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CURRIED PORK CHOPS WITH CHICKPEA SALAD

CURRIED PORK CHOPS WITH CHICKPEA SALAD

  • 2 pork chops, around 250 g each and at least 2.5 cm thick, most of the rind and fat removed
  • 200 g plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Begin by marinating the chops the day before or at least 2 hours before cooking. Mix the yogurt with the curry powder and a pinch of salt, then place in a non-metallic container with the pork chops and mix to evenly coat. Leave in the fridge for 2 hours or ideally overnight.

Preheat an oven to 220°C.

Take the chops out of the fridge half an hour before cooking allowing them to come up to room temperature.
Wipe the yogurt marinade off the fatty edge of the chops with kitchen paper then place in a heavy-bottomed frying pan (cast-iron is ideal), fat-side down. You can use a spoon or pair of tongs to keep them propped up – the flesh shouldn’t touch the pan as you only want to be rendering the fat at this stage.

Cook slowly on a low heat until the fat has melted right down and is a deep amber colour (about 10-15 minutes). Drain the pan of fat periodically into a bowl.

Once the fat has rendered, fry the chops for a minute on each side, then add a knob of butter and put for 3–4 minutes in the oven. Leave the pork to rest for 5 minutes in a warm place or under tin foil before serving.

  • MEDITERRANEAN CHICKPEA SALAD
  • 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas, drained
  • 3 tablespoon Za’atar spice*
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • ½ English cucumber, diced, seeds removed
  • 1 small red onion, sliced in ½ moons
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chopped dill, optional
  • VINAIGRETTE:
  • 1–2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large lime, juice of
  • ¹⁄³ cup good extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, red onions, parsley and dill (if using). Add the Za’atar, and mix gently.

Prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing. Drizzle over the chickpea salad and mix.
Add the chickpea salad to the serving dish with the chops.

*Za’atar is a spice mixture made of wild thyme and toasted sesame seeds – nutty, earthy, and slightly citrusy. It’s sprinkled on the salad, and it really does add depth and elevate the flavor.

Recipe and photo: Amanda Conradie

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