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Posts Tagged ‘pork’

It’s been raining all day, every day in Delhi.


While it’s wonderful staring out of my window, watching the translucent drops of water fall beautifully, and thinking romantic thoughts, the reality is that some time or the other I will have to step outdoors and then there’s nothing romantic about it. At all.


On days like this, nothing work betters than a hot pan of comfort food, sizzling and straight out of the oven.


Something like this delicious, golden-brown, sink-yourself-into Toad in the Hole.


Toad in the hole 5


It starts with some plump, fresh sausages. Now they absolutely do need to be plump. We don’t do no thin, tinned sausages here.


Sausages 1


Then you will roast them till you hear a symphony of wonderful sizzles. Look how happy they are inside the oven!


Sausages 3


Next some milky batter shall be made to pour over the sausages so they can get all comfy and cozy.


Batter 2


And as you look out at the rain outside again, lost in happy thoughts, before you even know it, your Toad in the Hole will be ready to devour.


How gorgeous is that?


Toad in the hole 4


Make this on your next rainy day. Romantic thoughts are a pre-requisite 🙂


Toad in the Hole
Recipe adapted from: Matt Preston


Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Serves: 4


Ingredients:


1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp of your favourite dried herbs
250 g fresh pork sausages
115 g flour
1 tsp mustard paste
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
300 ml milk


Method:


1. Preheat the oven to 240º C. Grease a square tin with the oil and scatter over the dried herbs. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes. When the oil starts to sizzle, carefully pop in the sausages. Let the sausages brown for about 20 minutes, turning them occasionally with a wooden spatula.
2. Make the batter by mixing together the flour, mustard, salt, eggs, and milk until smooth.
3. Now very carefully remove the tin from the oven, and pour over the batter. Be very careful as the hot oil may splutter. Put the tin back in the oven for about 30 minutes (until the batter has puffed up), changing to your grill setting for the last five minutes. Remove and serve hot.


Perfect rainy day comfort food. Ain’t it?


Toad in the hole 6


Now for the healthy challenge news!


I’m very excited to tell you that starting on the 26th of this month, I will be attempting the 30 day Paleo challenge with a few of my friends. There is an entire page dedicated to it – check out the tabs at the top of this page.


I will keep blogging and the recipes won’t all be too healthy, so you cake lovers don’t worry 🙂


Incase you’re thinking about a healthy change, consider joining us in our 30 day Paleo challenge. It’s going to be loads of fun and we’d love to have you!


Have a super weekend darlings!


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In April this year, Mom, Dad, Luke (a.k.a baby brother), and I took a long-awaited family trip to Meghalaya.


For those who don’t know, it’s a state in North-east India where clouds and rain make the days cool and misty and magical. We spent most of our time in Shillong, also called The Scotland of the East, but I think Land of delicious pork would be a much more appropriate name.


Shillong is a very special place for us as a family. Mom went to school there, Dad taught in the Univ there, they met and fell in love there, and I went to play-school there.


The whole trip was a whirlwind of happy emotions, delicious food, and much-needed family time. Here’s just a little taste of what went down.


Let me begin with our first meal. We stopped at a small shack, just before entering the city. It was drizzling and the food was piping hot.


Rice and vegetables.


Rice and boiled veggies


Beef curry.


Beef curry


Boiled pork.


Pork curry


The spiciest, yummiest chilli-bamboo shoot pickle.


Spicy chilli pickle


Stomachs full, we headed off into the city.


This is a view from the guest house we were staying at. Don’t the flowers make you happy?


View from our guesthouse


It was a cosy place, complete with wooden floors, and the occasional friendly stick insect.


We had many, many friends to meet and places to (re) visit.


