or Lime Pickle if you like!