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    Pork Vindaloo (or any meat of your choice)

    Vindaloo is not just a curry… It’s an experience!!

    Happiness is when you see a big bowl of this bright vibrant curry with fiery, yet not too overpowering, essence! Pleasantly hot + Tingling tangy + Slightly sweet = Vindaloo

    Once you master how to make the base of this curry, the rest is super easy. You can add pretty much any protein to vindaloo paste and marinate it for a few hours. Then cook it slow for hours and… DONE! BTW, there is a little history to this one…

    Pork vindaloo in a clay bowl.

    The story behind Vindaloo

    The story of vindaloo curry is as piquant as its taste. While its origin is in a far away land from where it now resides, it showcases global integration. Ingredients and culinary cultures from different continents come together to evolve into what it is now… The beloved and famous Vindaloo.

    This is a traditional recipe, very popular and embraced as their very own by the Catholic community of Goa, a state on India’s western coast.

    However, its origins lie 5,500 miles to the west, in Portugal. From there, an earlier variant of the dish made its way to Goa with Portuguese explorers in the early 15th century.

    Portuguese sailors used to preserve pork for their journey to India in garlic and vinegar. They used vinegar to preserve the meat not only on ship, but also in India’s hot climate. Many Goan dishes have the tang and tartness of white wine or palm vinegar.

    Vindaloo, or more locally referred to as Vindalho, evolved from the Portuguese term “carne de vinha d’ alhos”, meaning meat marinated and cooked in wine vinegar and garlic. Over the years, it’s been “Indianized” by Goan cooks by substituting palm vinegar for red wine vinegar and adding a whole lot of other spices to the original red chili peppers.

    So what’s the final result? Curry that tingles the tongue with peppers, cloves and other spices, rather than the one dimensional heat of chili powder.

    This dish got popular not only with locals, but the Britishers who ruled India. So much so that it made its way to Britain and evolved into the famous “reach for your water jug” hot British Curry House vindaloos.

    But authentic Indian vindaloos are not head spinningly hot like those of British Curry house fame. Instead they’re a harmonious balance of sweet, sour and spice. As I said before, a pleasantly spiced curry.

    Dutch oven full of pork vindaloo.

    Fun fact: How beloved is Vindaloo in Britain?

    So much so, in the 1998 World Cup the ‘unofficial’ anthem of the English football team fans was “Vindaloo-Vindaloo, we’re gonna score one more than you.”

    What meat to cook Vindaloo with?

    You can make this curry with pork, chicken, beef, lamb, goat or even shrimp. The method is the same. If you’re using chicken, make it either with a whole chicken cut up into pieces or with skinless bone-in or boneless thighs, as dark meat gets tender and fall off the bone in curries.

    If using beef, go for fattier marbled cuts for best results. Chuck is ideal, like any other stew

    Today I feel like cooking with pork. Pork shoulder or butt is ideal for vindaloo, as it cooks low and slow. The curry takes on more depth and richness as the fat renders into the gravy.

    Ingredients for Pork Vindaloo

    • Pork
    • Vindaloo paste – Dry red chili peppers (I am using Kashmiri red chilis, which are mild), fresh red chilis (optional, mainly I am suing them for some heat), cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, turmeric, vinegar, garlic, ginger.
    • Onions
    • Bay leaves
    • Salt
    • Sugar
    • Cashews – As a garnish.
    • Cilantro – Also as a garnish.

    So how do you start making Pork Vindaloo?

    How delicious your curry will end up and how it will look all depends on its base, and that’s the vindaloo paste. Click here for the detailed recipe for your very own quick and easy Vindaloo paste.

    Rustic bowl full of vindaloo paste.

    Dry roast Kashmiri red chilies in a skillet on medium high heat for a minute or two till they become fragrant, taking care to avoid burning them. Move them to a blender.

    Dry roast cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and peppercorn all together for 2-3 minutes then put them in the blender. If you miss some spices, it’s alright, it will still taste great.

    If you are missing whole spices but happen to have powder, you can use it in a pinch. Just don’t roast the powder.

    Add in fresh red chilis (if using), ginger, garlic, turmeric and vinegar and blend it smooth. It will take time, but you want a fine paste. Use a tiny bit of water if needed. My magic bullet does the job perfectly.

    Preparing the meat

    First cut the pork into 1.5-2 inch chunks.

