Karnataka has lots of amazing food, but this curry is one of those dishes that people outside the region hear about. Maybe because India has so few pork curries…or maybe because it is that good


  • 2cm piece (10g) ginger, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tomato, quartered
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) sunflower oil
  • 1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 15 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1-3 green chillies, stalks removed, pierced with a knife
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp each ground turmeric and Kashmiri chilli powder (optional – from Indian food shops)
  • 500g pork shoulder, cut into 3cm pieces (retain a little fat)
  • 1 tbs white wine vinegar
  • Coriander sprigs, rice and Indian breads, to serve


  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 3 small cloves
  • 1cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • Pinch of brown mustard seeds


  • 1.For the spice blend, dry-roast all ingredients in a frypan over medium heat for 40-50 seconds or until golden and aromatic. Using a mortar and pestle, grind spice mixture to a fine powder.
  • 2.Place ginger, garlic, tomato and 2 tsp water in a food processor and whiz to a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • 3.Heat oil in a large casserole with a lid over medium-low heat and add mustard seeds. Once seeds begin to pop, add curry leaves, onion and chilli. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until well browned. Add the tomato mixture, cumin, turmeric and chilli powder, if using, and cook, scraping the bottom of the casserole with a wooden spoon, for 10-12 minutes or until reduced and liquid has begun to release its oils.
  • 4.Increase heat to high. Add pork and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until pork is coated and slightly browned. Add vinegar, 1/2 cup (125ml) water and 3 tsp spice blend. Bring to the boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring frequently and ensuring sauce does not dry out (if it does, top up with boiling water), for 2 hours or until the pork is very tender.
  • 5.Season, adding more spice blend if you like. Stir through coriander and serve with rice and breads.
Slow-cooked karnataka pork curry