This is Dad outside his room in University (NEHU).


dad-outside-his-old-univ-room


This is Mum with her best friend from school – Aunty Iris. I learnt that day that crazy laughter and silly jokes and happy memories only get better with age.


aunty-iris-and-mumma


Here’s Gail (Aunty Iris’s daughter) and me – we went to play-school together. The only thing we remember about the time was eating our tiffin as soon as we reached school. What can I say? I started young 😛 We were meeting after 25 years!


gail-and-i


This is what Aunty Iris made for us. We couldn’t move very much after this insanely good lunch.


spread-at-aunty-iris


We took a day trip to Cherrapunjee. Obviously, it was drizzling that day.


 cherrapunjee


But there were many hugs to keep warm.


warm-hugs


And who said swings were only for children?


swinging


It was beautiful every where we turned.


Undulating hills in light and shade.


wavy-hills


Waterfalls that beckoned with their misty blue spray.


waterfall


I spotted this mumma hen keeping her baby warm. So cute, right?


hen-and-chick


The most exciting part of the trip was our adventure in the Mawsmai caves. I think the poor quality of air in the caves brought out the best in my mad family. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof.


Things started out pretty sane.


cave-and-me


But very quickly it turned into this.


cave-drama-1


And this.


cave-drama-2


After much excitement, there was light at the end of the tunnel.


 cave-adventures


The food on this holiday was the best. We ate like monsters (to put it politely).


But can you help yourself when this is what the local cuisine consists of?


Dokleh: Pork salad with ginger, onions, and chilli. I tried making this once. Go here for the recipe.


dokleh


Jadoh: Rice cooked in pork stock and eaten with Dokleh.


 jadoh


Tyrso doh sngiang: Boiled pork with greens. Mom’s favourite. Apparently it’s all she ate when she was preggers with me. No wonder I’m a pork fiend.


dosniang


Tungrumbai: A pungent fermented bean and pork paste. The yummiest, stinkiest thing ever. Mom’s friend, Aunty Ru, made all these divine things and even packed me a jar of Tungrumbai to carry home!


 tungrumbai


There were many other local specialities around.


Fresh honey.


 fresh-honey


Beautiful, woody cinnamon bark.


cinnamon


Local berries were my favourite snack all through the holiday. I kept thinking how pretty they’d look tumbled over a white whipped-cream frosting.


berries


If you’re in Shillong and go shopping in Police Bazaar (which you must), and your feet get tired, walk into Glory Plaza and on the top floor you’ll find some momos that warm your soul in a place called Tibetan Kitchen.


momos


Also, remember to order a Juicy Lucy burger at Munchies in Laitumkhrah. Luke declared it the best burger he’d ever eaten in his life.


I met Juni – one of my closest friends from college. We hung out at Matter of taste, a quaint cafe filled with happy, young people, and had some coffee and delicious pie. We laughed till we had tears in our eyes. Sometimes the distance and time and every thing else just doesn’t matter. You meet a friend after years, and it’s that same wonderful, comforting feeling.


Jun and me


Juni also got me some divine White Forest cake from a bakery called Caramel in Laitumkhrah. Not to be missed.


We did some touristy things like boating in Wards lake. The fun part was feeding the rather chubby ducks.


Feeding ducks


One cold morning, Dad surprised Mom with a special horse ride. We all had a go, but Mom was ecstatic 🙂


Mumma horse ride


We also took a trip to visit our old house – the one in which I sat by the fireplace reading books and generally pranced around. It brought back memories I didn’t know I had.


our old house


Here’s the four of us on the steps.


 family-4


Speaking of which, we got some really good family pictures.


Here’s one.


family-3


Here’s another. (Don’t miss the doggy who decided he’s ours.)


family-2


Here’s one of my brother pretending he’s thinking of something serious. (Who you kidding, Lukey?)


 luke


But this one is my favourite.


family


There’s just something about it that says holiday and family and love.


Tell me about the last trip you took with your family, won’t ya? 🙂



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What does the word “brunch” conjure in your mind?


Lazy afternoons? Sun-kissed tables? Family time?
Mimosas? Bellinis? Bloody Marys?
Cheese platters? Fresh bread? Garden-fresh salads?


Brunch is interpreted in many unique ways across the world, but it usually is a languorous meal between 11 am and 3 pm, involving all kinds of food and drinks.