    Marinate the pieces in the paste for at least 4-5 hours, or overnight for best results. You really want those vindaloo flavors to seep into the meat.

    Large chunks of pork marinating in a glass bowl.

    How to cook Vindaloo curry

    When you are ready to cook, heat oil in a large pan, like a dutch oven, over medium heat. Sauté finely chopped onions with salt and bay leaves until golden brown, stirring frequently. It will take about 10-12 minutes.

    Sautéed onions topped with marinated pork chunks.

    Add in marinated pork and stir well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

    All the ingredients mixed together and ready to cook.

    Add in a cup of water and a little sugar. Cover, lower the heat to medium low and cook till meat is melt in your mouth tender… 🙂

    Potful of finished pork vindaloo.

    Somewhere in between, I taste for seasonings such as salt or sugar and even heat. If I feel it needs more tang or heat, I add extra vindaloo paste to the gravy.

    The pork takes about an hour to an hour and half to two hours, as it’s cooked slow and low. From time to time you need to check up on this one and give it a stir to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Vindaloos are quite thick gravy, so unless it is sticking to the bottom, you don’t need to add more water. While it’s cooking, you can check out my collection of the 40 Best Curry Recipes.

    Most people stop here, but I want to make it a little special, as it comes from Goa. Cashew nuts are very famous and locally grown in Goa. I am giving a final touch to the dish by tempering it with fried cashews.

    Plate the pork vindaloo to a serving bowl. I like to heat a little ghee or oil in a small pan and, once it’s piping hot, add in some whole cashews. Stir them for a minute or so to give them a little color, then pour the cashews and ghee over the vindaloo. This will taste and look awesome.

    Bowl of vindaloo garnished with cashews and cilantro.

    Can I make Vindaloo in the crockpot?

    Yes, it would be great, and super tender.

    First sauté onions along with bay leaves and salt in a skillet till golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

    Then add the onion mixture to the crock pot. Add the marinated pork, water and sugar and stir well. Cook 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low

    If you want it quick, try Instant Pot

    Though I usually prefer it to cook vindaloo slow and low in a dutch oven, you are looking at a couple of hours to finish the meal. If you want it in less than an hour, Instant Pot is your answer.

    Press the Saute mode and cook the onions, along with bay leaf and salt, in a little oil till it gets a nice brown color, about 10 minutes.

    Add in marinated pork, 1.5 to 2 cups of water and sugar and mix well. Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 30 minutes at high pressure.

    Naturally release pressure. Open the lid and check the consistency of the gravy. If you want a little thicker gravy, press the Saute button and cook for an additional 10 minutes to boil off the liquids and reduce the gravy to a stew like consistency.

    What to serve Vindaloo with

    My first choice? A piping hot plateful of basmati rice. So good.

    Of course, some Indian naan, rotis or parathas go equally well.

    Some nice chilled beer.

    If going low carb, some cauliflower rice.

    How to store Vindaloo

    Vindaloo, like any other curry dish, is awesome after it sits. It’s great as leftovers. Just store it in airtight container for 4-5 days in your refrigerator.

    It also freezes beautifully up to 3 months. Great meal prep option if you like your curries.

    Zoomed out picture of our bowl of this tasty curry.

    Vindaloo… it’s not as popular here in the States as I have seen in Britain and Australia. But don’t shy away from its infamous spicy reputation. There is nothing wrong with preferring mild curry. In fact some of the best tasting curries merely tingle the taste buds. Go easy on spices and you can still enjoy the flavors.

    And then some of you are like me. There is also nothing wrong with looking for some HEAT in your curry. Go and make it perfect just how you like it. After all, it’s going to be your Vindaloo… your Experience!

    Pork Vindaloo, on my Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    Serving of pork vindaloo atop the Gypsy Plate.

    If you love curries, try these other great recipes!
    Chicken Masala
    Trini Curry Chicken
    Caribbean Mussel Curry
    Pork Menudo
    Chicken Asado
    Chicken Caldereta
    Yellow Dal Tadka
    Turkey Tikka Masala
    South African Chicken Curry
    Japanese Beef Curry

    Pork Vindaloo.

    Pork Vindaloo (or any meat of your choice)

    Yield: 8 servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 2 hours
    Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

    Do you love curry? This authentic dish from the Indian state of Goa is sure to tickle your taste buds. You can make it hot or mild, but it's always packed with flavor!

