Dinner plan: Naga-style pork raja mirchi
Pork made with the hottest chilly in the world -- make sure you have your gloves on while cooking, and the fire brigade on speed dial.
If you have a friend who hails from Nagaland, or know of anyone who is visiting, you have got to ask them to bring you back the fiery Naga chillies. Commonly known as Bhut Jholokia, these are touted as the hottest chillies in the world. When you do get your hands on them, make sure you use gloves while handling them, and don’t use more than one in this recipe. This recipe of Naga-style pork comes from Tushita Patel’s cookbook Flash in the Pan.
• 1 tsp oil
• 1kg pork, not too bony, with at least 25% fat, cut into 1-inch cubes
• 1 raja mirchi or 3 dried red chillies
• 4 dried red Kashmiri chillies
• 8 cloves of garlic
• 1 tsp salt
Heat oil in a large, heavy-based pan that has a tight-fitting lid. Once the oil warms up, add the pork and stir on high heat for a minute till the meat loses its pinkness.
Add the chillies and garlic but don’t stir too much. The idea is to lightly cook these in the pork juices before extricating them from the pan to make a paste. Cover the pan.
After 10 minutes, fish out the chillies and the garlic, ideally with tongs. Place these either in a blender jar or in a mortar, along with the salt. Grind coarsely. Open the pan and stir the chilli-garlic paste into the cooking meat till all the meat is coated. Cover the pan, turn heat down to moderate and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring every 7-8 minutes. This shouldn’t have gravy — the chillies should darken with the cooking. If you want a bit of gravy, add a cup of warm water and cook for 5 more minutes. This makes it easier to eat with rice. I often use more than one lethal 'raja mirchi' for as an occasional endurance test for guests.
Serve with plain white rice.
This classic braised chicken recipe is the perfect dinner to have after a tiring Monday at work.