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Joys of tradition

A classic of sorts, and an old favourite of the Northeast, lai saag (mustard leaves) with pork is ideal for a family luncheon. You can cook greater quantities of meat on a slow fire over a long period of time, to bring out the flavour. While buying mustard (lai) leaves, select broader leaves because it has a better taste. Try it out and surprise the family with a dish to remember.

The writer can be contacted at hussina@rediffmail.com

Lai saag with pork

Serves 4-6

Preparation and cooking time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1kg pork with fat, skin and bone

1tbsp roughly crushed fresh ginger

1tbsp roughly crushed garlic

1tsp finely grounded fresh turmeric

2tsp of fish sauce (optional)

3-4 bunches of fresh mustard leaves

3-4 fresh red chillies, finely ground

1tsp of fresh coriander roots, washed and finely ground

Salt as required

Water as required

Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

Preparation:

Wash the pork thoroughly in warm water. Scrap the skin thoroughly and clean it. Cut the pork into two-inch chunks and set aside. Wash mustard leaves in running water and roughly break into two and set aside. In a thick bottom pot, place the pork and cook on medium heat. Once the fat in the pork starts melting, add the garlic, crushed coriander roots and ginger. Put the heat on low and stir gently. Add the salt and turmeric. Add one-cup of water and stir thoroughly. Put the lid on and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes on slow heat. Open the lid and add one cup of water. Add the mustard leaves. Add the chilli paste. Stir and cover the lid. Bring the heat on medium and let it boil for another 20-25 minutes. Add fish sauce and coriander leaves and turn off the heat. Leave it for 5 minutes and transfer into a serving bowl. Serve hot with rice

Tips: Discard excess oil from the fat.

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