Pork Vindaloo Broth

Pork Vindaloo Broth

Making Roopa Gulati's pork vindaloo broth from The Soup Book has been a two-day event. It began yesterday morning with my ruling out recipes because I didn't know where to get curry leaves or kaffir lime leaves. Eventually I decided upon pork vindaloo broth because I knew where I'd be able to obtain the necessary tamarind pulp if it wasn't available at the supermarket we use most frequently. The spouse was working outside Dublin so I had to take up the supermarket shopping slack. And what did I find in the spice section? Only dried curry leaves and kaffir lime leaves! Later on I had to accompany the younger offspring to a party in town and I planned to call into the Asian shops near the city centre in search of tamarind pulp or paste. I bought the tamarind on Drury Street before heading off to Lower Clanbrassil Street to see if I could buy fresh curry leaves or kaffir lime leaves. First I stopped into an Indian sweet shop the spouse had told me about and bought fresh kulfi and laddus (pronounced lad-oos), bringing back childhood memories of my favourites from Southall High Street. Then I crossed the road and headed into another Asian supermarket. When I told the assistant what I was looking for, he called into the back of the shop and soon produced a bag of fresh leaves, far more than I would use in a single recipe. He told me to freeze what I didn't use. At €1.50 a bag it was worth trying.

Let me come back from my tangent and list some of the ingredients for Roopa's pork vindaloo broth: dried chillies, pork belly, cumin seeds, peppercorns, garlic, root ginger, sweet paprika, tamarind pulp, white wine vinegar, cinnamon stick, star anise, onions, white wine, stock, and date palm sugar or dark muscovado sugar. I started the preparation yesterday evening, soaking the dried chillies in hot water before simmering the pork belly. Then I prepared the paste: I dry-roasted the cumin and peppercorns before grinding them in a mortar. These ground spices were then processed with the drained chillies, garlic, ginger, paprika, tamarind and vinegar. The next stage was the frying of various ingredients: first the cinnamon and star anise, to which I added the onions and later the spice paste. Later on I poured in the stock and wine, then simmered the pork in this liquid for two hours.When done, this was left over night. The final stage involved taking out the pork and boiling the soup for ten to fifteen minutes. I added the muscovado sugar and then put the pork back in. I called the spouse and younger offspring, ladled the soup into the bowls, and garnished with fresh coriander leaves and strips of chilli. It was very, very good. Fiddly, but worth making again. Roopa rules!

Blog Facts and Figures

I'm delighted to see that this blog has been viewed over 10,000 times! By far the most viewed entry was the one on creamy smoked mackerel soup (16th May 2010), then lovage soup (22nd May 2011), sorrel soup (18th May 2011) and avocado, cucumber and sorrel soup (4th June 2011). It's unlikely that I'll get through the rest of the recipes by the end of the year, but I will keep plugging away.

Bee is for Books

My book group is reading its third Hilary Mantel, namely Bring Up the Bodies, which continues the story of Thomas Cromwell. I didn't enjoy Wolf Hall or Beyond Black but I had been enjoying Bring Up the Bodies until I suddenly felt exhausted by it!  Anyway, here come the bees:

On [Cromwell's] first visit [to his son's new house] at summer's end, he had noted everything in place for Rafe's happy life: pots of basil on the kitchen sills, garden plots seeded and the bees in their hives, the doves in their cote and the frames in place for the roses that will climb them; the oak-panelled walls gleaming in expectation of paint. 
That's it for now.



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