Aromatic Pork & Fennel Curry

This might sound like an unusual combination, especially for a curry, but trust me – it tastes fabulous. The richness of the pork and the creamy tomato and yoghurt sauce are beautifully balanced by the zing of the fennel and the freshness of a touch of dill.

I was lucky enough to get a delicious pork marinade from Rossini’s in my Flavrbox last month (for the full story of why I’m getting fabulous presents from Flavrbox each month, click here) so I used that as a basis for this curry, but if you can’t get your hands on any of that, you can use a mixture of dry herbs as described below. Just bear in mind that to get the best of the flavours, you need to marinade the meat, so get that started a good few hours before you want to eat.

2 pork steaks
2 tbsp of Rossini’s Chicken/Pork Marinade, OR dried fennel, dill, salt and black peppercorns to make your own version
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 onion
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
About 4 fat, fresh tomatoes
2 tbsp of natural yoghurt
1 tsp of chopped fresh chillis – I use the Very Lazy Chillis ready-chopped in a jar
A drizzle of sweet chilli sauce
A splash of Worcester sauce (this is a great ingredient for adding a salty, savoury edge to any dish)

Rice, poppadums and more natural yoghurt, to serve

Serves 2

First of all, as I said above, you need to get the meat in to marinade, at least four hours before you want to eat. If you’re making your own marinade, measure out 1 tbsp dried fennel, 1 tsp dried dill, 1 tsp black peppercorns and a sprinkle of salt into a pestle and mortar and grind well until you have a reasonably fine powder (if you don’t have a pestle and mortar, you can just mix them all together and substitute slightly less ground pepper for the peppercorns, but it’s best to grind the herbs and spices if you can). Then, in a bowl, mix the powder or 2 tbsps of Rossini’s marinade with 2 tbsps of olive oil and add the pork steaks, chopped into bite-sized chunks. Stir well to coat, then cover the bowl and leave it until you’re ready to finish off the cooking.

To start the sauce, finely dice the onion and get it frying – drain off a couple of teaspoons of the flavoured olive oil from the marinade and use that, with a bit of extra oil from the bottle if needed. Once the onions have softened but not yet started to colour, add the pork and another sprinkle of marinade (or a sprinkle of dried fennel). While the pork fries, roughly chop the fresh tomatoes, and then once the meat has lost its pink colour, add the fresh and the tinned tomatoes, the natural yoghurt, the chillis, the sweet chilli sauce and the Worcester sauce. Season well, then turn the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and leave it to bubble for about half an hour.

After half an hour has passed, the tomatoes should have broken down and the sauce thickened nicely – if it looks too sloppy, give it five to ten minutes with the lid off, but watch to make sure it doesn’t get too dry. Have a taste and add more of anything you think the sauce might need – you may want to add more fennel and dill at this point, depending on how clear the flavours are, and you can always add more natural yoghurt if you like your curries rich and creamy.

Finally, cook your rice – see the How To page for my foolproof fluffy rice method – and then serve up a steaming, aromatic plateful with a dollop of yoghurt and some poppadums on the side.