Friday, October 05, 2012

Recipe: Pork Indad - Manglorean Sweet and Spicy Pork

Pork Indad is a traditional Manglorean dish and used to be served at any celebration - weddings, Christenings, Christmas. Among the Pork dishes cooked and served by the Manglorean Catholics, Indad is perhaps second only to Laithaun.

Preparation of this dish requires a lot of patience because the masala needs to be cooked slowly and steadily. Unlike a Pork Bafat where everything is popped into the dish and cooked together, the Indad has multiple steps to be followed, but the end result is well worth it.

For those who don't eat pork, this recipe, works well with chicken (please use chicken with skin for Chicken indad, you can discard the skin later if you like, although I personally believe its the tastiest part) and eggs. The only reason I don't make it with chicken or eggs, is ecause I feel that if I'm putting in this much effort, I might as well make it with pork.

Nana used to make the most fantastic Pork Indad and it was famous in her entire extended family. If anyone had the good fortune of eating Nana's pork indad even once, they would most certainly request it the next time they were due to come over.

When I lived in Bangalore, I used to take little frozen dabbas of nanas pork indad when I came to Mangalore for the weekend, and savour it slowly over the week. Before my husband first visited Mangalore, he would just about taste the gravy of pork if I cooked it. One weekend with Nana's Pork Indad changed his attitude towards Pork forever. If I remember right, he ate Pork Indad for all 6 of his meals on that trip.

On the Feast of Mother Mary - Monthisaibinechi festh - on September 8th, traditionally we are supposed to eat a completely vegetarian meal in honour of the harvest. But nana also used to make us a nice big pot of pork indad which she would serve us AFTER we had eaten up all our vegetables.

Sadly none of her daughters or grand-daughters have perfected the same halt (balance of flavours and textures) as nana. After Nana passed away 3.5yrs ago, I hadn't even attempted to make Pork Indad, because this dish is so intricately linked with her and my memories of her. And even thinking of her food, reminds me how much I still miss her.

However on this years Monthisaibinechi festh, the urge to cook Pork Indad got very strong and I finally succumbed to the temptation by the end of the month :)

My version is not as good as nana's, but with a few tweaks, I think I can get it there. First on the list of changes would be to buy a table top mixer grinder to grind this masala, rather than in a mixi.

Each Manglorean family has a different recipe for Pork Indad, some use mint leaves, some use dates, some use raisins, some use jaggery some use green chillies. To see what I'm talking about, you can check out Shireen at Ruchik Randhap's recipe and Michelle's recipe on The Tiffin Box.

2 kg pork (use pork that has fat and skin for the authentic flavour, curry cuts work well) cut into 1" cubes
15 long red chillies (kumti/beary chillies) - these give colour
10 short gaunchi chillies - these give heat
15 black peppercorns
1 tsp jeera
2 tsp haldi powder

10 cloves
6" cinnamon
6 medium onions
2 pods of garlic (not cloves, pods)
2" ginger
table tennis ball size of tamarind - extract pulp for use 
4 green chillies
1 handful of corriander leaves
1-2 large potatoes skinned and cut into 1cm slices (soak in mildly salted cold water)
1 small onion sliced

1-2 tbsps ghee
sugar, salt & vinegar to taste (I like to use Goan toddy vinegar)
dark rum - preferably Old Monk for punch (optional)

Dry roast all the dry ingredients individually.(red chillies, pepper, jeera, cloves, cinnamon)
Grind these together with the 6 medium onions, ginger, garlic,tamarind, green chillies and corriander leaves and a little vinegar when grinding for moisture
In a large pan, cook the pork with just a pinch of salt. The meat will release water.
When the water dries up, add 2 tbsps ghee and fry the pork untill the fat of the pork breaks down and starts melting . (If you are cooking with 2 kgs, its better to fry it in 2-3 batches, so the meat gets evenly fried)

Remove the pork from the pan and keep aside, there should be a lot of melted fat + ghee leftover.
Fry the potato slices in this fat (dry the potatoes on a kitchen towel before frying to prevent splattering)
Remove the fried potato slices and keep aside.
Fry the sliced onion in the fat until caramelised.
Then add the ground masala to the fried onions.
Fry on a low flame, adding a tsp or 2 of water as required until the masala is completely cooked and no raw taste remains.
Add the masala water (water got when washing the grinder) and a little more liquid to the masala and cook until it bubbles (this is a thick curry, so you need a semi-gravy consisitency)
Add the fried meat to the masala and cook until the fat breaks down some more and the meat turns soft.
Adjust salt, sugar and vinegar to taste. The dish should be slightly sweet, with a hint of sourness.
Garnish with fried potatoes

The potatoes taste good either crisp or when they have soaked up the masala, so you can mix some fried slices into the curry and reserve the rest for garnish.

Serve hot with appams, sannas, panpole (neer dosa), pau bread or white rice. I've served it with appams in the pictuire below.

As with most other Manglorean pork curries, indad tastes better with age. So you can make it 2-3 days before you plan to serve it and reheat it daily. Adjust salt, vinegar, sugar on the last day and add potatoes only before serving.

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