Indian Pork Curry - Pork Pandi Recipe

Indian Pork Curry | Pork Pandi Style Recipe

Indian Pork Curry | Pork Pandi Style Recipe

This Indian Pork curry in the style of a traditional pork Pandi recipe delivers lots of spice, lots of sourness and lots and lots of wonderful, melting, perfectly cooked pork. If you like the bowls I’ve used to plate up this dish, you’ll find something very similar right here! (The previous was an affiliate link for which I earn a commission per purchase.)

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Indian Pork Curry - Pork Pandi Recipe

Introduction

I would like to begin this post with a little disclaimer. I am well aware that this recipe is not a strict interpretation of a Pork Pandi because it does not include Kachampuli, the blackened Coorgi vinegar that gives the dish its characteristic colour and sourness. In its place, I have used a more commonplace vinegar, as much for my own convenience as for yours!

If you are able to get hold of Kachampuli, you should absolutely go ahead and do so. The authentic ingredients are always the way forward in these situations, even if just so you can see what the real dish is all about. Or to see the subtle differences between ingredients. But if you can’t, you’ll still find a very tasty curry with the essence of a real Pork Pandi.

Indian Pork Curry - Pork Pandi Recipe
A real, authentic Pork pandi would be a little darker in colour, thanks to the addition of Kachampuli, a blackened vinegar created by the Coorgi people of India.

About the dish – Pork Pandi Recipe

Originating in the beautiful forest regions of Kodagu in Karnataka, down in the Southwest of India, the Pork Pandi is a wonderful rarity within Indian recipes.

Pork simply isn’t a commonly eaten thing in India. Unlike beef, which is frequently left off the table for religious reasons, Indians do not commonly eat pork for very different reasons. As easy as it would be to assume there are also religious restrictions surrounding the consumption of pork, it’s actually more to do with the perception of pork than anything more spiritual or meaningful.

Simply put, pork is perceived to be an unclean animal within Indian culture. At least in some areas. And in fact, there are reports suggesting Indian pork really isn’t as clean as some other proteins. Although I cannot confirm that to be the case.

Anyway, aside from the inclusion of pork, the defining characteristic of the dish is the inclusion of vinegar as a souring agent. In Kodagu, Kachampuli is used, a black vinegar made from the fruit of the Gummi-Gutta fruit. Reference. The fruit is fermented and reduced into something a little like a balsamic vinegar.

About this dish – Indian Pork Curry

As I mentioned above, this version of the dish will use a slightly more mainstream souring agent. Whether that’s balsamic vinegar, cider vinegar or tamarind is totally up to you. I used a little mix of balsamic and tamarind, but the choice is yours, as is the quantity of that ingredient.

I actually used pork belly in this dish, but any braising cut would be perfectly suitable. You want something fatty that will baste itself as it braises down.

We’re using simple spices, common across India, but very well suited to pork. The mustard seeds, fennel and cumin all wonderfully highlight the meat’s delicious, unctuous qualities.

Indian Pork Curry - Pork Pandi Recipe
Mustard seeds, fennel and cumin are all fantastic flavours to compliment this delicious meat.

A quick guide to making this Indian pork curry

Normally, my curry recipes begin with the toasting of any whole, dry spices. But in this recipe, we’re actually going to throw the whole spices straight in to cook with the onions. These include whole red chillies, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and cumin seeds. With a little salt.

Before we do that, we’ll quickly fry off the pork. Dice it up into nice, big pieces and sear all over at a high heat with a tiny scrap of oil. Just enough to transfer a little heat into the pork, so that the fat can start to render and provide its own basting fat. Then we’ll set it aside.

Once the onions are caramelised, we’ll add the powdered black pepper and coriander to the mix, followed by a ginger and garlic paste and some finely chopped green chillies. Or you can incorporate them into the paste.

Next up, it’s tomatoes, water and a bay leaf. Then it’s reducing and braising and slowly cooking and all that good stuff. Followed by a good glug of whatever you’re going to use to tart the dish up, right at the very end, once you’ve reached the desired thickness of sauce.

Indian Pork Curry - Pork Pandi Recipe
This version uses regular vinegar to make it a little more accessible.

A few final things to remember

  • Any cut of pork will work. I’ve used belly. Just like shoulder, belly contains enough fat to baste itself as it cooks, so you barely have to add any extra. If you use a leaner meat, be prepared to use a little more oil.
  • You could toast and grind the whole spices if you prefer. If you do so, don’t throw them in with the onion until very late on, at the same time as you would the pepper and coriander powders.
  • Your choice of souring agent is really up to you. If you have access to Kachampuli, congratulations, you’re making a more honest and authentic interpretation of the dish than the rest of us! For those who don’t, I recommend either balsamic vinegar, for its thickness and colour, or cider vinegar, for its overall compatibility with pork.

Similar Recipes & Useful Sides

The Best Kashmiri Lamb Rogan Josh Recipe – An unexpected favourite, a childhood favourite in its grown up form. Rich, deep and incredible.

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The Best Indian Flatbread Recipe – The best Indian flatbreads you’ve ever seen. Seriously.


The above are affiliate links for which I earn a commission per purchase.


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Subscribe to my newsletter now for a free guide to cooking curries! AND I’ll send you weekly tricks, tips and updates that will help you elevate your cooking to the next level!


Indian Pork Curry | Pork Pandi Style Recipe

Indian Pork Curry | Pork Pandi Style Recipe

This Indian Pork curry in the style of a traditional pork Pandi recipe delivers lots of spice, lots of sourness and lots and lots of wonderful, melting, perfectly cooked pork.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

Main Ingredients & Seasonings

  • 400 g Pork belly, shoulder or otherwise
  • 1 lrg White Onion
  • 1/2 can Chopped Tomatoes
  • Vinegar Kachampuli, balsamic or cider – to taste
  • Salt
  • Cooking Oil
  • 1 Bay Leaf

Paste and Spice Mix

  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 2 Dried Red Chillies
  • 1/2 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 2 inches Fresh Ginger
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 3 sml Green Chillies

Instructions
 

Prep

  • Peel and finely dice your onion, then set it aside.
  • Peel and chop, then grind together the ginger, garlic and, optionally, the green chillies. Or you can exclude them or simply chop them and add them separately.
  • Dice up the pork and sear all over until nice and well browned. Do this in a very hot pan with the tiniest splash of oil. The pork fat should render nice and fast and that should provide enough fat in which to cook. Set the pork aside and hold onto some of that fat.

Cook

  • With either cooking oil or some of that pork fat, caramelise the onions on a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently as they turn soft and translucent. You'll want to add the red chillies, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and some salt nice and early on.
  • Add the black pepper and coriander powder, cook for a minute or so and then add the paste.
  • After another minute or two, you'll want to add the pork back in along with a bay leaf and the chopped tomatoes. Stir everything together and season slightly, then add about 2/3 pint of water. Braise this down gradually over a couple of hours until the pork is nice and soft, topping the water up if required.
  • At the end, once everything is reduced and soft, add a little of whatever vinegar you are using to sour the sauce, along with any additional seasoning you might require. You could also use tamarind either as well or instead of the vinegar.
Keyword Curry, Indian Cuisine, indian curry, indian dish, Indian food, indian pork, indian pork curry, indian pork curry, pork curry, pork pandi, pandi, kodagu, coorgi, curry, pork, pork

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