Mussamam Curry Pork Chops

These Mussamam Curry Pork Chops were made for the What’s In The Box challenge.

One of my favourite TV shows has to be Chopped. Here, contestants are given a mystery box of ingredients in 3 rounds and they have to come up with a starter, main course and dessert. Four contestants start the first round and after each round, one contestant is chopped leaving a winner who walks away with $10 000. When I saw the March: What’s in the box challenge I decided to treat it like a main course challenge from Chopped, rather than a challenge to make a 3 course meal.

So, in Ted Allen’s voice “in the box you have, walnuts, rocket, figs, pork chops and baby potatoes and time starts now!” I could have gone for the obvious rocket salad, pork chops with baby potatoes and a fig and walnut dessert, but where is the challenge in that? And if the mug of destiny chose me, my one meal would have to be a stand out. Using inspiration from Masterchef Australia where the contestants had to fix a mussamam curry I set about making a Thai curry dish. Integral to Thai food is sweet, sour, salty and hot. Using these principles, and the ingredients given, I came up with a dish that was seriously tasty. It is a hot curry and you can soften the heat with a little bit of yoghurt.

do you eat hot curries?

Mussamam Curry Pork Chops
Mussamam Curry Pork Chops
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Mussamam Curry Pork Chops

Recipe Category: Curry, Pork
All Rights Reserved: Adapted from Curry Recipe Book page 248


For the spices

  • 3 dried red chillies
  • 18.75 mls coriander seeds
  • 10 mls cumin seeds
  • 2 whole cloves
  • ½ star anise
  • 15 cardamom pods
  • 2.5 mls ground cinnamon

For the paste

  • 2 French shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 5 giant cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, sliced
  • 18.75 mls galangal paste
  • 1 pinch fine salt

For the curry

  • 500 g pork loin chops, trimmed and meat taken off the bone and sliced into thick chunks
  • 45 mls coconut oil
  • 200 mls coconut milk
  • 8 baby potatoes, quartered
  • 125 mls vegetable stock
  • 15 g palm sugar, grated
  • 50 g walnuts, halved
  • 10 mls fish sauce
  • 5 mls tamarind paste
  • 5 mls soy sauce
  • 5 mls lime juice
  • 100 g baby figs, halved
  • 100 g rocket
  • 1 lime, halved, to garnish


For the spices

  • Place the chillies, coriander, cumin, cloves and star anise into a dry frying pan
  • Over a low heat, toast the spices until you can smell them
  • Place them into a spice grinder
  • Place the cardamom into the pan and toast them until the husks are hard
  • Remove the seeds and add them to the spice grinder
  • Place the cinnamon into the grinder and process until fine
  • Pour through a sieve
  • Set aside 1 tablespoon for the walnuts and the rest for the curry

For the paste

  • Place all of the ingredients into a food processer and blend until smooth

For the curry

  • Place 5mls coconut oil and the fat trimmings into a casserole pot / tagine
  • Brown the pork and remove and set aside
  • Remove the far pieces and discard
  • Add the rest of the coconut oil and sauté the shallot paste until soft, but not coloured
  • Add the spices and cook until you can smell them
  • Add the bones, and cook until coloured
  • Add the coconut milk and deglaze the pot
  • Add the potatoes and the stock and simmer with the lid on until the potatoes are nearly done
  • While the potatoes are cooking put the walnuts, the set aside spices and 5g of the palm sugar into a dry frying pan
  • Roast over a low heat until the walnuts are toasted
  • Add the rest of the palm sugar, the fish sauce, tamarind, soy and lime to the curry
  • Add the pork and simmer with the lid off until the pork is cooked
  • Add the figs and leave to heat through
  • Remove the walnuts from the frying pan and wilt the rocket
  • Serve the curry on a bed of the rocket, topped with the walnuts and half a lime

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30 thoughts on “Mussamam Curry Pork Chops

  1. I love what you did with the “What’s in the box” ingredients. I don’t think any of the other bloggers thought of chopping up the chops. This curry sounds tasty 🙂

  2. Mussaman curry is my absolute favourite. I love the balance of flavours and textures. It’s a very clever concept to put a twist on the original dish with the lovely ingredients you were sent.

    1. thank you Claire, I was not sent the ingredients however, I just used what they had sent out to other bloggers to come up with this. If I make it again I will calm the heat a bit 🙂

  3. I love chopped also…I feel like it really spurs those creative juices to have to just put random things together into a tasty dish. This curry sounds wonderful!

    1. Sometimes the competitors don’t come up with anything that I would, and I always try and think what I would do with their ingredients 🙂

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