Traditional recipes, passed down through the generations, and a sit-down lunch or dinner with the greater family, the table groaning with the weight of the food, after church, is what makes Indian Christmases so unusual.
Every little corner of India has its own set of special dishes reserved for Christmas that often take a little doing to make but turn out marvellously.
Jenny D'Souza is well-known in the Mahim area of north central Mumbai, and beyond, for her unmatchable chocolate cake.
A Keralite married to a Mangalorean, she loves to cook and her South Indian fare is pretty popular too after she started up Mamma J's Kitchen, a cloud kitchen during COVID-19.
Definitely put together her signature Kerala Pork Chops with its crisp, delicious crust and add it to your Yuletide menu.
Jenny says she cooks with passion and from her heart and her food is a hit among family and friends.
Kerala Pork Chops
- 1 kg washed bone-in pork chops, easily available in a cold storage stores
- 1 to ½ tbsp white vinegar
- Salt to taste, about 2 tsp
- Pinch sugar
- Pinch red chilly powder
- Fried potato wedges, to serve
For the masala
- 10 Kashmiri chillies
- 1 tbsp dhania or coriander seeds
- 5 green elaichi or cardamom
- 5 dalchini or cinnamon sticks
- 5 laung or cloves
- Pinch javitri or mace
- ½ tsp methi or fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp rai or mustard seeds
- 12 pods garlic
- 2-3-inch pieces ginger
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- In a mixer jar/blender, combine all the ingredients for the masala.
Grind to a smooth paste, use a little water if needed.
- In a large bowl or container with a cover, marinate the pork chops with the ground paste.
- Refrigerate, covered, 10-12 hours.
- In a pressure cooker, mix the marinated pork chops the chilly powder, sugar, salt, vinegar.
Don't add oil or water as pork releases oil as it cooks.
Over medium-high heat, cook for 2-3 whistles.
Lower the heat and continue cooking for 20-25 minutes.
Once done, let the pressure release on its own.
- Transfer the oil released by pork chops in the pressure cooker into a heavy-bottomed kadhai or frying pan.
Add the chops and fry over low heat till well done.
Keep flipping so that it fries evenly on both sides.
Take off heat and serve with fried potato wedges and bread or pav on the side.
Editor's Note: The chops can be cooked a day or so beforehand and stored in the fridge. You might like to reheat with a touch of butter on December 25, to bring out its juiciness.
Jenny D'Souza runs Mamma J's Kitchen.