Ria's Collection: March 2016

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


ammai is my Appan's sister. Yes,that also means she is my Ammai. Confused? We all called Appan's mom Mamma, so naturally, I got confused as a little girl and called my aunt Mammai,instead of Ammai. Mammai is an awesome cook just like her mother and she cooks a lot of stuff for every meal. Whenever we visit her family in Kothamangalam,she would definitely make her Kappa Erachi and this Pork Ularthu was another item that would visit the table quite often.

So just like you all having family groups on Whatsapp, we have one for our little family . Food is one of the main topics of discussion and one day, Mammai mentioned about her Pork Ulathu. I couldn't resist my temptation and got her precious recipe for her signature dish. I wrote it down on a piece of paper and that piece of paper vanished into a 'safe' place that I could never find!
On Monday evening,as I was rummaging through my little cookbook corner, I found that precious recipe! I was so excited, exactly the same way I felt 6-7 years ago when I found Ava's Mom's Chocolate Brownie recipe! So, when Jobin got back home from work that evening,we went to our nearby Oriental market to buy pork. That's the only place that I buy pork to make curries. Oh by the way, did I tell you all that I am on 10-day spring break? Yes, I am! :-) That also means,I will be joining Hyatt on April 4th for my 12 week externship! My Chef called me last night to tell me that my shift starts at 6.00 am which also means I need to wake up everyday at 4.30 am to get to the hotel atleast by 5.45 am since there's a 20 minute drive one way.Exciting times!
Okay, back to this delicious dish! So, whenever you are planning to make a pork curry like this or like my Pork Vindaloo ,make sure you buy a fatty cut of pork. If not, the meat will dry out during the lengthy cooking process and it will be fibrous in the end. If you've ever had that experience and didn't know what's going on, your meat was probably lean. The fat renders during the cooking making the whole dish succulent and delicious. Whenever I buy pork, I look for the marbling of fat throughout the meat. I don't buy meat with inches and inches of fat and skin above it,just a well marbled meat with some fat around it.

1.5 kilos (3lbs) pork shoulder, cut up into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, cubed
1 large tomato, cubed
1 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1 1/2 tablespoon cayenne
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

For seasoning:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
10 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 inches ginger, finely sliced
10 pearl onions, finely sliced
5 dried red chilies
1 sprig curry leaves
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder

Method: Pressure cook the meat along with onion,tomato,ground coriander,cayenne, ginger garlic paste, garam masala & salt for 4-5 whistles.DO NOT add any water. There should be about 1 cup of gravy left over after cooking. If you have a lot more than that, cook it down.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil and crackle the mustard seeds.Add the garlic,ginger, pearl onions and cook till they soften and the onions starts to brown a little bit. Add the dried red chilies and curry leaves,saute for 30 seconds. Add in the spice powders and mix well for 30 second. Add the cooked meat along with the gravy and cook until the gravy dries up,coats the meat and gets a dark brown colour. Adjust salt as needed and mix in the black pepper. Enjoy while it lasts!

This dish packs a punch for sure! It is so delicious that I couldn't stop myself from eating small portions of it every time I walked into the kitchen. At one point, I was a bit worried if I would eat up the whole thing by the time Jobin and Ian got back! This curry would be so perfect with some Kerala Matta rice, Kachiyamoru and a Mezhukkupuratti. It will pair really well with Appam, Puttu, Idiyappam, Batura, Chapathi, Poori etc.

When Jobin tasted it, he was like this thing is so tasty! It really is,so do give it a try and let me know! Just one word of caution, get a fatty cut of pork, please! :-)

It's a rainy day here today and all I can think of is curling up on the couch with some chorum,morum,pork ularthum and catching up on some old comedy Malayalam movies. I was watching Pattanapravesham as I was cooking this dish yesterday, I really need some background noise when I cook! ;-)
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