I got the idea for this recipe while still in the states.I was perusing my favourite blogs, and Lorraine at Not Quite Nigella, posted a review for a new restaurant in Sydney that was serving Sri Lankan food. One of the dishes she tried while she was at the restaurant was a Black Pork Belly Curry. As soon as I read that phrase, I immediately concluded it was the best idea ever! In fact I told anyone that would listen what an amazing idea it was. Naturally, their response was, “why don’t you make it?”. So I did.Many many times. This is about the 10th iteration of this recipe, and Mr Firehouse, who has tried every last one, is confident this is the best.
I won’t lie, this recipe is a labour of love. It is time consuming and requires a horde of ingredients. But the results are more than worth it. It will also be the crowning glory on your table, if you invest time in this dish, you really don’t need much more. A salad, maybe a creamy dhal or potato, some steamed white rice and you will wow your guests. Trust me!
Black Roasted Curry Powder
- 2 tbsp. raw rice
- 3 tbsp. coriander
- 2 tbsp. cumin
- 1 tbsp. fennel
- 1 tsp. cardamon pods
- 1/2 tsp. mustard
- 1 pandan leaf
- curry leaves
- 1/2 stick of cinnamon
- 1.5 kg of pork belly with skin and rind on (whole)
- 2 tbsp. onion flakes or 1/2 red onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp. ginger minced
- salt and pepper
- 2 green chillis sliced
- 1sp. black pepper
- 1 tbsp. chilli powder (or to taste)
- 2 tsp. tamarind paste
- 2 tbsp. ground cashew nut *
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- olive oil and sea salt for crispy skin
- Oil for deep frying
Preheat you oven to 160C. Place all the ingredients for the curry portion, except for the pork in an oven proof sauce with a lid. Add 2 cups of water and stir until all the ingredients are well mixed. .Next add the pork belly, put the lid on and place in the oven for 2.5 hours.
In the mean time, prepare you curry powder.
In a dry pan roast the rice until brown, when you’re satisfied with the colour add the curry leaves, pandan leaf and cinnamon.
Next add the fennel and fry for a few minutes. Next go the cloves, cardamon and coriander.
Next to last is the cumin and finally the mustard seeds. Leave the whole mix on the heat until the mustard seeds pop.
When cool to touch, place the spice mix in a grinder and grind to a fine powder.
When the pork is done, remove the pot from the oven. Fish out the pork and place over some paper towel to dry. If I have the time, I’ll place it in the fridge over night to further dry out.
Decant the curry sauce into a jug and place in the fridge. Once the sauce has cooled, the fat will have solidified at the top, remove this and replace the cooled sauce back in the saucepan.
Place over a medium heat before adding 2 tbsp. of the black curry powder and 2 tablespoons of ground cashew nuts *. Simmer for 5 minutes before adding the sugar and testing for seasoning.
Cut the dried pork belly into 2 cm, 1inch cubes. Deep fry over a medium heat until golden,crispy and browned. Because of the fat and water content, the pork will splatter. I use a deep fryer with a lid to prevent splattering, if not, make sure you have a splatter cover for your pan. Drain well over paper towels.
When ready to serve, combine the pork and curry sauce and serve immediately.
- I’ve used cashew nut butter or almond butter or even macadamia butter in place of the ground nuts.