Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pork Vindaloo

You might have heard of vindaloo before. Did you know that vindaloo is a curry dish that originated from the region of Goa, India? This is known globally as an Anglo-Indian curry dish where it is usually a staple in many curry houses available. 

The name "vindaloo" is derived from the Portuguese word "carne de vinha d'alhos" and is a dish that is usually pork with wine and garlic. This Portuguese dish was modified with the substitution of vinegar to replace the red wine as well as addition of red chillies with additional spices to create the vindaloo. These days, the Anglo-Indian version of a vindaloo is marinated in vinegar, sugar, fresh ginger and spices overnight and then cooked with the addition of further spices. The end product of the vindaloo usually has a sweet sourish taste. Although most restaurants serving vindaloo often serve it using chicken or lamb with cubed potatoes, the traditional vindaloo does not consist of potatoes at all.

It's not my first time cooking curry but it's definitely my first time cooking pork vindaloo. And what better person to learn it from other than Madjur Jaffrey? This recipe is taken from Madjur Jaffrey's Ultimate Curry Bible.


2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
3 cloves
1 medium onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 1/2 cm root ginger, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp cider vinegar
3/4 to 1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp paprika
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
560g pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
340g waxy red potatoes, peeled and cut into same size as the pork
1/2 tsp caster sugar

  1. Put half the mustard seeds and all the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and cloves in a clean coffee grinder or spice grinder and grind as finely as possible.
  2. Tip this spice mixture into a blender with the onion, garlic, ginger, vinegar, chilli powder, paprika and 3 tbsp of water. Blend until smooth.
  3. Rub 1¼ tsp of salt, all the turmeric, black pepper and 2 tbsp of the spice paste all over the pork. Put in a plastic food bag, seal and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or longer if desired.
  4. Pour the oil into a large, heavy-based, non-stick, lidded pan and set it over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the remaining mustard seeds. As soon as they pop, which will be in a matter of seconds, put in the remaining spice paste. Stir and fry for 5-6 minutes, or until the paste is lightly browned. 
  5. Put in the pork with its marinade and stir for a minute. Cover and reduce the heat to medium. Let the meat cook for about 10 minutes, lifting the lid now and then to stir; it should become lightly browned.
  6. Now pour in 750 ml of water and add the potatoes, ½  tsp of salt and the sugar. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook very gently for 50–60 minutes or until the meat is tender, then serve.

As usual, Mr G is delighted whenever I mentioned that I'll be cooking curry for dinner. Then in the midst of cooking, he will always pop into the kitchen just to have a sniff at what's cooking. To be honest, this pork vindaloo is pretty simple for a curry cooked from scratch. You just need to prep the spice paste and marinate the pork. Then fry it and let the pork curry slowly simmer in its own gravy for sometime. It will turn thick soon and the meat will be soft but yet tender enough to blend well with the curry. I guess this won't be the end of vindaloos for me. 

Mr G mentioned that the pork was stewed long enough to make it soft and the flavours of the pork were pretty distinct.

After a long absence in I Heart Cooking Clubs, I'm slowly finding time to cook and submit my weekly entry. This is my first post after so long. To my fellow IHCC-ers, I'm still here.

I'm submitting this post to I Heart Cooking Club for September Potluck.

Similarly, I'm also submitting my post to Cook-Your-Books#16 organized by Joyce of kitchen flavours.

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