Pork and Spinach curry

This recipe came from a book that I’ve owned since 1981 or 82. It is called the Complete Indian Cookbook  by Michael Pandya. I don’t think that it is in print any more, but there are second-hand copies available.

Complete Indian


1 lb pork (shoulder is good)
2-3 tablespoons of ghee (you can use oil for a lighter dish)
1 large onion, chopped
5 or 6 cloves garlic, crushed
4 or 5 fresh bay leaves
2 large tomatoes, (the recipe originally said peeled and sliced, but I chop them and leave the skins on)
1 bag of spinach leaves
salt to taste
2 tablespoons of grated ginger
hot water
1 teaspoon white cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder (Kashmiri is best)
1 tablespoon garam masala

Cut the pork into 1-inch cubes. Heat the ghee in a saucepan and fry the onion, garlic, bay leaves and cumin seeds until the onion is golden brown. This will take around 10-15 minutes.

While this is cooking, wash the spinach, put it in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and wilt in the microwave on high power for a couple of minutes. This isn’t in the original recipe, but I think that it makes it easier to mix the spinach into the curry.

Add the pork with the turmeric and chilli powders. Stir well, then add the tomatoes and spinach. Add salt to taste, together with the ginger and garam masala. Cover and leave over a low heat for 15 minutes. Stir over a low heat for 5 minutes, until the ghee starts to separate. Add enough water to make a sauce at the end of the cooking and simmer gently until the pork is tender (about 1 1/2 hours). You can garnish this with chopped fresh coriander before serving.

I’ve made this with a thick gravy and also as a wetter dish. Both ways are fine. It is really a choice thing.

I served this with basmati rice, rotis and a mixed dhal.

I forgot to photograph the dhal but it is easy to make. I used split channa dhal, white urad dhal and split moong dhal, washed and boiled for an hour or so in a saucepan with sliced ginger and two teaspoons of turmeric. Once the dhal was soft, I drained it, removing the ginger. To finish it off, I added salt, two or three whole green chillies, slit along the side and reheated it. Then I made a final fry of herbs and spices by heating some rapeseed oil in a small pan and adding a teaspoon each of black mustard seeds and cumin seeds, five dried red chillies and some curry leaves. Once this started spluttering, I poured it over the dhal and it was ready.


2 thoughts on “Pork and Spinach curry

    • I think that sometimes we overlook older books in favour of the latest TV cooks and glossy foodporn by Michelin-starred chefs. The books I use most are older ones; Elizabeth David, Richard Olney, Jeanne Strang, Madhur Jaffrey and others.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s