As that burst of color hits your eyes, here's a crazy thought (okay, crazy, but real): We like to mix up our food. in a fun way. not the strange ''ice cream+pickle = yum'' way (i was not making that up by the way. i totally know folks who do that, and i love that quirkiness). We, on the other hand, love mixing up cuisines, other odd ends, and improv-s. So in that line of thought, this was a meal that was waiting to happen: Saffron scented pilaf, pork vindaloo and a sumac salad. It was a wholesome, rounded and very happy meal. You can bet it tasted awesome.
Let's begin with the vindaloo. You will need:
-1 kg Pork with fat
-Whole Red chilis - 8
-Clove - 6
-Cinnamon -1 stick
-Cardamom - 1 pod
-Peppercorns - 2 tablespoons
-Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
-Ginger - 3 inches
-Garlic - 3 pods
-Chili Powder - 3 tablespoons
-Vinegar - 6 tablespoons
-Onion - 2 big
-Potatoes cubed - 2 big
We'll start with the Masala Paste for the Pork Vindaloo:
-Grind the chillis, clove, cardamom, cinnamon, peppercorns into a fine powder. Grind the ginger and garlic to a fine paste. Mix the powder and paste, along with the turmeric powder and 3 tablespoons of vinegar.
-Add this masala paste to the pork and marinate for at least an hour or maximum upto 3 hours in the refrigerator.
-Grind the onions to a paste and add it to the marinated pork just before throwing the entire mixture into the pressure cooker.
-Leave the meat to cook along with the potatoes for 5-6 whistles (40 mins on low flame).
Our suggestion would be to add just half a cup of water (cause there is a lot that would come off the meat) and definitely no oil.
In the meanwhile, let's get started with the Pilaf
-2 cups Basmati rice
-15 g butter
-2 pods cardamom (bruised)
-3/4 teaspoon Saffron
-Lemon juice from one lemon
-2 cups Chicken stock
-2 cups water
-4 tablespoons toasted Pistachios, slivered - for garnishing (optional)
-Coriander leaves - for garnishing (optional)
Soak the rice in a cup of water for twenty minutes. In a heavy bottomed large pan, melt the butter and add the cardamom pods. Tip in the rice (as best drained of the water as possible) and stir it till it is coated with the butter thoroughly. Add the chicken stock, water and saffron. Squeeze in the lemon juice and bring the stock to a boil. Shut it tightly and leave it to cook for 15-20 minutes - the water will have evaporated and the rice will be cooked through. Be careful and do not overcook the rice, take it off the flame when borderline just-cooked and the residual heat will work its magic.
Once cooled, toss in the slivered pistachio.
Last, but certainly not the least, we'll be putting together the Mediterranean Salad:
-2 large Tomatoes
-2 tablespoons toasted pistachios, halved
-1 teaspoon sumac
-Coriander leaves to garnish
-Salt to taste
Chop up the tomatoes and cucumber evenly. Toss in the pistachios and sprinkle the sumac and salt. Toss it! Garnish with coriander leaves and serve as a side to the vindaloo and the pilaf.
Oh, and don't forget about the Chennai Food Guide anniv celebrations this Saturday! There's so much of prep and hardwork going into it, it's amazing. and i bet it's going to fabulous! So everyone, you know where to head to this Saturday at 7 pm if you are in Chennai - See ya there!