Pork Tikka Masala

Succulent pieces of pork in a thick spicy sauce

Where has this year gone?  It does not seem that long ago since the beginning of the year when I sat in the cottage looking out on a parched landscape during one of the hottest, driest summers this region has seen in a long time.   We were so short of water it was a real challenge to keep the veggie garden going - a problem compounded by the builiding of the main house, and completion of the house seemed like a distant dream.    I now sit in that 'distant dream', albeit sparsely furnished, in the middle of the coldest, wettest winters that we've seen in a while!  We have had several minimums of -4⁰C with one night getting down to -6⁰C.  The heavy frosts have subdued growth of many vegetables that I had growing in abundance during last winter and the rains have delayed starting on the landscaping but I have no complaints.  The tanks - including the big one attached to the main house - are over flowing and although I'm frustrated that I can't store the overflow, water shortage should be a thing of past.

Great weather for the Orange Frost Fest

Finally, I have the kitchen that's been about 2 years in the planning and I have spent a lot of time getting to know it!  To be able to build a kitchen based on your own specific needs, pandering to every little detail is to be in a cooks paradise.  I had a great deal of difficulty getting tradesman to do some of the things I wanted (This kitchen is too big, it will never work.  Why do you want drawers under the sink, we always do cupboards?  I didn't know (forgot) you wanted two dishwashers, it's too hard to get the plumbing in now!) but I did not compromise, getting things re-done where necessary, and it has paid off.  The kitchen is a dream to cook in.  Even the kids love working in it - there is a place for everything and everything is in it's place.  Remembering where everything is another matter but I've gotten better at it!

The new book - Curries and Spicy Dishes for Your Slow Cooker - is progressing well and there has been a lot of cooking going on.  My slow cooker that previously only had the occassional airing has seen a resurgence.  I have been converted, using it (or them, I have 3 now) for stews, casseroles, stocks and sauces in preference to the stove top every time.  The Pork Tikka Masala recipe below is cooked in a slow cooker and will be in the new book due out early next year.  If you don't have a slow cooker,  double the amount of water and simmer it on the cook top on a very low flame for 2½  to 3 hours, stirring now and again and adding more water as needed.

Pork Tikka Masala

Chunks of pork shoulder are marinated and slowly cooked until very tender and the whole lot stir fried with an aromatic onion mixture and generous amounts of spices until the juicy meat chunks are coated in a thick, spicy sauce.

Serves 5-6

Cook time: 3-4 hours on High                            6-8 hours on Low

3 onions, chopped
6-8 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
Thumb sized piece of ginger, chopped
1 cup (250ml) plain yoghurt
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp good quality oil

1.2 kg pork leg or shoulder, cut into chunks
½ cup hot water
6 tbsp good quality oil
1 tsp turmeric
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 ½  tbsp garam masala
2 tbsp chopped coriander

To serve: chappatis or other flat bread, dhal, pickles, chutneys, raita or plain yoghurt

Process or finely chop onion, garlic and ginger.  Reserve about half of the onion mixture and combine the rest with remaining marinade ingredients.  Add pork to marinade and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight if time allows.

Transfer meat and marinade to slow cooker, add water and mix well.  Cover and switch slow cooker onto desired setting and cook until meat is very tender but still holding its shape.

The dish can be prepared to this stage up to 24 hours ahead.

Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan and add the reserved onion mixture.  Stir fry for 4 – 5 minutes on medium – high heat until starting to brown.

Add the cooked meat and juices.  Cook on high for 4-5 minutes until about half the liquid has evaporated.
Turn down the heat to medium, add all the remaining ingredients except garam masala and chopped coriander, and stir fry the meat and spices for a further 3-4 minutes until dark.  You should have a richly coloured thick sauce by now and it will be releasing the oil.

Stir through the garam masala and cook, stirring, for a further minute or two until the sauce is very thick. 

Let the curry stand for a few minutes, during which time it will thicken further. Spoon off excess oil if preferred and serve sprinkled with coriander.  



Debs said...

Hi Kris,

Long time since your last post but you've been so busy I know.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who like to see photos of your fab new kitchen too.

Pork tikka masala sounds delicious as always.

Glad to hear the new book is coming along too.

macguy said...

Kris, we made the Pork Tikka Masala a few days ago using the slow cooker method. It was wonderful. It is enough for many meals for two. We should make a salad or some side dish to go with it but we never do. It's too good to wait.

Whenever I cook something my wife really likes, she says, "do the same next time" but that never happens. Next time the only change would be to use a dutch/french over (cast iron casserole UK?). What happens in the slow cooker is that I end up with an island floating in water.

Kris Dhillon said...

Hi Mark,

You do have to be careful with the amount of liquid when using slow cooker. If you cook it in a dutch oven/casserole dish you will need to keep in an eye on it so that it doesn't dry out.