Tamarind-sautéed Pork Belly with Paneer Patties

Adapted by StarChefs.com
June 2011
Yield: 10 to 12 Servings


Pork Belly
1½ pounds pork belly
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon red cayenne powder
½ teaspoon salt
15 to 20 curry leaves
4 cups water
Tamarind Masala
⅓ cup grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 large onion, chopped
½ teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon red cayenne powder
1½ tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
2 tablespoons Indian raw sugar (or another brown sugar such as demerara)
Paneer Patties
¾ pounds paneer, or other Indian fresh cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1½ tablespoons chopped garlic
½ tablespoon grapeseed oil
¾ tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon green fenugreek leaves
To Assemble and Serve
Grapeseed oil


For the Pork Belly:
Preheat oven to 300°F. Put the pork belly (with all its fat still on) in a roasting pan and combine with cumin seeds, cayenne, salt, curry leaves, and water. Cover and bake in the oven for 4 hours. Remove from oven, remove lid, and cool to the point where the pork can be safely handled.

Remove and discard the extra fat from the belly meat, but retain any remaining juices for use in other soups or curries (strain out the curry leaves and spices). Chop the belly meat and set aside.

For the Tamarind Masala:
In a heavy-bottomed frying pan, heat the grapeseed oil on medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the cumin seeds and sizzle for 10 seconds. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until golden. Add the ground fenugreek seeds, cayenne, coriander, and tamarind paste. Stir well and sauté for 2 minutes. Reduce heat if necessary to avoid burning. Stir in the raw sugar and the Pork Belly meat. Heat for 1 minute or until the sugar has melted. Reserve.

For the Paneer Patties:
In a mixing bowl, combine the paneer, salt, garlic, grapeseed oil, flour, and fenugreek. Mix well and form into 1½-inch diameter patties, approximately ½ inch in height. 

To Assemble and Serve:
In a frying pan, heat the grapeseed oil (the amount will depend on the size of the pan, but be sure to cover the bottom of the pan lightly) on medium-high heat for 1 minute. Lightly fry the Paneer Patties for 45 seconds on each side, or until each side has a light golden color. Put the fried patties on a baking tray lined with paper towels.

Reheat the Pork Belly on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until it has warmed. Top each Paneer Patty with equal amounts of spiced Pork Belly. Put on small plates and serve up to 2 patties per person.