Monday, February 01, 2010

Dear Rushina

Dear Rushina,

It was a stressful week. Classes, assignments, presentations and deadlines! On the verge of a nervous breakdown, I resorted to the one thing that has offered me solace and sustenance ever since I learnt to eat solid food…PORK! Not surprising considering I come from Nagaland where if they could, they would patent pork. Such is the obsession (and I among the obsessed), that pork is often part of breakfast, lunch, dinner and almost any meal in between. For example, cubes of pork roasted with Naga king chilli and dried bamboo shoot make the perfect accompaniment for hot red tea…or rice beer.
My favourite pork preparation is the one made by the Sema tribe to which my mom belongs. A delicious slow cooked thick broth of smoked pork and axone (fermented soya bean), this sensational dish is now becoming popular with all tribes. So you can imagine my utter heartbreak when I discovered that my precious stash of Axone was ravaged by mold! Bereft, but only for a few hours, I decided to try the next best thing! Another classic Naga pork dish, this one with fresh bamboo shoot.
Now, the bamboo shoot Nagas use for cooking is slightly fermented (or more depending of one’s preference). Bamboo shoot, as testified by the many other asian dishes with pork and bamboo shoot, with its sharp, tangy flavour and crisp texture perfectly complements juicy portions of pork. Luckily for me, my supply of Naga bamboo shoot was in perfect condition. Here’s the recipe of the dish that made all my worries go away.
1 kg of Yorkshire pork, medium sized pieces
1 tbsp of fresh ginger, crushed
1 tsp of fresh garlic, crushed
1 tbsp of large chilli flakes
1 tbsp of salt
1 cup of bamboo shoots, cut into thick slices

Mix the ginger, garlic, chilli and salt. Rub paste into pork. Leave for 15 minutes.
Place pork and bamboo shoot into pot, cover with lid and cook in medium heat for 20 mins.
Stir to make sure the pork isn’t sticking to the bottom or burning, add ½ a cup of water, close lid again and cook for 15 minutes.
Add 4 cups of water and cook in high heat for 15mins
Taste for salt, and see if pork is cooked, add water to make gravy as desired. Cook in high heat for 10 minutes and serve hot with rice.

1 comment:

The knife said...

I am a devotee of pork and have always associated it the most in India with the Catholic Goans.

This was a lovely insight into Naga food and culture which left one hungry for more