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Pandhi curry

coorg-pork.jpg

Pandhi Curry originated from Coorg or the Kodagu Region of Karnataka, India. The Kodava people were known to be avid hunters in years gone by and the wild boar was easy pickings. This tasty meat became staple food and marked the beginnings of the famed ‘Coorg Pandhi Curry’. Today, many Kodava families have their own Piggeries and Pandhi Curry remains one of their favorite dishes.

This dish requires double cooking, first braised slowly to cook the pork until tender and then stir-fried to finish the dish and the high heat caramelizes the onions and meat adding a depth of flavour. This technique of double cooking is also seen in certain Bengali style bhunas and it’s interesting to see different cooking techniques being used together in one dish

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 750 gm pork loin diced
  • 2tbsp ginger, garlic paste
  • 1tsp turmeric powder
  • 2tsp salt
  • 8-10 peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp soya sauce
  • 10 kokum berries soaked in 100ml hot water. Use the water for the marination.
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 4 dried red chillies
  • 4 medium sized red onions sliced

Method

Step 1: Marinate the pork with the above ingredients and leave overnight.

Step 2: Transfer the pork to a heavy bottom cooking pot. Cover the pork with just enough water to cover the pork and cook for an hour or until the pork is very tender. Drain the pork and reserve the liquid.

Step 3: Heat the oil and add the dried red chillies and let them get dark. Add curry leaves and fry for 30 seconds or so till they start to crisp up. Now add the sliced red onions and sauté until translucent.

Step 4: Transfer the pre-cooked pork to this and stir fry with constant stirring for 6-8 minutes to caramelize. If the meat feels dry, add a tbsp or two of the reserved cooking liquid and cook until it’s dried up. The pork will acquire a shiny glaze. Correct the seasoning and serve with steamed rice.

Tips

- Use as little water as possible to cook the pork first time around. The liquid will have stronger flavours and you can add it back to the stir-fry later.

- Keep the seasoning slightly less than what you’d like to end up with, all this prolonged cooking makes the flavours very intense.

Related

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