Friday, January 6, 2012

Pork Vindaloo with Naan Bread

As I've probably mentioned or made clear, Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines. But the term Indian food has many meanings, the country has a rich and complex past, and its cuisine reflects the diversity. I chose to make Pork Vindaloo mainly because I had a huge pork loin that needed to be cooked. I was craving Indian food and thought of Pork Vindaloo. One of the few dishes that contains pork from India. It was a dish that was popular among Portuguese traders who inhabited the city of Goa. It can also be made with chicken or lamb. The dish is rich in flavor and almost addicting. It is great eaten with Naan bread and rice. The recipe calls for tamarind pulp, but I couldn't find this either, so I omitted it and the recipe came out great, although I'm sure it would have been better with it. I wanted to make a Cilantro and Mint Chutney, but the store did not have any mint. I'll save that for next time.

Pork Vindaloo
Adapted from "Classic Indian Cooking" by Julie Sahni

2 lb. pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes

For the marinade:
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp chopped, fresh ginger
2 tbsp cider vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove

For cooking:
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onions
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp Kosher salt

1) To make the marinade toast the cumin seeds and brown mustard seeds in a pan for about 3 minutes, being careful not to burn them. Grind them in spice grinder or with mortar and pestle then add to a food processor
2) In food processor blend together the remaining ingredients for the marinade until it forms a thick paste, then place in a large ziploc bag with pork and marinade for at least 4 hours, although longer is better, up to 48 hours in refrigerator
3) Heat oil in pan and add onions and cook until browned, about 10 minutes, then add in spices and let brown for about 1 minute
4) Add marinated pork, reserving juices, let cook for about 10 minutes

5) Add remaining juices and and bring to a boil, then reduce temperature to low and let cook, slightly uncovered for 30 minutes, or until pork is tender
6) Season with salt to taste, serve, and enjoy!

Naan Bread
Adapted from Aarti Sequeira

1 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp plain yogurt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Melted butter for brushing finished naans
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

1) Dissolve yeast with 1 tsp of the sugar in 3/4 cup warm water and let set 10 minutes, until frothy
2) Sift together the remaining sugar with salt, baking powder, and flour
3) Add yogurt and oil into yeast mixture then pour into flour and mix

4) Place in large bowl and let rise, covered with plastic wrap, for 2 to 4 hourse
5) Flour work space and divide dough into 6 pieces, and roll out into tear-drop/oblong shapes, stretch with hands if necessary

6) Heat oven to 450 F with pizza stone on bottom rack
7) Add naan to pizza stone and cook on each side for about 2 minutes, check and add more time if necessary
8) Melt butter and brush cooked naans and sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy!

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