Coorgi Pandhi Curry – Coorg Pork curry

A typical Coorg style pork curry. I first had it at my best friend Dipti’s place, in Coorg, made by her mom. Auntie’s a terrific cook and there are a lot of her recipes which I love, but this is an all-time number one.

This preparation consists or 3 parts — the marinated pork, the coarsely ground masala. Roast and powdered masala

(1) Pork or ‘pandhi’ (as they call it in Kodavatakk or Coorgi language) 1 kg, cut into medium sized pieces. Marinate this in ½ tsp of salt 1 tsp each of turmeric & chilly powder each, for about ½ an hour.

(2) Coarsely ground masala:

  1. Shallots 8
  2. Garlic 10 pods, that’s right PODS, not CLOVES (if they are small, or about 7 if they are big)
  3. Green chillis 4-5
  4. Ginger 1” piece
  5. Coccum 2-3 pieces or strips

The above ingredients should be crushed rather than ground.

(3) Roast and powdered masala:

  1. Coriander seeds 1 tsp
  2. Black peppercorns 2 tsp
  3. Cumin seeds 1 ½ tsp
  4. Mustard ½ tsp

Roast and make a fine powder.

Preparation:

  • Add the ground masala and 1 cup of hot water to the pork and cook well in the pressure cooker, about 10-12 whistles should be fine.
  • When cooked, add powdered masala. Mix well and simmer for another 10-15 minutes, till you get thick gravy.
  • The gravy will be black in color thick in consistency.
  • Best when served with ‘Otti’ (which is a Coorgi style rice flat bread) or with rice.
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Karnataka style curried greens – Soppu saaru

Soppu saaru (Soppu is ‘leaf’ and saaru is ‘curry’ in Kannada), pronounced “Soppsaaru” which is called Cheera curry (in Malayalam) is one of the most popular vegetarian curries in Karnataka. It’s rich in fiber and flavor. Pretty easy to make, except for the part of cleaning the leaves. This was a preparation I had never seen before going to Bangalore. The way my Mom prepares greens, which is Kerala style, is very different from this and the taste is entirely different too. Frankly I prefer Mom’s preparation, but this version is supposed to be extremely nutritious as it contains not 1, but at least 4 to 5 types of leaves.
Mixed greens, 4 or 5 types, which includes spinach, coriander leaves and gongura leaves,washed and chopped, about 4 cups
Toor dal, or sambhar dal, 1/2 cup
Moong dal 1/2 cup
Garlic 10 cloves
Tomato 1
Green chillis 6-8
Turmeric 1 tsp
Water 1 cup

Cook all the above together in a pressure cooker for 5-6 whistles or till both the dals are cooked well. Remove from heat and when it cools, add salt and use a heavy ladle to mash the contents a little.

Coconut grated, 3/4 cup
Jeera, 1/2 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Grind the above to make a smooth paste. Add this to the curry.

Tamarind pulp, 1 tbsp (If you are not adding gongura leaves, then you’ll have to increase this to 2tbsp)

Add to the curry along with the coconut mixture. Mix well. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.

For seasoning:
Coconut oil, 1 tbsp
Mustard, 1/2 tsp
Dry red chilies, 2
Shallots, sliced 2tbsp
Curry leaves, a few

Heat the oil, add the ingredients in the given order and fry till the shallots turn golden brown. Then add the curry leaves, pour onto the curry, close the lid for about 10 minutes. You can add a dollop of ghee too, but that would be a lil on the heavier side. I usually avoid the ghee, even though it improves the taste drastically.

This curry goes well with rice, chappati or Ragi ball or Ragi Modde, as it’s called in Kannada. It tastes best when accompanied with rice, curd and fish fry.