By Raghavan Iyer
1/2 cup cider vinegar or malt vinegar
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
8 lengthwise slices fresh ginger (each 2 inches long, 1 inch wide, and 1/8 inch thick)
8 medium size cloves garlic
8 dried Thai or cayenne chiles, stems removed (I was lucky…I had some dried chiles from my garden)
1 cinnamon stick (3 inches long) I used 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pound boneless pork loin, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and some for garnsih
Pour the vinegar into a blender jar, add the cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, chiles and cinnamon. Puree, scraping the sides as needed to form a pulpy gritty paste that smells potent-hot.
Place the pork in a bowl and pour the paste over it. Sprinkle with salt and the turmeric; stir and refrigerate covered for at least 30 minutes or overnight to allow the flavores to mingle.
Heat the oil in a medium size skillet over medium high heat. Add the pork, marinade and all and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until it is browned; 10-12 minutes. Note: the meat will stew initially; then once the liquid evaporates, it will sear and brown)
Pour in 1/2 cup water and scrape the bottom of the skillet to deglaze it. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until the pork is tender, about 15 minutes (or less)
Stir in the cilantro and serve.
NOTE: I served it over rice and with some brussel sprouts sprinkled with curry powder; broiled with some cannola oil and deglazed with white wine.