The name, Pig in a Cup is a playful one – technically, you don’t have to serve this dish in a cup, but I was struggling to find a name until BH suggested it, and I liked it enough to smile and accept. This dish was the result of a thought process one bright, sunny morning a few weeks ago, and it evolved from there. I was experimenting with flavors, and had limited time, so I ended up making this within the hour, with boneless chunks of pork.
I’ve been experimenting with North Eastern food, and the simplicity of the ingredients and cooking techniques inspired me. Low-oil or no-oil cuisine is pretty abundant there, and keeping with the spirits of that, this dish doesn’t have any added oil. All of it comes from the meat. Here, I used a kilo of boneless pork with fat to meat ratio coming to about 30:70 (30 fat, 70 meat). I washed it well, then cut it into 2 inch cubes, and then put it in a pressure cooker with enough water to cover it.
Once the water comes to a rolling boil, stir the pork with it well, to ensure the pork doesn’t have any surface rawness. Then, remove from fire and pour off all the water, leaving the pork pieces behind. To this, add 1 tablespoon ginger paste, 1 tablespoon garlic minced, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Add enough water to barely cover the meat, then pressure cook it till tender: simmer for about 5-8 minutes after the first whistle. I know this isn’t the right way for many, but its easy for me to keep track. After that, turn off the heat and let the pressure cool down till it can be opened naturally.
Next part is slightly tricky and will need a bit of prep. Start by mincing together 1 inch piece of ginger, 6 cloves of garlic, 6-7 green chillies (I used a combination of red and green though), 1 inch piece of fresh turmeric. Now, you can of course use ground turmeric, so no sweats.
In a large wok set over fire, stir in a couple of ladles’ worth of the pork cooking broth, preferably the fat layer on the top. I used this as a start, and then let the water get reduced till the fat remains. Do it a few times to get about 2-3 tablespoon worth liquid remaining in the pan. To it, add the turmeric-chilli mixture. Stir to combine. You cannot allow this mixture to burn, so keep ladling in some of the broth to keep the frying paste moist.
When the paste loses its raw smell, and starts smelling of frying garlic and ginger, add 2 tomatoes, pasted (roughly 150 gm) and stir that in too. It will take another 10 minutes for the tomatoes to get cooked.
At this point, stir in the remaining meat and broth, and stir well. Throw in 5-6 green chillies, whole, to add to the flavors. Adjust seasoning, cover, and simmer for 2-3 minutes before turning off the heat. This dish goes fantastically with some plain boiled rice, or a few hot chapatis.