I'm going to keep this short. Yes, I am. This post is all about the meat. Because, in this case, the meat - courtesy of the recipe - was so bloody good, you really need to skip my verbiage and get on and make it yourself.
In short, it's pork belly, confited and infused with a wonderful blend of subcontinental flavours - cumin, fenugreek, mustard, fennel, and kalonji seeds - that makes up panch phoran. And then roasted. Your home will be filled with splendid aromas for hours, and you'll want to make it again as soon as you've finished eating it, if not sooner.
I made this over 2 afternoons when I was short on hover-over-the-stove time. Hence the lack of photos at every stage. But I hope you'll get the idea.
First, confit your slab of pork belly along with a tablespoon of panch phoran rubbed into the skin. (It should take about 3 hours.) The original recipe suggests grinding the spices first; I opted for the more jewel-like effect of keeping them whole. Then, do a cheffy thing of flattening a bit and leaving it in the fridge overnight weighed down by tins or any other suitably heavy objects. Like this:
The next day, remove the tins and your pork should look something like this:
Without further ado, whack your oven up to 220C. Surround the belly with the best red grapes you can get hold of...
... plus the odd piece of star anise if you've got it, and slam the lot in for 20-25 minutes until the pork skin has become crispy, and the grapes have turned, well, squashy. It probably won't be much of a looker*, particularly if you have a patchy oven like I do, with unpredictable hotspots, but don't be deterred. It WILL taste sublime.
Leave it to cool just a tad before you tuck in, otherwise you'll burn your mouth in the attempt to shove in as much of this porky wonder as possible. Serve with rice and whatever else you fancy - I suggest something green and zingy...
... in this case, purple sprouting broccoli quickly stir-fried with a ginger and garlic paste and some red chilli flakes. Perfect for the job. And then eat. Complete silence reigned while we ate ours. Never has so much pork been devoured in so short a time by so few. You have been warned. This stuff is seriously addictive.
* I defer to the author of the original recipe on this. His most definitely is a looker (as is his entire blog - well worth following, IMHO). There's no way mine was ever going to look like that, not least because I was far too preoccupied with how quickly I could get it in my mouth rather than how beautiful I could make it look. It's all about priorities.