Monday, April 11, 2011

Ularthiyathu-Inspired, Dry-Rubbed Pork Loin Chop

Recently, I had the desire to cook a pork loin chop.  Basically, a pork loin chop is a portion of the pork loin still attached to the bone.  These pork chops are usually great for grilling but, on that particular day, it was cold and wet outside.  The plans turned to putting the chop under the broiler.  Before I could do that, however, I needed to think about what I would do to add some flavor to the meat. 

Having dabbled a little with barbecue, my first thought was to develop a rub for the meat.  I surfed the Internet for some traditional rub recipes, but nothing really caught my attention.  I then turned to some Indian spice mixes.  I perused some masala and vindaloo recipes, but, I did not have enough ingredients to complete the recipes.

Time was ticking away and it was getting late, so I decided to pick a recipe and try to do the best I could.  The recipe I picked was Panni Ularthiyathu, which is a sauteed pork dish from Kerala, a state in the southwest of India.  I was missing a few of the ingredients needed to make the recipe; however, I substituted dry ingredients in place of fresh ones (for example, garlic powder instead of diced garlic and chile powder instead of fresh chiles).

The key ingredients of my Ularthiyathu-inspired dry rub are coriander, turmeric, garlic, cardamom, ginger, mustard, and chiles.  I used ground versions of all of the spices, including the chiles.  I had some dried Sanaam chiles, which are a pepper from India (and available at spice stores like Penzeys), and I ground those chiles into a powder.  I mixed all of the powders and rubbed down the pork.

Adapted from Live to Eat
Serves 2

2 pork loin chops
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon of cardamom
3 Sanaam chile pods, ground into powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

1.  Prepare the rub.  Add all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Rub the spice mix on all sides of the pork.

2.  Cook the pork loin chop.  Place the chops under the broiler.  You want to cook the pork until the internal temperature is 160 degrees Fahrenheit for medium or 170 degrees for well done.

For something done last minute and on the fly, the pork loin chop turned out well.  I think it would have been better on a grill over medium-high heat, and I will try that the next time I make this recipe.  I also have added Panni Ularthiyathu to my list of dishes to make in the future (although that list is fairly long at the moment). Until next time ... 


For more information about Panni Ularthiyathu and the recipe from which I based this rub, check out Live to Eat.

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