With the days speeding towards Christmas, this Naga belle, yours truly, is craving for many a dish that is typically Rongmei Naga. I miss the sight and smell of home and especially the home grown spices and ingredients. December truly is a celebration month back at home. The month is always packed with weddings, families get-together, love feasts at Church ect..etc..and the main dish that dominate the menu in most of such occasion is Pork or Beef or both (quite predictably) :D. Fish and Chicken are like a side dish, or made specially for those with health issues...basically for the Unwell lot ;).
Yes...fact is Naga people in general love pork and we love it most when cooked with fermented bamboo shoot or with fermented soya beans (the typical way). The way we process soya bean is totally different from that of the the Chinese. The smell is overwhelming but the taste is (for us) just mind blowing. Fermented bamboo shoot and soya beans are lovingly parceled by mothers to their children who are far away from home. Both these ingredients are used in curries and chutneys as well.
Today's recipe is one of the Naga style of cooking that i love. Pork is cooked with dried soya beans, with potatoes as the thickening agent. Typically you would use raja mirchi instead of the green chilli and red chilli powder, fresh turmeric instead of the powder. Also due to the non availability of other local spices, i have used garam masala, an obvious influence of being married to a mainland Indian ;).
1 Kilo - Pork, cubed
3 - Medium Onions, diced
4 - Medium sized new potatoes
7 Tbsp - Veg' Oil
1/2 Cup - Dried Soya Beans
3 - Green Chillies, slit in the middle
3-4 - Garlic Pods, smashed
1 - Thumb sized Ginger smashed and diced
1 Tsp - Garam Masala (optional)
1 Tsp - Tumeric Powder
2-3 Tsp - Red Chilli Powder
Salt - According to taste
4 1/2 Cups - Water
- Heat some water in the microwave for about 1 minute plus and soak the soya beans
- Divide the pork meat into two batches, heat about 2 Tbsp oil in a pan and brown the first batch
- Repeat with the second batch with 2 Tbsp of oil and keep aside
- In the same pan, add the rest of the oil, when it is hot, add garlic and fry till it becomes fragrant
- Now add the ginger, saute for a minute and then add the diced onions and the slit green chillies and saute till the onion is evenly browned
- Now add the browned meat, sprinkle salt and mix it up well,put the lid on and cook on medium high flame for some time
- Once the steam starts coming off the lid, add the rest of the ingredients except water and give it another good stir
- Now add the soaked Soya beans and give it a good mixing so that the meat is well coated
- Add water and cook with the lid on for about 1 1/2 hours or till the meat is soft to your liking.
- Remember to keep stirring it every 2 - 3 minutes.
I personally feel that curries taste best when it is slow cooked. The total prep and cooking time would be around 2 to 21/2 hours depending on how soft you want the meat to be. Serve it over hot rice, raja mirchi chutney and some crunchy salad and you are on your way to becoming a Naga warrior..lol :).