You can be forgiven for thinking that it is much easier to make a curry using pre-bought paste than making it from scratch. After all, from smelling an Indian spice paste it is easy to think that the complicated fragrance compiled from a multitude of ingredients would be complicated to prepare.
Thankfully, I’m here to show you that it isn’t. As long as you have your spice rack at the ready a tikka masala paste is right around the corner. The method for this tikka masala paste is simple: toast the spices in a dry fry pan, grind the spices, and then blend the spices with the remaining ingredients in a food processor. It’s an exhilarating moment when you know you’ve completed the process yourself and it was really very easy.
You can keep the spice paste in the fridge, or even freeze it longer term until you are ready to make your curry.
This pork variation on the usual chicken tikka masala uses a gorgeous pork tenderloin as its protein hero. The pork tenderloin is perfect for this quick pork tikka masala because this cut of meat that runs along the backbone of the pork is lean, delicately flavoured and is the most tender cut for speedy cooking. The key to great tasting tenderloin is not to overcook it and so when preparing the pork for this curry, my recipe calls for you to grill it to add char and then add it to the curry for the final 10 minutes of cooking. It is the perfect substitution for chicken in this dish and I encourage you to try a pork tikka masala for something a little different.
The pork tenderloin was provided by the lovely team at Murray Valley Pork who have given me a rather spectacular tenderloin to cook with (a link to the Aussie butchers who sell Murray Valley Pork is included at the end of this post). If you would like to read about my trip to the Murray Valley Pork farm visit in Albury visit the post here.
Pork Tikka Masala
Tikka Masala Paste
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3cm piece fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons tikka masala curry paste
- Salt and Pepper
- 600g Pork Tenderloin (1 1/4 pounds), cut into 3cm cubes
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup of the above Tikka Masala paste
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup thickened cream
- 3 large tomatoes, diced
- Sea salt, to taste
- Coriander, to garnish
- Basmati rice, to serve
TIKKA MASALA CURRY PASTE
Peel the garlic and ginger and set aside
In a heavy based frypan over medium-high heat, toast the spices and seeds until golden and fragrant then remove from the heat. Place the spices in a spice grinder (or mortar and pestle) and grind until you have a fine powder. Transfer to a food processor with the remaining paste ingredients and blend until smooth.
In a bowl combine all the marinade ingredients together (reserving the pork). Once well mixed, add the pork and toss to combine, mixing with your hands to ensure the marinade is all over the meat. Place in the fridge and marinate for at least 30 minute or overnight (no longer)
Heat a large heavy frypan over medium heat adding the olive oil and butter once hot. Add the curry paste once the butter has melted and cook until the edges of the paste has browned. Add the tomatoes and water and season with salt. Once boiling, turn the heat down till the mixture is simmering, and cook for 20 minutes. If your tomatoes aren't juicy, the mixture will thicken too much and you may need to add more water.
While the curry is simmering, heat a grill pan over medium high heat (or your BBQ) and brush the pan with oil. Remove the pork pieces from the marinade (ensuring you shake off the excess marinade) and cook for two minutes either side until the pork is charred from the grill.
Once the curry has thickened, transfer it to a food processor and process until smooth. Pour back into the frypan and bring to the boil. Add the pork and then turn down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add the cream and stir through the curry.
Serve with basmati rice and top with torn coriander (cilantro).
Chew Town was not paid to develop this recipe, but was gifted the Pork from Murray Valley Pork with thanks. Visit here for a list of Murray Valley Pork butchers. To read Chew Town’s disclosure policy please visit the About page.