Spice-Encrusted Pork



25 min


6 servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 15 minutes


  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 head of garlic , minced
  • 1 large onion , finely chopped
  • 2 kg boneless pork loin
  • 2 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 to 3 tbsp brown sugar


  • Heat oil in a large wide saucepan or pasta pot set over medium heat, 1 min. Add cumin seeds. Let them sizzle 1 min. Add garlic and onion. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low. Continue cooking, stirring often, until onion is light brown, 12 to 15 min.
  • Meanwhile, trim any excess fat from loin, then cut pork into 2-in. (5-cm) pieces. When onions are light brown, add ginger. Sauté for 2 min. Stir in tomatoes, turmeric, cayenne, garam masala and 1 tsp (5 mL) salt. Increase heat to medium. Cover and simmer to develop flavour, stirring occasionally, 5 min. Add pork. Stir until evenly coated. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring every 15 min until pork is as tender as you like, about 1 hour and 45 min. Then stir in 1 tbsp (15 mL) brown sugar. Taste and add remaining salt and sugar, if you wish. Pork will keep well, covered and refrigerated, up to 3 days, or in the freezer for 1 month.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 550,
  • Protein
  • 69.7 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 11.7 g,
  • Fat
  • 23.7 g,
  • Fibre
  • 1.9 g,
  • Sodium
  • 591 mg.

Garam masala, an Indian spice mixture, lends signature flavour to many of Vij’s dishes. Make your own ? see Vij’s Garam Masala Mix (below) ? or purchase a pre-made masala from an Indian grocer.


In a heavy-bottomed frying pan, heat 11/2 tsp (7 mL) each whole cloves, black cardamom seeds (about 7 pods) and 1/2 cup (125 mL) cumin seeds over medium-low. Stir constantly until cumin seeds turn dark brown, 10 min. Remove pan from heat. Let cool 20 min. Place roasted spices in a coffee grinder or blender. Grind until the mixture looks like ground black pepper. Add 1 tbsp (15 mL) ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each ground mace and nutmeg. Blend well. Mix will keep well in an airtight container up to 6 months. Makes 3/4 cup (175 mL).