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West Indian curry-spiced Pork Belly

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West Indian curry-spiced Pork Belly

Pork belly is great for the barbecue. I leave the skin on to protect it from burning and on occasions it crispens to a great crackle. Cooking time is relatively short and the end result is moist. This spice blend is adapted from a recipe by Jill Norman, author of The Complete Book of Spices. Many Hindus from India migrated to the West Indies in the 19th century, took their curry spices with them and adapted them with local spices. This recipe reflects that history.


  • 4 tablespoons (25 grams) coriander seeds
  • 8 blades mace
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon each whole allspice berries, anise seeds cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek and white peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoon each ground ginger and turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground chilli
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 side belly pork, skin on and well-scored
  • ½ fresh pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon each spice blend (above), dark brown sugar and dark rum
  • grated rind and juice 1 lime
  • 2-3 tablespoons avocado or olive oil


  1. Toast all the whole spices. Do them separately as the smaller ones will burn quicker. Toast the mace and cinnamon stick as well. Allow all the spices to cool then grind either in a coffee mill or a mortar and pestle. Add the brown sugar, mix well and store in an airtight container.
  2. Take the well-scored pork and place skin side down on a chopping board. Drizzle over a little oil and then massage in 2-4 tblsp of the spice mix. Place in a dish, cover and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Barbecue on a well-greased plate or grill bars over a moderate heat, turning occasionally to avoid burning. Cook for about 40 minutes. Stand 5 minutes before carving into thick slices and serving with salad and the Fresh Pineapple Chutney.

Fresh Pineapple Chutney

  1. Peel the pineapple and cut out the ?eyes?. Cut the pineapple into thin slices and then cut each slice into quarters so you have small wedges. Place in a bowl with the thyme, chilli, spice blend, brown sugar, rum, lime rind and juice and oil. Season with salt.


  1. Have the butcher bone out half a leg of pork. I prefer the shank end. Open it out like a butterfly leg of lamb. Season the meat with the oil and spice blend as above and cook in a lidded barbecue for about one hour. To test if the meat is cooked, pierce the meat at the thickest part with a skewer and check the colour of the juices. They should be clear: if not continue cooking.

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