Indian spiced pork loin with foraged greens

Indian spiced pork loin with foraged greens

Murray Valley pork being cut with a Global Santoku knife sai-03

Juicy, caramelised and crusted with burnished spices – this is my easy Indian-spiced pork loin with foraged greens, crispy fried onions and turmeric chat potatoes.

Ok, when I say easy I refer to the pork component, as everything else requires a little preparation. To be honest, the other bits I’ve mentioned don’t even need to be brought into the picture; although all of them make for one very flavoursome meal.

Pork marinade & foraging for warrigal greens and samphire

If you’ve ever wanted to cook a piece of pork steak to juicy perfection, there are a couple of easy steps that’ll get you there without fail.

First you need to start with a steak that’s 2 cm thick – no more than an inch. And then you need to remember these numbers.

6 – 2 – 2

It’s the 6-2-2 method that’ll achieve the juicy result that a quality piece of pork deserves. 6 minutes over medium heat on one side, 2 minutes on the other, then let the little darling rest out of the pan for another 2 minutes.

Indian spiced Murray Valley pork loin with foraged greens

A simple piece of pan-fried swine is perfection, in my eyes. A little salt and pepper, perhaps a smear of mustard or horseradish and I’m a happy man. For this recipe, I’ve done a bit of flavour injection by marinading the meat in a bunch of spices and yoghurt.

Aside from that, I’ve given it crunch with a simple pile of crispy fried onions.

Indian spiced Murray Valley ork loin with foraged greens

And then come the greens I foraged. Warrigal greens, wild mustard and samphire. These have all been wilted through some sautéed onion and a few spices, turning them into a warm and mildly spiced vegetable accompaniment. To top it off, some crumbled paneer cheese; just to echo the Indian flavours of the pork.

The golden potatoes follow suit in their own way.

Warrigal greens, samphire, wild mustard & paneer

As a final flourish, I’ve drizzled the cooked pork with some sweet, spicy and tangy tamarind chutney. It’s a cinch to make and keeps in the fridge for a few weeks. Also, I drizzled the pork with zhoug. Something that’s Middle Eastern, not Indian; but it works an absolute treat.

All together it’s an absolute harmony of flavours.

Grab my recipe for tamarind chutney here and my recipe for zhoug here, both of which can be made a few days in advance.

Finally, if you’ve got some fresh curry leaves to spare, fry them in oil for 2 or 3 minutes until crisp. They’re the most perfect garnish and so easy to nibble on.

*Pork supplied by Murray Valley Pork

Indian spiced Murray Valley pork loin with foraged greens


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Indian spiced pork loin with foraged greens
Deliciously juicy pork with aromatic Indian spices. Great on its own or teamed with foraged greens.
Indian spiced Murray Valley pork loin with foraged greens
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian
The greens
Fried onions
The potatoes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian
The greens
Fried onions
The potatoes
Indian spiced Murray Valley pork loin with foraged greens
  1. Combine all ingredients (except pork and 2 tbsp olive oil) and stir well. Lay the pork loin steaks into a flat, non-corrosive dish and smear on all sides with the marinade. Alternatively, put the pork into a plastic bag, add the marinade and give it a good massage.
  2. Allow the pork to marinade overnight.
  3. Scrape off any excess marinade before cooking the following day. Too much will make it burn.
  4. To cook the pork, heat a pan over medium heat. Add the 2 tbsp olive oil, swirl it around and lay the pork steaks even over the pan. You may need to do this in two pans, or in batches.
  5. Cook the pork for 6 minutes, without turning. Turn the pork over and cook the other side for 2 minutes. Remove the pork from the pan and allow it to rest on a plate or board for a further 2 minutes, after-which it will be perfectly juicy. Serve immediately.
The greens
  1. Heat a large saucepan over med-high, toss in the butter and oil and allow it to melt. Scatter in the mustard seeds and curry leaves (they will pop and crackle!) and stir with a wooden spoon for about 1 minute.
  2. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until opaque. Add the samphire to the onions and quickly stir to incorporate, then add the warrigal greens and mustard leaves.
  3. Stir constantly so the leaves wilt from the heat. After about 10-20 seconds, add the water and keep mixing it around, then crumble in the paneer. Turn off the heat and season to taste.
  4. You can serve it immediately or at room temperature, if you like.
Fried onions
  1. Peel the onions, cut them in half and slice them thinly. Break up each slice so that they fry easier.
  2. Put the oil into a large saucepan over medium heat. Simply fry the sliced onion in the oil, in batches, until nicely browned and slightly golden. Don't add too many as the oil may bubble over. Scoop the onions out and drain on paper towels. Season with the salt and cumin seeds while still hot. Allow to cool completely before using.
  1. Boil the chats until just cooked. Drain and press them down slightly, to flatten.
  2. Preheat the oven to 230°C.
  3. Line a baking tray with baking paper, top with the oil and put it into the oven for 10 minutes.
  4. Arrange the potatoes on the hot pan, turn over to coat the other side in oil, then season with salt, pepper and turmeric. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crispy around the edges.
  5. Serve immediately, scattered with a little more turmeric, of you like.
Recipe Notes

