Karan demonstrated this delicious recipe at BBC Good Food Show Winter 2023.
This dish is inspired by black pork curry, commonly found at cafés and restaurants across Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital city. It was one of the first curries I ate on an early visit to the island, and a big part of the reason for my falling in love with the food of Lanka. While it’s illegal to hunt wild boar in Sri Lanka, I’ve had chefs and friends cook me some overseas. If you’re making this curry for a party, cook it a night ahead, as a night in the fridge helps the flavours to get to know each other and really sing!
500g wild boar meat, cut into 5cm pieces (ask your butcher for a stewing cut)
2 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
2 tbsp oil
5cm piece cinnamon stick
5 green cardamom pods
8-12 curry leaves
5cm piece pandan leaf
5cm piece lemongrass
100g chopped red onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1½ tamarind extract or paste
3 tbsp Sri Lankan roasted curry powder (or madras curry powder)
2 green chillies, slit lengthways
- Combine the wild boar with 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder, 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper and ½ tsp salt. Cover with 8cm water in a deep pan and bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 1 hr until the meat is quite tender (it will get a little softer later, when it’s cooked again). Alternatively, just cover the meat with water and pressure cook for 25-35 mins. Strain the liquid and reserve both the meat and cooking liquid separately.
- Heat the oil in a deep heavy-bottomed pan set over a medium heat and add the cinnamon, cardamom pods and cloves. After 30 seconds, add the curry leaves, pandan leaf, lemongrass, onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for about 4 mins, until the onions turn slightly brown. Add the remaining 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder, 1 tsp salt and tamarind paste and cook for 1 min. Add a splash of water to get the charred bits off the pan and stir well. Add the cooked wild boar and coat well in the spices, then pour in just enough of the wild boar cooking liquid to cover the meat and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook until the meat is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 20-30 mins.
- Add the roasted curry powder and a pinch of salt and cook for a further 10 mins. This is traditionally a dry curry but if you prefer a little bit of sauce, add some more cooking liquid in the final stage of cooking and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Stir in the green chilli and cook for a final 2 mins, then serve straight away.