Every time I think of vindaloo, it is the pristine cool blue beaches of Goa that come to my mind. The ‘vindaloo’ features high in the list of Indian curries that have made a mark in the Western world. This is essentially an Anglo-Indian dish made famous from the Goan shores and is an adaptation of the Portugese dish ‘carne de vinha d’alhos’ (a famous meat preparation using garlic and wine as the main ingredients). The wine got replaced with the vinegar for the sourness and a range of spices were added to make the dish more flavourful and appealing to the Indian tastebuds.
I have visited Goa once with family but really did not get to sample much of the traditional Goan fare. The fact is that I hardly knew or researched about the best restaurants or places to eat before leaving, so pretty much had all the meals from the restaurants surrounding the resort we stayed at. I really do want to visit Goa once more just for the food because I am not really a ‘beach’ person otherwise.
But I do get reminded of the trip everyday while in my kitchen because of these two cute magnets that I picked up while touring the place.
Now, if you have skimmed through my fb page (not updated on my blog yet), there is a lamb vindaloo recipe already listed. That recipe is a great one and guarantees me amazing results every time but is a tweak of this original and traditional one. I picked up this one from a brand new but very dear friend, Sareetha. Must say, I have won quite a few hearts with this dish by now, including hard core Aussies.
Getting the spice marinade right is the most crucial step of this dish – and trust me, it is worthwhile to let the meat soak up in the spices overnight. This is quite a technical dish but definitely not as hard as it seems to be. And believe me; it is definitely worth a try. So let’s get cooking – pork vindaloo.
Note – If you do not eat pork, try this out with any meat that you like; the only thing is to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Pork shoulder chops – 750 gm choose any type of cut but ensure it is of good quality
- onions – 2 finely chopped
- tomatoes – 2 finely chopped
- red chilli powder – 1 tsp
- curry leaves – 1-2 stalks
- brown mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- garlic – 8 cloves cut into slivers
- bay leaves – 2
- Potatoes – 3 – 4 medium, diced
- Ghee/oil – 2-3 tbsp.
For the vindaloo marinade:
- dried red chillies – 3
- cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
- coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
- black cardamom seeds – 1 tsp
- fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
- cloves – 5
- cinnamon – 1 inch bark
- black peppercorns – 10
- turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- green chillies – 4 finely chopped
- vinegar – 75 ml keep tasting so that you don’t go overboard
- brown sugar – 2 tbsp
- tamarind paste – 1 tbsp optional, you can adjust sourness with vinegar itself
- garlic – 5 smashed
- ginger – 1 inch washed, chopped but with the skin left on
Making the marinade:
- Place all the spices except the turmeric in a dry frying pan over medium heat and fry until they become fragrant but are not yet smoking. Grind the warm spices in a grinder with the turmeric and blend to a fine powder. Add the chillies, vinegar, tamarind paste, brown sugar, garlic and ginger and blend until smooth (or if you have full faith in your blender like I do, then chuck the whole lot and grind it all with the vinegar). Put the pork in a large glass bowl with the marinade and stir well to combine. Leave the pork to marinate for eight to 48 hours. The longer the better.
To make the final dish:
- Heat the ghee or oil in a deep pan over low heat. Add the garlic slivers and allow to cook gently for about 20 minutes. It is important not to burn the garlic so watch carefully. The garlic should be soft and translucent but not browned. Remove the garlic from the pan and keep aside.
- In the same pan, add the curry leaves and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, toss in the chopped onions and bay leaf. Fry for about ten minutes over medium to high heat until the onions are soft and translucent. Be sure to stir regularly and add the chopped tomatoes, chilli powder and the pork with its marinade to the pan and then pour in just enough water to cover. Leave to simmer for about an hour until the pork is very tender. You may need to add a drop more water while simmering. If using a pressure cooker add less water and cook for about 3-4 whistles.
- Fry the chopped up potatoes alongside with a pinch of salt. Stir in the cooked garlic and the fried potatoes. If you do not wish to fry the potatoes, then add it when the meat is ¾ ths cooked.
- Serve with steamed white rice, roti, appam, breads…just about anything.