If you're going out foraging be 100% certain that what you're picking is edible. When in doubt, don't pick it - or consult an expert.

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  • Oh, John – this looks so incredible. And that hunk o’ pork is gorgeous! One thing that is so hard here is getting good pork with some of the fat. They trim the stuff so there is nothing left to keep the meat moist. As I love Indian food, this may be next up for one of your recipes! The chicken (piletina na lovački) is almost ready, although I made spätzle instead of dumplings! The house smells fab!

    • We have the same problem here, as well. So many butchers trim way too much of the fat from the cuts. And then people wonder why the meat is so dry when it’s cooked!

  • KevinIsCooking

    Good lord, I want it all. Love your 6-2-2 technique, good one to remember. From your spices to the textures and colors this is scrumptious and has me rethinking my planned dinner 😀

  • Fabulous!!!

    I love samphire, when we were kids we used to go and visit relatives in Forres (a little north of Inverness in the UK). Searching for samphire was one of the highlights! Just eating it raw or taking it home to plenty of praise and then bowls of it with butter and lemon served with fried fish and chunky chips. YUM!!!!

    That joint of pork looks delicious, juicy and tender. Just the thought of all those wonderful indian spices is making my mouth water!

    Killer dish!

    • Thanks Claire, and thanks for sharing your fab story. I wish I was with you when you were out foraging for samphire, I had no idea what it was when I was a kid! I think I need to go pick some and toss it with butter and lemon. I love the sound of what you served it with and may have to replicate that one day.

      • I was very lucky growing up. We were exposed to so many wonderful foods that these days are pretty trendy 😉
        I think it comes from growing up with so many farmers and fishermen in the family.
        Beef cheeks were something my Gran always cooked up in the pressure cooker, it was a bit of a joke that if you had a cough Gran would make beef cheek stew to lubricate your throat! She would get them for free back then! And pork jowls (still waiting for those to come into fashion!!)

        • I love it! I had pork jowls at a restaurant in Cape Town and have been swooning ever since.

  • Will definitely need to employ the 6-2-2 technique next time I cook pork. And I need to find out where these hidden pockets of samphire are!

    • Well I can say they’re possibly closer to where you live than where we do 😉

  • Will you please start up some kind of vacation deal where I get to come to your house and eat whatever you cook that week? Your cuisine is like my wettest food porn dreams! I’ll even offer to do the dishes.

    • You crack me up, Jeff. No need to do the dishes, just bring some booze!

  • WOW! The photos look amazing!

    Where did you forage for your greens?

  • Karen (Back Road Journal)

    From the photos I can just imagine how good this meal was. I can only wish that I could buy pork that looked like what you used…our markets carry pork that has no fat.

    • It disappoints me when I keep hearing about pork without fat. The fillet cut is probably the only one I’d expect without fat. Any others really ought to have some left on there.

  • Sabrina Russo

    What a beautiful and creative meal!

  • Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    Loving the 6-2-2 method, and tweaking it here and there for thicker cuts. You always make me smile at your foraging expertise, it’s a gift lovely xxx Plus this dish is just so pretty. I feel stupid saying that, but it really is a pretty dish.

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