Bhuna curries are amongst my favourites. A fragrant blend of spices with a milder spice count than many Indian curries. The sauce to a bhuna should be fairly dry and glossy and cling to the meat, in this instance pork. Traditionally, the spice paste and onion are cooked in a lot of oil or ghee – I have reduced this, but there is still, quite an amount. At the end of cooking, much of the oil will separate so you can either spoon it off, or blot it up with paper towels; or like I do, stir it in and blot it out of my mind! You can add vegetables to this curry towards the end of cooking to just cook through. This time I added a few cubed potatoes – but have made it with the likes of cauliflower, beans, eggplant, zucchini and even mushrooms.
2 medium onions (chopped)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 heaped tablespoons ginger (chopped)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
3 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
4 dried red chillies
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
5 tablespoons peanut oil
700g pork (cut into chunks)
2 tomatoes (peeled and chopped)
10-12 fresh curry leaves
2 medium potatoes (peeled and cubed)
salt & pepper
Blend together the onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor until smooth and set aside.
In a dry frying pan over a hot flame, add the cumin seeds, chillies, coriander seeds, fennel, fenugreek and mustard seeds. Let them cook dry for 1-2 minutes until the mustard seeds start to pop and everything becomes aromatic. Remove to a bowl. When cooled, add to a spice grinder or pestle & mortar and grind the spices into a fine powder. Pour in about 1/2 cup water to form a stiff paste.
In a large pan, heat the oil over a medium temperature. Fry the onion paste for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Add the tomatoes and curry leaves and stir until it forms a pulp, about 3 minutes. Add the spice paste and stir briefly before adding the pork. Cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes, then stir in 400ml water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low. Pop on a lid and cook gently, stirring occasionally for 1 1/2 hours, until the pork is tender. 15- minutes before the end, drop in the potatoes and cook through until just soft. Take off the lid, turn up the heat and reduce the sauce for 5-7 minutes until it’s thick and glossy.
Serve with Indian breads and raita.