Indian Spiced Pork Belly with Rice Pilaf

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My family laugh at my “this is the best ever!” statements, I do have a tendency to get a little over enthusiastic about recipes, restaurants, etc, when I like something. I would rather be the person that raves about the great things than be the one that complains about only the bad things…..well that is my defense anyway. Mind you, really bad food gets my goat, just like anyone else. I don’t see the point in going to a restaurant and getting food that I can cook better at home, or following a recipe and spending hours cooking something that is mediocre at best. That is why I really love it, when something tastes amazing.

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This recipe, really is the best pork belly I have ever tasted! The spice mix isn’t over powering, but compliments the pork perfectly. The crackling, was absolutely spot on, with wonderfully crispy skin, and the meat was juicy and tender, and most of the fat seemed to cook out of it. The rice pilaf really compliments the richness of the pork. I was happy to find a recipe for the rice pilaf, that was exactly how my favourite Indian restaurant makes it. I thought it would be made with ghee, but when I asked them, it is made with oil – happy days! Remember to pour a little of the cooking liquid underneath your pork when serving, it is really good. And having a little mango chutney on the side rounded the whole meal off well. I really recommend giving this recipe a go, it’s definitely worth it.

Suitable for: gluten, dairy, egg, nut & soy free diets

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Pork Belly Ingredients ( recipe source)

  • 2kg Pork Belly (boneless) and scored
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric powder
  • 1.125L Ginger beer
  • 6 Cloves Garlic, skin on, just smashed to open cloves
  • 3cm Ginger, skin on, roughly chopped
  • 1 Brown onion, skin on, quartered
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil

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Rice Pilaf Ingredients (recipe source –

  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • One stick of cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Optional (recommended) serve with mango chutney

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  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees. Measure out all the spices ready for roasting. Dry pork belly with paper towel, cover with paper towel and put aside to let it absorb more while preparing the spices.
  2. In a small fry pan or saucepan over a medium heat, add the mustard, coriander and cumin seeds and stir until they start popping, make sure you keep stirring so that the don’t burn. Remove from the heat and the salt, chilli & turmeric and stir for 10 seconds. Place the spices in a mortar & pestle and grind to a powder.
  3. In a large baking stay, place the onion, garlic & ginger, and then pour over the ginger beer mixed with sugar. Place a cooling or roasting tray over the liquid, so that the meat will not touch the liquid. Place the pork onto the trays, and then rub in the spice mixture, making sure you get it down in between the scored cuts in the skin, and making sure the meat side is completely covered. Place the pork skin side up, and then drizzle with olive oil and rub into skin. Place in the oven for 40 mins. Then turn the oven down to 140c for 2 hours 20 mins. Then turn it back up to 220c for the last 30 mins. Keep checking that the liquid hasn’t dried up, if it is getting low, just add some boiling water to the bottom of the oven tray.
  4. In the last 30 mins of cooking, rinse the rice, and then let side in cold water for 30 mins.
  5. When the meat has finished cooking, it will need to rest for 20-30 mins (don’t cover it, or the crackling will get moist). .
  6. While the meat is resting, bring a medium/large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the drained rice, cardamom pods & cinnamon stick and cook until the rice is cooked. Approx 10-12 mins, and then drain, and rinse with cold water, and remove spices. Set colander aside.
  7. In the same saucepan, heat olive oil and add the mustard seeds until they start popping.  Then cook the onion until softened. Add the garlic and stir cooking for 1 minute. Add the  cumin and chilli flakes and salt and stir through, cooking for a few minutes.
  8. Slice the pork belly up into pieces and serve with the rice and drizzle some of the cooking liquid from the baking tray over the pork. Serve with mango chutney.

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