With all my love for the North East India, its places, cuisine and people, its a shame this is the first NE recipe am posting. But like they say, better late than never. Today’s lunch was not supposed to be impromptu at all. I had been premeditating what I’ll cook today ever since bro bought the pork for me yesterday from this tiny non-descript unnamed pork shop in Bhawanipur, a part of Old Kolkata we don’t get to visit too often now. At one point though, I have mixed memories of the equally old and much hallowed Asutosh College where as a student fresh out of school who had gone for career counselling, I was insulted and driven out by a rude old Professor for ‘wearing a skirt’. Five years later, I was teaching a batch of post grad students my age. My mom, who had been witness to both these events, and in fact had pretended to not know me during the previous incidence, was very proud of me now.
Coming back to the pork, my initial resolution was to cook a Jadoh and Doh Jem (the Khasi black sesame pork). I bought black sesame seeds from a Dashakarma bhandar (religious store – dunno what else to call it) in Gariahat market. I even asked the guy if its fit for cooking and he nodded vigorously and gave me a whole lot of it. When I tried prepping with it though, I found the black colour coming off from the seeds, also they smelled of soot. With a heavy heart I had to change my plans. So I decided to use a tomato instead of the sesame paste. I also used some cubed potatoes. The taste was reminiscent of some simple dry curries I had in the rice stalls of Meghalaya. The best part of slow cooking the fat is the sticky consistency it lends to the gravy, that and the potatoes mashed into some rice — pure heaven!
- Pork: Cubed, 400 gms
- Potato: 1 medium (optional)
- Garlic: whole, 8-10 cloves
- Ginger: 1.5 inch, grated
- Green chilly: 1 no., slit lengthwise
- Tomato: 1 medium, chopped coarsely
- Spring onion: 1 no.
- Turmeric: 2 tsp
- Salt and sugar to taste
- Clean the pork and sepaarte out the pieces of fat.
- Smear the pork with some salt and turmeric.
- In a pressure cooker, drop the pieces of fat first and cook them uncovered with half
- a cup of water, for about 15 mins or till you see the oil floating.
- Stick in a knife to see if they are tender.
- Next, add the lean pork cubes.
- Add lightly crushed whole garlic cloves and ginger paste and stir for 2 mins.
- Add the tomato, spring onion, chilly, potatoes and some water, season
- Cover and pressure cook on low heat for 20-30 mins.
- Serve with aromatic steamed rice.
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