This week my tastebuds were in for a riotous treat at the annual Gurkha Welfare Trust ‘bhat’ (curry) night. In a packed TA centre, our plates groaned as we piled them high with pork, chicken and beef curries, dhal, vegetables, naan and the obligatory condiments. A Gurkha curry is arguably the best curry in the land (see sample recipe below kindly supplied by the charity) and, with full bellies, we left content in the knowledge we had helped to raise funds for this important charity.
Gurkha Welfare Trust Jersey
Gurkha Welfare Trust Jersey (GWTJ) launched in 2014 to celebrate the Island’s unique relationship with one of the British Armed Forces’ most respected regiments. Many British Gurkha Officers originate from Jersey and the GWTJ was founded to celebrate this brotherhood, to increase the profile of The Gurkha Welfare Trust and to raise funds towards the costs of its welfare and humanitarian work in Nepal.
“Our country owes a great debt of honour to the Gurkhas, who have served us with loyalty and distinction in every major conflict since 1815” said General Sir John McColl KCB CBE DSO, Lieutenant Governor of Jersey and Patron of GWTJ at the Jersey launch two years ago.
Gurkha soldiers are renowned for their extraordinary martial qualities, temperament, loyalty, selfless service and supreme courage in battle. The GWTJ works closely with the Gurkha Welfare Trust UK to relieve poverty and distress among retired Gurkha soldiers and their families. The 2015 earthquake tragedy in Nepal focused their efforts. As a result, and with the help of the Jersey people and JOAC, the GWTJ were able to send £50,000 for immediate disaster relief followed by £90,000 to rebuild a school for 500 children. The school is on schedule to be opened in August this year.
Raising Vital Funds for Nepal
GWTJ has some fantastic fundraisers planned for this year. Their aim is to raise a further £40,000 to rebuilt another school or a medical centre, whichever is considered more urgent.
There’s the Gurkha Memorial Walk on Anzac Sunday, 24th April. With morning and afternoon walks on the east coast of Jersey, they will take 15,675 strides – one for each Gurkha killed in action since the start of WW1. And there’s the Mont Orgueil Climbathon. For more info and to register click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, I’ve been kindly given one of the Gurkha recipes to share here. This curried pork with leafy vegetables recipe is from Mrs Durga Prasad Gurung, 68 Gurkha Field Squadron, QGE.
Curried Pork with Leafy Vegetables Gurkha Curry – Serves 6
WHAT YOU NEED
- 1/2 kilo choi sam or any leafy vegetables
- 2 kilos pork
- 6 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 6 fresh chillies, cut into long, thin pieces
- 2″ fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium onion, peeled, sliced and cut into long thin pieces
- 1/2 kilo tomatoes, chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- Juice of 1 lemon
HOW TO MAKE YOUR CURRY
Wash and cut the vegetables into 3″-4″ lengths. If you are using choi sam, the stems should be split in two.
Cut the fat off the port. Cut both the meat and the fat into 3/4″ cubes. Keep separately and set aside.
Grind the garlic, cumin, coriander seeds, chillies and ginger. To do this, either use a pestle and mortar or an electric grinder. Add a little water in order to make a smooth paste.
Put the frying pan on a medium heat and add the fat that you have cut from the pork. As the fat melts, there will be enough in which to cook the dish. Cooking oil can be substituted if preferred, but the pork fat will enhance the flavour. Fry the onion pieces in the fat until light brown. Add the tomato and stir. Add the paste of spices. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously.
Next add the pork and stir well to coat with the spices. Add salt to taste and the turmeric. Stir. Cover the pan with a tightly fitting lid and cook gently for about 1/2 hour or until the meat is tender.
Stir occasionally to prevent burning and add a little water if the mixture is becoming too dry. Finally add the vegetables and lemon juice and cook for a further five minutes.
Serve with rice or bread.
To find out more about the Gurka Welfare Trust, visit their website: www.gwt.org.uk