Vindaloo Pork Cutlets with Lentil & Spinach Dahl & Minted Yoghurt

I just love taking a plain old pork chop and making it something super special.   It was a little difficult to decipher  which part of this meal was the star of the show…..  the lentil and spinach dahl that was packed so full of flavour and goodness, it could be a meal all on its own?  The lean and tender pork cutlet marinated in vindaloo paste and lemon juice which was meltingly sublime with just a hint of heat?  Or the creamy greek yoghurt laced with fresh mint and lemon juice that cooled and soothed with every mouthful?  I think I’ll take all three!!

Prep time:   20  Minutes              Cooking time:  40  Minutes             $$  Low to Medium Budget

Serves 4

4 pork cutlets, trimmed of any excess fat

2 tbs of vindaloo paste

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 tbs of olive oil

Coriander sprigs for garnish

For the Dahl:

11/2 cups of dried red lentils, rinsed well and drained

20gm of butter

2 tbs of olive oil

1 tbs of cumin seeds

1 tbs of coriander seeds

1 tbs of ground turmeric

1 tsp of mustard seeds

1/2 tsp of chilli powder

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

3cm piece of ginger, grated

1 brown onion, finely diced

400gm tin of chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup of water

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp of caster sugar

Sea salt and cracked pepper

100gm of baby spinach leaves

1 cup of coriander leaves, roughly chopped

For the Yoghurt:

1 cup of greek yoghurt

A handful of mint leaves, finely chopped

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Sea salt and cracked pepper

In a large dish mix the vindaloo paste, lemon juice and oil together.  Place the pork cutlets in the dish and get your hands in there to rub and marinate the pork chops.  Set aside.

Place the rinsed lentils in a large saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil.  Boil for approximately 5 minutes then drain and set aside.

Heat a large pan and add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and mustard seeds.  Dry fry until the mustard seeds start to pop and then add the butter and oil.  Sprinkle over the turmeric and chilli powder and fry for 30 seconds until aromatic and then add the onion,  frying until soft before adding the garlic and ginger.  Stir to combine and fry until really aromatic before adding the tomatoes, water, lemon juice, sugar and drained lentils.  Mix well to combine and season with a little salt and pepper.  Allow the mixture to simmer on a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add  water, a little at a time if the mixture starts to look a little dry.  Just before serving sprinkle over the coriander and spinach leaves and place a lid on for a minute or two, allowing the spinach to wilt.  Stir the spinach and coriander through the dahl.

Heat a large frypan and add a little olive oil.  Fry the pork chops for a couple of minutes on both sides until golden, then place in a preheated 180°C oven for approximately 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven when cooked and allow to rest for a few minutes.

Place the yoghurt, mint and lemon juice in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Stir well to combine.

To serve, divide the lentils between four serving plates.  Place a pork chop on top and a generous spoonful of the minted yoghurt.  Garnish with fresh coriander sprigs.