Our last recipe from Anjali Ganapathy - and our very first one with meat. Whilst my focus here is vegetarian, there's a special reason Anjali chose this dish - read on for more!
Hello everyone! Anjali again. For my last recipe, I chose pork of course! Kodava or Coorg food is one of the few cuisines in India that is known for its pork preparations. Pandi (pork) curry, our most popular dish is the butter chicken of Coorg cuisine. Loved and enjoyed by anyone who tastes it, it is the only dish we served at our first stall and the inspiration behind our name Pigout! A classic, served at weddings and Kodava festivals, we owe this one a lot. There are a variety of pork dishes in our cuisine; I decided to go with something a little less intimidating than the mighty Pandi Curry, which some may find labor intensive and time consuming.
This stir fry is a popular bar snack - eat it plain, in a roll, with curry and rice or on a slice of toast - either way, it’s so good! Typically, this dish uses Kachampulli vinegar, which is synonymous with Coorg cuisine. Made from fermented juice of the Gummi-Gutta fruit, this vinegar is dark, with an intense sour, yet smoky-earthy flavor. It’s hard to find outside of Coorg and I’m pretty sure impossible abroad, unfortunately. Therefore my suggested alternative of tamarind and vinegar. You won’t get the same earthy flavor, but it’s still delish!
Chillkana pandi (Stir fry pork)
Serves four to six as a side
500 pork shoulder with fat and skin, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped or grated
7-8 garlic pods, roughly chopped
1 green chilli, de-seeded if you prefer less heat
2 medium red onions, sliced
2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 teaspoon tamarind paste or Kachampulli vinegar* (see note above)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt to taste
Fresh lime juice to serve
In a medium sized bowl, marinate the pork with the turmeric and salt. Place it in pressure cooker with a cup of water and cook until the meat is about 3/4ths done. This usually takes me 3 whistles on a high flame. If you choose not to use a pressure cooker, marinate the meat and cook it in a heavy-bottom pot with 2 cups of warm water. You may need more water, depending on the toughness of meat and how much fat it has. Do check pork skin to know when it’s done.
Meanwhile heat the oil in a wok and once warm, add the onion. Cook for about 2 minutes and then add the ginger. Once the onion turns translucent, add the garlic and chilli, and continue to cook for a minute, stirring well.
Add the pork, pepper and a ladle of the broth left from the pressure cooker or the pot and stir well. Cover with a lid, turn heat down to low and allow the meat to cook. Once the pork skin is soft and gelatinous, add the tamarind and white vinegar / kachampulli vinegar* and stir together. Increase the flame to high and ensure that all the liquid has evaporated. Give the mix one final stir on a high flame, the pork will begin to sputter and char a bit. Remove from flame and adjust the salt if necessary. Transfer to a serving bowl and squeeze some fresh lime juice over it before serving.