Keralan pork curry

Keralan pork curry

I Love Curry
Jonathan Gregson

This delicious recipe must come from the Christians of Kerala. It is not too spicy and has a lovely blend of flavours, with a hint of fruitiness from the raisins that really complements pork. I like to sprinkle the finished dish with grated coconut, which you fold in when you serve yourself, but if you don’t have any the curry is just as good without it. You can find frozen grated coconut in Asian stores; it’s a great freezer staple. Serve with rice or Paratha.


Quantity Ingredient
2/3 teaspoon mustard seeds
1.5cm cinnamon stick, broken up
4 cloves
4 fat garlic cloves
15g ginger, peeled weight
1 rounded tablespoon raisins
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
10 fresh curry leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
1-3 green chillies, whole but pierced
1 largish tomato, blended or chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
400g shoulder of pork, diced into 2.5–4cm cubes
salt, to taste
1/2-2/3 teaspoon tamarind paste, or to taste
a large handful grated coconut, to serve (optional, see recipe introduction)


  1. Using a good mortar and pestle, pound the mustard seeds, cinnamon and cloves until fine. Separately blend together the garlic, ginger and raisins with a small splash of water until smooth.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the curry leaves and onion and fry until these are golden. Add the ginger paste and chillies and fry for two or three minutes. Add the tomato, all the ground spices, pork and salt.
  3. Cook over a moderate to high flame, stirring and folding the meat in the sauce quite often, until all the paste has been absorbed; it will take 10–15 minutes. If it is absorbed sooner than this, you might need to add a splash of water and continue until you can see the masala release some oil.
  4. Add enough water to the pan to cover the pork by 1cm; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 45–55 minutes, or until the pork is tender; give the pan an occasional stir and add some water if it is getting dry. Uncover and cook off any excess water over a high heat, the sauce should be creamy. Stir in the tamarind, taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve sprinkled with fresh coconut (if using).
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