Recipe: Chef Jiju Paul’s Black Pork Curry

Not loving the weather forecast from old man winter? Warm your belly with the heat from this recipe for black pork curry courtesy of the Edmonton Expo Centre‘s Executive Chef Jiju Paul. While this can be served immediately with rice or naan bread, like any good soup or stew, this dish tastes better the next day once the flavours have had a chance to mellow.

Since returning to Edmonton from a stint with the Fairmont Ajman in the United Arab Emirates, chef Jiju has been eager to meld both his culinary passion and love of local ingredients at the Edmonton Expo Centre, especially through the launch of his Winery Spotlight Series. Chef Jiju, who has more than 16 years of experience in five-star hotels across India, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada, will be sharing his passion for Alberta pork with a Swine and Dine dinner at the Edmonton Expo Centre. Stay tuned for details on the event to take place March 2020.

What you’ll need…

1.5 lb pork loin chops or shoulder (a pork cut with some fat is preferable for this curry)
4 tsp black pepper
6 whole cardamom pod seeds, crushed (only use the seeds)
1 heaping teaspoon of Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp cayenne pepper
3 tsp tamarind paste
3 tbsp oil
2-3 bay leaves
1 inch of peeled ginger, minced
½ medium onion, chopped finely
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced (or 2 serrano peppers if you prefer more heat)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp sugar
½ cup water
Additional salt and lemon juice to taste



  1. Cut the pork into ½ -1-inch cubes. If the pork chops have bones you can add those to the curry as well, as they add more flavour. Set aside once cubed.
  2. Crush the cardamom pod seeds into a powder and mix with the black pepper, curry powder, salt, cinnamon, cayenne pepper. Crush and mix using a mortar and pestle.
  3. Combine 2 tbsp of the mixed spices, the tamarind paste, and 1 tbsp oil to coat the cut pork. Leave pork in fridge to marinate for 8-10 hours or overnight if possible.
  4. To cook, heat 2 tbsp of oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the bay leaves, ginger and onion. Sauté until the onions become translucent. Add the garlic and sliced jalapeno peppers and sauté for another 30 seconds.
  5. Stir in the marinated pork and sugar. Add about ½ cup of water and bring this to a boil. Then, lower the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 1 hour.
  6. Check on the curry and add extra water if it dries out. Add salt or lemon juice if desired. You can serve this curry immediately, but it tastes better after it has rested for a little while. Even better the next day!


Recipe: One-pot white bean pork cassoulet

Many Alberta Pork producers across the province also grow pulses, which are high in protein and fibre and low in fat; growing pulses are profitable for our farmers and an essential element in a sustainable cropping system.

Alberta Pulse Growers represents 6,000 growers of field pea, dry bean, lentil, chickpea, faba bean and soybean in Alberta. In addition to being great for the soil and for our bodies, pulses pair deliciously with pork!  Over the past few years I have been trying to introduce more Canadian-grown pulses to my diet, but I often get stalled in the kitchen with pulses because of the need to soak dry pulses overnight.

Debra McLennan, food & nutrition coordinator with Alberta Pulse Growers, is a registered dietician who made my life a little easier recently. I asked if there was a nutritional difference between dry beans, lentils, chickpeas, and those that are in a can.

The major difference is the sodium in canned pulses. Canned pulses are convenient as they are pre-cooked and ready to use, but be sure to:

  • Always drain and rinse well before use.
  • Drain and rinse regular canned pulses to reduce the sodium content by 40% or try No Salt Added canned pulses.

With that knowledge, along with a cupboard packed with canned white beans and a fridge containing sausages (Fuge Meats Italian Fennel) and some Irvings Farm Fresh side pork I was able to create a one-pot cassoulet backed with Alberta Pork flavour and Alberta Pulse Producers fibre.

One-Pot White Bean Pork Cassoulet

What you’ll need…

500 g side pork or pork belly, cut into cubes
2 large pork sausages (e.g. Italian)
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans of white beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
1 can diced stewed tomatoes
1 cup soup stock (chicken, pork or vegetable)
1 cup white wine (or substitute with more broth if you prefer)
2 tbsp of mixed dried herbs (such as thyme, parsley, oregano, rosemary)
1 1/2 cup bread crumbs, divided


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large oven-proof pot or Dutch oven, brown sausages over medium heat for four to five minutes. Remove to a plate until cooled and cut into 1 cm slices.

Using the fat left in the pot from the sausages, add the side pork and onions and cook until the onions are translucent, approximately 5 – 7 minutes. Add the garlic and herbs; cook for 2 minutes more.

Add the tomatoes, beans, broth and wine. Bring to a simmer and add in one cup of bread crumbs and the sliced sausage. Stir to combine. Top with remaining 1/2 cup and transfer to preheated oven.

Cook for 1 – 1 1/2 hours and the bread crumbs have browned. Enjoy!

* Other combinations of canned pulses would also work with this dish, so get creative with any cans of Canadian beans, lentils or chickpeas you have in your cupboard.