"Panch-Puren" Curried Pork with Apple & Raisins
It's getting colder every day and colder still every evening- brrrr! But you know what? I like this time of year! Soups and stews and casseroles and all that good stuff to make things all seem alright when you finally get home in the evening. And what could be more warming than a mild and creamy curry, juicy with fruit and seasoned with spice? That sounds like a mighty fine supper to me!
I love the flavor of this particular spice mix, consisting of cumin, black mustard, fennel, nigella and fenugreek seeds- it is aromatic and mellow and quite different to the usual curry mixes. I ground the spices together using my mortar and pestle after dry roasting them in a hot frying pan, the kitchen already full of the perfume of India- and my taste buds already eager and willing for the treat that lay ahead!
Once the spices were toasted and ready for grinding, I put the pan back on the hat and added the chopped pork and a little pat of clarified butter. Once the pork had begun to brown, I added some finely chopped garlic and ginger, the chopped stalks of parsley (the leaves I would add later on), some chopped onion, along with the toasted, ground panch puren spices and a good teaspoon of turmeric. Once these ingredients were all stirred nicely together I added the apple, cut into chunks of the same size as the pork, a handful of raisins and a little cinnamon... mmm! Things were beginning to smell seriously delicious at this point!!!
I kept stirring and browning everything, but when things began to seem a little too dry, deglazed the pan simply with a splash of water, to lift up all of the browned-on flavors and goodness and to begin forming the base of a delicious sauce. I sprinkled-in just a teaspoon of gram flour and added a little more water and kept stirring... the sauce began to form as if from nowhere! The pectin in the apples and the finely chopped onion began to blend together with the gram flour to naturally bind the juices that were forming- it was so easy!
Next, I added salt and pepper to get the seasoning just right, as well as a good pinch of chili flakes to give it a little more "oomph!". After 10 minutes total cooking time, the pork was tender, the apples perfect and the flavors nicely blended- time to add a little plain yogurt, a last little pat of clarified butter and to turn off the heat... it was almost time to eat! I added the finely chopped parsley and gently stirred-in the yogurt, letting it warm through and come up to temperature, but not letting it curdle on a high flame.
I enjoyed mine this evening simply with some pieces of freshly baked flat bread, but you might want to try this on a bed of basmati rice or even on noodles... I have done both in the past and either is good! I am not Indian, this is not an authentic, traditional preparation and to me it is all about simply enjoying some great flavors... and if you follow my lead- you surely will!