This is why I was intrigued by the idea of the Sunday Brunch & Sundowner at the 24/7 Restaurant in The Lalit, New Delhi – which starts in the afternoon and melts, most blissfully, into late evening.


Let me paint you a picture.


You begin at 1 pm.


Start with a colourful salad. How do you like kiwi, mandarin and beetroot?


1. fruit salad


Now a nibble of sushi.


2. sushi


How about a crumbling of stinky blue cheese?


3. blue cheese


Perfect with a warm spinach bun.


4. warm bun


Let’s wash this down with some champagne, shall we?


5. champagne


Now, maybe we step out for a while. I love Alfresco seating on a pleasant day 🙂


6. al fresco seating


Sausages, lamb, fish, paneer, kebabs – all barbecued up in front of us.


7. barbecue


Oh you know what I’m missing? A plump prawn.


8. prawn


Step back inside for a slice of pizza now?


9. pizza


Or a swift slice from the revolving shawarma stand?


10. shawarma


The chef can rustle up a Chinese stir fry just for you.


11. chinese stirfry


Or would you prefer Indian tawa veggies?


12. indian tawa veggies


Maybe you feel like the creamiest pototoes ever?


13. creamy potatoes


With a piece of chicken, a side of pork, some button mushrooms, and some crispy skinned fish?


14. meat feast


This place does the BEST salsa. These are the four types on offer: Pineapple (my fav), cucumber, sun-dried tomato, and regular.


15. salsa


Time for a another glass of bubbly.


16. bubbly


Now we shall sit outside for a while. Don’t we look happy? 🙂


17. happy faces


Gossip and conversations with old friends who are family are an essential brunch component.


Dessert time! Fruit tarts, carrot cake, pistachio cake, or the creamiest panna cotta you’ve ever eaten. Once of each, I say!


18. dessert


We’ll wind down with some green tea please. And suddenly- it’s 6 pm.


19. green tea


What a wonderful, wonderful way to spend a Sunday. The brunch price at The Lalit also includes the use of the pool (perfect for hot summer days) and a complimentary pedicure/manicure at the hotel spa- Rejuve (really takes a relaxed brunch to the next level!).


20. al fresco


Head over to The Lalit, New Delhi, Barakhamba Avenue, Connaught Place for a blissfully lazy and decadently delicious Sunday 🙂


Prices: 3000 +taxes for the Alcohol buffet, 2200 +taxes for the Non-Alcohol buffet, and 1500 +taxes for Kids.
Timing: 1 pm – 6:30 pm
Venue: 24/7 restaurant and Al fresco
For reservations, call + 91 11 4444 7777, Ext. 331


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Step 1– Believe you can do it.

Step 2– Choose a pie that looks really impressive, but is actually pretty easy to make. Like this one.

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Step 3– Eat some chocolate. This is an important step. No skipping.

Now let’s get cracking, shall we?

Step 4– Gather your ingredients. Start with the pastry. This is what holds your pie together, literally. We want it to be crumbly and buttery and perfect.

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Step 5– Mix the meats. Here I’ve used chicken, pork, and ham. Say with me: there is no such thing as too much meat. Or chocolate. Eat another piece. It’ll give you the energy burst you need to keep going.

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Step 6– Stuff the filling into the pastry. Also add your secret ingredient. I’ll tell you about that in a bit 🙂

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Step 7– Cover the pie with a top layer of pastry. Cover any untidy bits with pretty pastry leaves. Add a foil chimney so the insides cook. Also tidy up a bit. Look how messy the table is!

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Step 8– Put the pie in the oven to bake. Now eat some more chocolate. Play catch with your dog. Sing a song.

Step 9– Remove from the oven. Look- you did it!

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Isn’t she a beauty?
Now after it cools a bit, transfer to a plate.

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Step 10– Gather your friends. Slice the pie. Remember the secret ingredient? Surprise!
Boiled eggs! 🙂 Hidden inside the meat pie. Slice, share, and taste.

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Step 11– Stand back and watch as everyone worships at your feet.

