TANDOORI PORK TENDERLOIN WITH CUCUMBER & MINT RAITA

Being a huge spice lover I just had to make tandoori pork at some point for the blog. I love the depth of flavour in the spicey marinade and I love the simplicity of the whole cooking method for this dish. When I was pregnant with my daughter the one thing I craved every lunch hour at work was anything that tasted like curry. Tandoori chicken was one of those things that I indulged in quite a bit. I have a funny feeling my little girl is going to be a big spice fan someday. I paired the spicy pork with a cooling cucumber and mint raita. The yogurt will really help calm down all of the spices. Serve it along side some plain rice and there you have dinner! If you want to keep it authentic serve it with basmati rice. So without further adieu, here is my recipe for tandoori pork! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F

Baking time: around 40-45 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1 pork tenderloin (medium size)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (2-3%)
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp each: chili powder, ground coriander, turmeric, ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp each: ginger and garlic, paste
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano and ground cinnamon
  • 2 good tbsps tomato paste

Raita Ingredients: yields around 1 cup (make double if needed)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (2-3%)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, grated and juice lightly squeezed out
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. In a large bowl, combine the tandoori ingredients listed above. Take the pork and using tongs, place it into the tandoori marinade and swish it around in there. Really get the pork covered in the sauce. Then put the pork, along with the sauce, onto the prepared baking sheet, and place it into the oven to bake.

2. Let the pork tenderloin bake at 425 F for a good 15 minutes to get a good start, then lower the temperature to 400 F and let it bake for another 25-30 minutes. Don't let the pork overcook, so I would recommend checking it at the 35-40 minute cooking mark, by doing the finger poke test. It should be firm to the touch, but the meat should still have some bounce.

3. Cucumber-mint raita: In a bowl, combine the yogurt, oil, grated cucumber, mint, salt, pepper, and fresh lemon juice. Give it a good stir to combine. If you are omitting the oil but you find the raita a bit thick, then add a tablespoon of milk instead to thin it out. Cover and place it into the fridge until you're ready to serve.

4. Once the pork has finished cooking, let the meat rest for a few minutes before slicing. Serve it warm along side either rice or naan bread, and of course the cucumber-mint raita.




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