Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Nadan Pork Ularthiyathu or Kerala Pork Fry ( stepwise method )

This is a dish I love and crave for. Chunks of juicy meat, spiced up with masalas, bits of coconut, with the mesmerising aroma of coconut oil and curry leaves. Both brother and I grew up savoring this speciality dish of central Kerala, though back home, pork was a taboo. After being married to a strict vegetarian family, this one remained a long lost forgotten one. Now that I am here in Kottayam for the summer break, I thought of recreating the dish. As always it was a hit at home err with my brother and his wife :) since the others in my family refrain from eating pork.
I still have no idea about the origin of the dish, whether this belongs to the Syrian Catholic community or as such a traditional Christian recipe which they make during special occasions.

Pork Fry

Nadan Pork Ularthiyathu
Serves 6
Prep time -30 mins
Stove top time- 35 mins
Total time needed - 1 hour+

To Marinate:
Pork - 1 Kg ( I used mixed meat and didn't confine to a particular part )
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Vinegar - 1 tbsp
Crushed ginger and garlic - 2 tsps
Finely chopped green chillies - 2
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp

To Season:
Coconut oil- 3 tbsps
Ginger- a 2 inch piece,chopped
Garlic- 20 small cloves or 7-8 large cloves, sliced thin, lengthwise
Shallots / Small onion - 2 cups ( I used 2 cups of sliced big onions, though small onions are highly recommended)

Chilly Powder- 1 tbsp
Coriander Powder- 2 teaspoons
Turmeric Powder- 3/4 tsp
Fennel(perunjeerakam) powder- 1 tsp

*Garam masala- 2 teaspoons
Pepper powder-  1 tsp

Thenga kothu (squared thin bits of fresh coconut) 1/4 cup
Curry leaves 4-5 sprigs

Stepwise method:

Crush the peeled garlic and the cleaned piece of ginger. You can pulse in your mixie. Keep aside.

Wash the meat in running water, drain and cut into 1 inch cubes. Marinate pork with ingredients listed above, for at least an hour.

Add 1/2 cup of water and pressure cook until 2-3 whistles, if the meat is tender. Mine demanded  5-6 whistles So, the timing depends upon the quality of the pork

There will be some excess water / stock which has be boiled and brought down.
Do the seasoning meanwhile.

In a kadai, deep fry the coconut bits in 3 tbsps of oil until brown, drain and keep aside.

Throw in sliced garlic and ginger bits, sauté,

followed by the sliced onions, ending with curry leaves.

Tip in the powders, Chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and fennel powder.

 Continue sautéeing in low heat, taking care not to burn the powders.

Dump the meat into the kadai. The remaining water if any can be evaporated here.

After a few minutes the fat part of the meat will get separated and the meat chunks start getting fried in  its own oil. Stir in garam masala at this point.

When you see the meat well cooked, fried, and attains a brownish black hue, stir along pepper powder and the fried coconut bits. Toss and serve.

Pork Fry

Pairs well with Kerala red rice or Kuthari choru and kachiya moru or spiced up buttermilk curry

Related post:
Nadan Erachi Ularthu, where mutton or beef is done the same way.


Unlike mutton or beef, you may find oil oozing out while frying pork towards the last stage, especially if you have pork belly mixed in the meat like I had. Just collect the excess oil carefully. This is pork lard, in liquid form mixed with coconut oil used for seasoning. You can use this to fry fish if you wish to re-use.

-> Addition of coconut oil is a must for the dish.

-> Addition of ginger garlic paste in marination is fine but use julienned ginger and garlic for seasoning.

-> Coconut bits / thengakothu are a must too.

-> I used store bought garam masala. So I have used fennel seed powder for an extra flavour as this is the dominant spice of the dish.

->Home Made *Garam Masala goes a long way and adds the special touch to the dish.

You can dry roast and grind the following ingredients to make Fresh Garam Masala Powder.

Cloves (Gramboo) –  5
Cardamom (Elakka) – 4
Cinnamon stick (Patta/Karukapatta) – 2 pieces of 1” inch length each
Star Anise (Thakkolam/Nakshathra Poo) – 1
Fennel seeds (Perunjeerakam) – 1 tbsp

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