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Kickass pie. You can do it. (With chocolate, of course).

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Meat and egg pie
Largely adapted from: Step by step Baking

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Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 1 and a 1/2 hours
Serves: 8
Eat this with: A fresh salad

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Ingredients:

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For the pastry

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500 g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp salt
75 g butter, chilled and cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
75 g dalda (or lard), chilled and cut into small pieces

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For the filling

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5 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled, plus 3 more eggs
450 g chicken mince
450 g pork mince
250 g ham, chopped into small pieces
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
salt and pepper, to taste

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Method:

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For the pastry

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1. Put the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and dalda, and mix gently with a fork until you have fine crumbs.
2. Add 150ml water and mix together briefly. Then place the dough on a floured surface and knead until smooth. Wrap in cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
3. Grease a 9inch tin with butter. Take about ¾ of the dough and roll it out on a floured surface. It should be the size of the tin, with about ½ inch overhang. Gently lift into the greased tin and press onto the base and sides.

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For the filling and assembling

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1. Put all the meat in a bowl. Add the lemon zest, nutmeg, all the herbs, and salt and pepper. Whisk 2 eggs and add to the meat. Mix everything together until the filling begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
2. Preheat the oven to 200º C. Put half the meat filling into the tin. Place the 5 hard-boiled eggs on top, at regular intervals. Cover with the remaining meat filling, and fold over the dough overhang.
3. Beat the remaining egg with a little salt and brush the edges of the pie with it.
4. Roll out the remaining dough and cover the top of the pie with it. With the extra bits of dough, carve out diamond shapes and mark veins in them with a knife. Arrange these all over the pie and brush with the egg glaze.
5. Make a chimney with some foil and insert it in the middle of the pie. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 1 hour. Then reduce the heat to 180º C, remove the foil chimney and bake for another 30 minutes. Let it cool slightly before removing from the tin. Slice and serve.

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Eros Hotel managed by Hilton has brought us another exciting food festival and this time from one of my favourite food nations- Singapore.

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My memories of eating in Singapore go far back, when we’d visit my uncle and aunt there. We’d shop at Mustafa, go to little India, spend long days at the zoo and of course eat! Porotha with curry, chicken-rice, satay, chilli crab, fish bites on sticks. I could go on.

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Singapore has long been known for its street food. And it’s wonderful to have a festival in Delhi that allows you to taste a wide array of it.

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The restaurant Blooms at Eros is beautifully decorated in red and gold, and the very real feel of a local Singapore street is beautifully captured with several tantalizing food stalls.

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Once you get there take a walk and see what’s on offer. You will want to try almost everything. It’s only a question of what to start with 😉

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My recommendations are the following:

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Deliciously sticky honey glazed pork belly, duck and chicken.

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Hainanese chicken rice (You may find this a bit bland but remember to dunk the chicken in the sauces accompanying the dish. The super salty dark soy was my favourite)

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Coconut-ty and spicy Laksa with fish balls, prawn and hard boiled eggs.

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The tender Lamb Rendang with steamed rice.

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Juicy jumbo prawns.

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Mee goreng- noodles with all the fixings!

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Chicken satay

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And the clear winner for the evening: the oyster omelet. I must have had five of these.

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There are a host of different options to try, including a crushed ice dessert called Ais Kacang.

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Head over there for an authentic taste of Singapore.

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Also, sink your teeth into this bad boy before you leave!

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The Singapore food festival is on at Blooms at Eros Hotel – managed by Hilton, Nehru Place, for lunch and dinner, everyday until the 25th of March, 2012. Price: 1950 INR plus taxes person.

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“…they saw a light rain of tiny yellow flowers falling. They fell on the town all through the night in a silent storm, and they covered the roofs and blocked the doors…So many flowers fell from the sky that in the morning the streets were carpeted with a compact cushion and they had to clear them away with shovels and rakes…” One hundred years of solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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This month’s book club pick was this magnificent novel.

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An epic story about a family spanning several generations, the magic realism is what makes this one of my favorite books.