    Ingredients

    For curry

    • 3 lbs Pork shoulder or butt
    • 3 large onions, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 3 Tbsp oil
    • Salt to taste

    For Vindaloo paste

    • 8-10 dry red chili peppers (we used whole Kashmiri red chili peppers)
    • 1-2 fresh red chili peppers (optional)
    • 4 tsp cumin seeds
    • 4 tsp coriander seeds
    • 1.5 tsp mustard seeds
    • 1 inch cinnamon
    • 6-7 cardamom (optional, if available)
    • 8-10 cloves
    • 2 tsp peppercorns
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric
    • 8-10 large garlic cloves
    • 2 inch ginger
    • 1/2 cup Vinegar

    For garnishing (optional)

    • 2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
    • 2 Tbsp ghee or oil
    • 3 Tbsp whole cashews

    Instructions

    1. First make the paste. Dry roast whole dried red chili peppers in a small skillet over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes. Let cool, cut into pieces and transfer to a blender. Dry roast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and peppercorns together for 3-4 minutes until they get fragrant and transfer them to the blender. Add in fresh red chili peppers, ginger, garlic, turmeric along with vinegar and blend it into smooth paste. If needed add a couple of Tbsp of water.
    2. Cut the pork into 2 inch chunks.
    3. Mix 3/4 of the vindaloo paste with the pork. Make sure it coats all over and marinade for 4-6 hours or overnight.
    4. Heat oil in a dutch oven or heavy bottom pan on medium high heat. Add chopped onions, bay leaves and a little salt. Sauté till the onion is caramelized to a golden brown color.
    5. Add in marinated pork and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in sugar and one cup of water. Mix well. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook until meat is tender. Check and stir every 10-15 minutes to ensure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
    6. The meat takes and hour and half to two hours to get nice and tender. After one hour of cooking, taste for seasoning and heat. If you need more heat or flavor, add in the remaining vindaloo paste to your liking. Adjust the salt if needed as well.
    7. (Optional) Heat 2 tbsp ghee or oil in small pot till piping hot. Add in cashews and stir them for a minute till they get some color. Pour the cashews along with ghee or oil over individual servings of vindaloo. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice or rotis.


    Crockpot method

    1. Prepare Vindaloo paste as mentioned above.
    2. Marinate pork with 3/4 of the vindaloo paste for few hours or overnight.
    3. Heat oil in a pan and sauté onions along, bay leaves and a little salt till the onions are golden brown. Add onion mixture into crock pot.
    4. Stir in marinated pork along with a cup of water, sugar and cook 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. Towards last couple of hours, taste the sauce and adjust the salt and seasoning by adding more vindaloo paste to your liking.
    5. (Optional) Heat 2 tbsp ghee or oil in small pot till piping hot. Add in cashews and stir them for a minute till they get some color. Pour the cashews along with ghee or oil over individual servings of vindaloo. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice or rotis.


    Instant pot method

    1. Make the vindaloo paste as mentioned above and marinate pork for a few hours to overnight.
    2. Set instant pot to Saute mode and cook the onions, bay leaves and a little salt till the onion gets a nice golden brown color.
    3. Add in marinated pork along with 1.5 to 2 cups of water and sugar and mix well. Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 30 minutes at high pressure.
    4. Naturally release pressure. Open the lid. Check for the consistency of the gravy. If you want a little thicker gravy, press Saute mode and cook for an additional 10 minutes to cook off the liquids and reduce the gravy to a stew like consistency.
    5. (Optional) Heat 2 tbsp ghee or oil in small pot till piping hot. Add in cashews and stir them for a minute till they get some color. Pour the cashews along with ghee or oil over individual servings of vindaloo. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice or rotis.

      Notes

      1. If using beef, use a fattier cut like chuck. As with pork, cut into 2 inch cubes.
      2. If using chicken, cut the pieces into big chunks.
      3. Lamb and goat can also be used. Again, large 2 inch chunks work best.

      Nutrition Information
      Yield 8 Serving Size 1
      Amount Per Serving Calories 631Total Fat 48gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 28gCholesterol 161mgSodium 211mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 1gSugar 3gProtein 41g

      Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.

      Did you make this recipe?

      Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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