May 28, 2007
She was a great lady – founder of the Peru Children’s Trust, mother of three crazy boys and devoted Christian. Also very funny.
My memories of her will always make me giggle. The times she taught and me how to cut veggies properly so her little boy got his nutrients, her brave attempts to teach me proper English dishes like crumbles and pies and most of all, the kitchen banter that accompanied it all.
There was this one time she noticed the abyssmal absence of jacket potatoes from my cooking repertoire:
Mum: “Do you know what a jacket potato is?”
Me: “Yes, but I don’t know how to make it.”
Mum: “But they are delicious and very healthy.”
Me: “What’s a jacket potato when I can have a vindaloo?”
So, I have vowed to cook more English food and make sure my future daughter-in-laws are indoctrinated fully in the cuisine too. But in her memory, here’s a pork vindaloo. Delicious, with or without the jacket potato.
500 gms boneless pork, diced into large chunks
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
Half tsp turmeric powder
Half tsp garam masala powder
1 bay leaf
Half tsp sugar
Salt to taste
3 tbsp oil
Grind into paste:
4 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
Half tsp mustard seeds
Half tsp fenugreek seeds
3-5 dry whole red chillies (as much as you can stomach)
2 whole black peppercorns
Quarter cup white vinegar
Mix the pork with the paste and leave to marinade overnight or for as long as possible. Heat the oil and when hot, add the sugar and the bay leaf. When the sugar caramelises, add the onions and fry on a high heat stirring constantly until they turn brown (about 10 minutes).
Now add the turmeric and the pork with its marinade. Fry on a high heat until the pork is sealed evenly. Lower the flame to a medium heat, cover the pot and boil gently until the pork is tender and the onions are melted into a thick gravy. The pork shouldcook in its juices – only add water if the meat is getting stuckto the bottom of the pot.
Mix in the garam masala and serve hot, with rotis. This dish should be dry, sweet, sour and very spicy.