I love cooking in winter. There is just something about a hearty soup or stew gently simmering away on the stove-top that makes me feel all warm and gooey on the inside. I love the melt- in- your- mouth meats, the tender vegetables and the rich and thick sauce that you get from cooking things low and slow. And how about the house smelling great as the spices slowly release their fragrance? I just love it!
This pork korma that I rustled up a few weeks ago, is the quintessential winter dinner for me. It uses some of the most staple Indian spices and turns what would otherwise have been just a plain old stew with meat and vegetables into something absolutely lip smacking. The pork ribs ensure that the meat stays moist and tender even after 2 hours of cooking and the potatoes disintegrate into the sauce giving it a wonderful, thick texture.The cream just adds to the silkiness of the sauce redolent with some of my favorite spices.
I think what I love about such cooking is the unhurried pace if it. I know people have made fortunes by producing quick and snappy recipes, but don’t you dare rush me. Thirty minute meals are just not my thing. Cooking is my way of unwinding, so why would I ever want to speed that up?!
I listen to music as I chop and saute; sometimes I sing along or burst into a quick jig if it is a particularly peppy R.D Burman song; I play with Helo in between checking in on the sauce and most importantly, I let my instincts lead me, instead of just blindly following a recipe.
Try relaxing in the kitchen the next time you are cooking. I promise you, it is so much fun!
Here is the recipe –
2 onions, finely chopped
2 lb pork country style ribs, cut into 2″ chunks (you can use pork shoulder too)
5 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes
2 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp ginger paste
2 tbsp fennel powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
3 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp red chili powder
1 tbsp paprika
1tbsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
1 tbsp cardamom powder
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 bay leaves
4 small cinnamon sticks
4 cups chicken stock
2-4 cups water (Depending on how much sauce you want)
Handful of cashew nuts
Handful of raisins
1 cup heavy cream
Salt, to taste
chopped cilantro, for garnish
1) In a large Dutch oven on medium heat, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the chopped onions and salt and saute until soft and translucent. Add the cubed pork and stir until the pieces start getting a good sear. Then add the cubed potatoes and saute for a couple of minutes.
2) Add the ginger and garlic paste, fennel powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom powder and tomato paste. Give it a good stir and saute for a couple of minutes, until the spices are nicely fragrant. Don’t let the spices burn! (If needed, add some extra oil).
3) Add the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, chicken stock and water and mix everything thoroughly. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat, put the lid on and simmer for 1 .5 – 2 hours, until the pork is very fork tender. Keep ladling the fat that will accumulate at the top every half hour or so.
4) Add the cashew nuts, raisins and heavy cream and cook for 4-5 minutes. Check for seasoning and then add the chopped cilantro as garnish. Serve immediately with rice or and Indian flat bread like naan or paratha. Enjoy!