Sunday, 16 December 2012

Georgian Pork Stew

Georgian Pork Stew

This dish so common in Georgia that almost every home has it on a regular basis at least once in a week or two. Well I gathered this information from my very dear German friend, who had spent his childhood days with her Nana in different cities of Eastern Europe, and then came to India when she was 20, with a rock hard determination to learn Kathak, an Indian Classical Dance form. We had a chance to perform together on one project and for that we had been together for 6 long months. During this time, I taught her Bengali and Hindi and she taught me those traditional East European dishes she was been taught as a child, by her Grand mom. Today this Port Stew is in remembrance of My dearest Hannah. When I finished cooking tonight, I gave her a call and informed her, that's what I always do, whenever I cook one of her dishes. This is a dish, which you can sit around a table along with your family and enjoy. There are lot of my friends out there, who does not eat pork, you can also cook this dish with Lamb, I did a number of times, it would taste equally good.

Preparation Time  : 30 minutes
Cooking Time       :  1 hour 30 minutes
Difficulty               :  Medium
Serves                   :  6 - 8

Ingredients :

  • 1 kilos trimmed Pork shoulder or Lamb, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Kosher or Sea Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 large Garlic Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Sage
  • 3/4 teaspoon Coriander Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1 large Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground dried Turmeric (or use regular Turmeric Powder)
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Cilantro/Coriander Leaves
  • 3 tablespoons Ajika plus more for serving , (see Note for Ajika)


Method :

  1) Put pork in a heavy large pot  over medium high heat and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher/Sea salt and pepper to taste.
  2) Cover pot and let meat steam over high heat, stirring once, for about 10 minutes.
  3) Remove lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until juices are evaporated, this will take about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4) Stir in 1 tablespoon oil and saute, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned, this will take around 6 to 8 minutes.
  5) While pork is steaming, mash garlic, sage, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt to a paste with a mortar and pestle (see notes below).

  6) Scrape paste into a small bowl, then coarsely grind coriander and fenugreek seeds in mortar.
  7) Add garlic paste to pork with remaining tablespoon oil and cook over moderate heat, stirring for 1 minute.

  8) Add onion, fenugreek mixture, and turmeric and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, which will take about 5 minutes.
  9) Add water and bring to a boil. Cook, covered, at a bare simmer until meat is tender, about 1 hour.
 10) Add the end of an hour, remove the cover and stir in cilantro, 3 tablespoons ajika, and pepper to taste.

 11) Check the seasonings and adjust if required. Serve it piping hot with Elarji (Georgian Bread, traditionally served with Pork Stew), or mashed Potatoes and serve more ajika on the side.


 •Instead of using a mortar and pestle, you could mash the garlic with the side of a large knife and grind spices in an electric coffee/spice grinder.
•Traditionally, pomegranate seeds are sprinkled over the stew just before serving
Ajika :
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 fresh jalapeno chilis (preferably red or use any other red chilis), trimmed and halved
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Finely grind coriander and fenugreek seeds with a mortar and pestle or an electric coffee/spice grinder.

Finely chop cilantro, basil, and garlic together in a food processor. Add bell pepper and jalapenos and blend until finely chopped.

Add vinegar, coriander mixture, and salt and blend until just combined.

Keep it is an air-tight jar, it keeps fresh in freezer for 5 days.

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