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    Black Pork Curry

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    Black Pork Curry

    The 'black' of this dish's name refers to the dark-roasted curry powder. It adds a mellow fragrance that is nicely balanced by the tartness provided by the tamarind and vinegar. These quantities make 30g curry powder; if you want to make a larger batch, it will keep in an airtight jar for a couple of months.
    To obtain thick coconut milk, put the tin in the fridge for an hour or two before using. Open carefully; the thick coconut milk will have gathered at the top of the tin, so you can scoop it straight out into the curry when needed.

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 90 minutes to 120 minutes
    • Total time: 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 30 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
    • 3cm fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
    • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 7cm cinnamon stick
    • 4 cardamom pods
    • 900g boneless pork leg, cut into large cubes
    • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 100ml tamarind paste
    • 150ml thick coconut milk
    • 1 red chilli, seeded and finely sliced
    • Roasted Curry Powder
    • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
    • ½ tbsp cumin seeds
    • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
    • ½ tsp fennel seeds
    • 3cm cinnamon stick
    • 3 cloves
    • 5 cardamom pods
    • 1 dried bay leaf
    • 2 hot dried chillies


    1. For the curry powder, heat a heavy-based frying pan over a moderate heat. Add all the ingredients except the bay leaf and chillies. Dry-fry, stirring constantly until all the spices are well browned. Now add the bay leaf and chillies; continue stirring until they have begun to brown too, and the rest of the spices are a slightly alarming, almost-burnt dark brown, but don’t actually let them burn. Tip into a bowl and cool for a few minutes, then grind to a powder. Allow to cool completely.
    2. Put the onions, ginger and garlic into a food processor and whiz until finely chopped. Heat the oil in a large pan or wok, then scrape in the onion mixture. Fry until beginning to colour, stirring constantly so that it doesn’t burn; add the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and the roasted curry powder and fry for 1 minute. Add the pork, and stir around until fragrantly coated with the mixture. Stir in the vinegar, tamarind paste and 200ml water, then season with salt. Bring to a lazy simmer, cover and leave to simmer for 1–1½ hours until the pork is tender. Stir in the coconut milk and cook for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning; scatter with the sliced chilli before serving.

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    Drinks recommendation

    The flavour fireworks here are best calmed down by a well-chilled yet fragrant and complex beer.


    Average user rating

    5 stars