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A cloud of yellow butterflies follow a man around wherever he goes.

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Flowers fall from the sky incessantly.

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A beautiful woman floats into thin air.

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Magical things happen.

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Something like that happened when I tried my hand at roast pork for the very first time.

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It all began with a glorious hunk of pork. It had the perfect ratio of fat to meat, and lovely skin.
I could foresee some crispy crackling in my future 🙂

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After almost four hours, the roast was ready to cut into and it was tender and flavourful and had all the other wondrous qualities that pork always has. The veggies and potatoes I baked with the roast were sweet and caramelized- the perfect accompaniment along with some gravy (unashamedly out of a packet).

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Leftover slices of roast pork are great in sandwiches as well. If there are any leftovers that is 😉
Magical, magical pork 🙂

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Roast pork with caramelized winter vegetables
(Masterchef Australia hangover recipe name)

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Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 3-4 hours
Serves: 6-8
Eat this with: Some bread and gravy

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Ingredients:

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500 g pork, a large piece with skin, fat and meat
salt, for drying
50 ml apple cider vinegar
2 carrots, halved lengthways and cut into 3 large chunks each
4-6 medium potatoes, skin on
6-8 bulbs of garlic
2 onions, peeled and quartered
warm water

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Method:

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1. Preheat the oven to 200º C. Score the skin with a sharp knife. Cut through, but not too deep and aim for criss crossy look. Rub salt all over the skin. This will dry it out, making for extra crispy crackling 🙂
2. Place the pork on a baking tray. Put all the vegetables and potatoes around the pork. Drizzle the apple cider vinegar around the veggies and add a little bit of warm water.
3. Place the tray in the oven. Leave inside for 3 to 3 ½ hours. Check every half an hour and add a few teaspoons of warm water every time the tray seems dry. Rotate the pork and the veggies at least twice during the baking time. Spoon some of the juices from the tray onto the pork a few times, to keep it moist throughout the process.
4. You will be able to tell when it is cooked. The top will be beautifully crisp and when you cut into the pork, it won’t be red inside. Take out the tray and leave it to rest for about half an hour before you eat.

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Pork salad

Have you cooked any of those recipes that call for only 3 or 4 ingredients?

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They promise to be easy and delicious, but then you discover:

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A) Fine, they’re easy.
B) They’re definitely NOT delicious.
C) One or more of those ingredients come in package with all sorts of other stuff that’s probably not good for you.

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So what if I told you I had recipe like that?

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And: It’s quick, crazy easy to make, and sooo yummy!

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Bonus: One of the ingredients is pork.

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I feel like this is an appropriate time to tell you how much I love pork.
Bacon! Roast! Dumplings! Sausages! Aaaahhhh!You hear me? 🙂

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The meat itself is so flavourful that usually it needs a super simple technique like boiling or roasting with just some salt to make it taste heavenly.

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Do you love pork?

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Yes?? 🙂

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*Virtual hug*

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Please make this pork salad.
And don’t be fooled by the simplicity.
It will taste awesome. Your stomach will love you 🙂

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Dohkhlieh (Meghalayan Pork Salad)

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Recipe courtesy: My friend Alicia
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Serves: 4

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Ingredients:

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500 g pork (meat with some fat, skin removed)
2–3 medium onions, finely chopped
1 large root of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
salt, to taste
5–6 green chillies (optional- but if you have a tolerance for some heat, please go for it. It improves the taste by miles!)

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Method:

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1. Cut the pork into medium size pieces and put into a pressure cooker. Add about a cup of water and salt to taste. Let it cook on high heat for about 10–15 minutes.
2. Once the pork is done, the steam has escaped, and the cooker has cooled, remove the pieces and leave on tissue to dry. (Use the wonderful pork stock for something else please. Like soup!) Now cut the pork into small pieces (about 1/2 inch), retaining the fatty bits.
3. Mix the pork, onions, ginger, and chilli (if using) in a bowl. Taste and then add some salt if needed. Mix well and eat at room temperature, with some warm rice if you want.

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