Goan Pork Vindaloo
Goan Pork Vindaloo--It's Worth the Effort!
What do you do when the craving for vindaloo hits you? I have yet to find a restaurant that serves it in my region, which is smack dab in the middle of the U.S, a very long way from Goa!
I lived in India for a number of years and came to love the food. Vindaloo is one of my all-time favorites! Since I now live in small-town Kansas, usually the only way to satisfy that craving for Indian food is to make it myself.
Many people are intimidated by Indian cooking and vindaloo is not an "everyday" dish, even in India. I have seen so-called "simple" recipes for it and, of course, you can buy ready-made vindaloo paste at Indian grocery stores or online, but sometimes you want the real deal. That's the recipe I'm going to show you here and it is SO worth the effort!
American cooks may find their eyes glazing over when they first see all the steps involved in making real vindaloo. But, trust me, it's not difficult and you can do it!
Photo by heytoto.
What is Vindaloo?
The origin of the Goan dish vindaloo dates to when Goa was a Portuguese colony. Vindaloo derives its name from the Portuguese words "vinho de alho" (wine of garlic).
Goan families make vindaloo/vindalho for festive occasions, such as weddings, birthdays and Christmas.
Ingredients you'll need
2-1/4 lb. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
1-1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tlb. red wine vinegar (you may need more)
FOR THE SPICE PASTE:
4-10 dried hot red chilies
1 Tlb. paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 (2-1/2 inch) cinnamon stick, broken up into smaller pieces
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
5-6 cardamom pods
10-12 garlic cloves, peeled
1 (1 inch) piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
YOU WILL ALSO NEED:
3 Tlb. vegetable oil
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
3 medium-sized onions, peeled and finely sliced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
6 fresh hot green chilies, sliced lengthwise in half
1 tsp. sugar
Start the day BEFORE with this step...
Wash the pork and cut it into 2-inch cubes. Sprinkle the pork with 1 teaspoon of salt, then add half of the vinegar (3 tablespoons). You'll need to rub the salt and vinegar into the pork pieces, but then you're finished for this stage of the recipe. Put the pork in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.
This is to be done the day before, too!
Now we're going to make the spice paste (masala). In India you would use a Mixie to grind your spices, but here in the U.S. I find that a coffee grinder will do the job for dry spices. Just be sure that it's clean!
Time Saving Tip!
Make a double batch of the masala paste and freeze half of it to get a head start on your next vindaloo.
Grinding the dry spices...
Put these ingredients in the coffee grinder: the red chilies, paprika, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and cardamom pods. Grind to a fine powder.
Cuisinart Coffee Grinder - ...to grind your dry spices for Vindaloo
Love the color on this Cuisinart Coffee Grinder, plus it's the perfect size to grind spices for Indian cooking.
Still doing prep work the day before...
Next we will do the wet grinding, using an electric blender. Put the following ingredients in the blender container: 10-12 garlic cloves, ginger root, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and turmeric. I use the small container that came with my blender for this.
The wet grinding step...
Blend well. You may need to add more vinegar to make it a paste consistency.
Add the ground dry spices to the wet garlic paste in the blender container and blend to mix.
Ninja Blender with Additional Single Serve Containers
This is the blender I use. It's powerful and versatile. While the single serve containers are intended for smoothies (and it DOES make great smoothies!), I use one of them to wet grind spices for Indian cooking.
Almost finished with our prep work the day before!
Rub the pork with one-half of the masala paste. Cover with foil and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
Put the remaining masala paste in a covered container and put it in the refrigerator, too.
You're finished for the night!
Preparing Vindaloo - The Day Before - Additional Prep PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
Finally--The Next Day!
You will need to heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet (I use an electric skillet) over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in 3-4 cloves of garlic and saute just until they start to change color. Don't over-brown the garlic--it will turn bitter!
Saute the vegetables...
Add the thinly-sliced onions and saute until browned.
Add the chopped tomatoes, as well as 3 green chilies.
Add the masala paste...
Stir all of this for about a minute, then add the remaining masala paste from the refrigerator, sugar and the last tablespoon of vinegar.
Stir this over medium-high heat until the paste begins to brown, then add the meat, along with any masala and vinegar marinade that is still in the pan.
We start cooking the meat...
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook while stirring until the meat starts to put out its own liquid. At that point you need to add 1-1/4 cups water, plus the last of the salt from the ingredient list. Bring it to a boil, then turn the heat to low and cover.
Simmer for 40-45 minutes...
Simmer for about 40-45 minutes or until the pork is tender and the gravy has thickened up. You may need to increase the heat towards the end to get the gravy to the consistency that you prefer. Add the last of the sliced green chilies and remove your vindaloo from the heat.
Our vindaloo is finished!
I add chopped fresh cilantro to my vindaloo before serving.
Serve it with rice (basmati would be nice) and a simple raita (yogurt salad). If you want to add a dessert, a simple kheer (rice pudding) or flan would be perfect.
Plated and ready to serve...yum!
Here's the pork vindaloo with basmati rice and a serving of raita on the side. My mouth is watering!
Preparing Vindaloo - The Next Day - More prep photosClick thumbnail to view full-size
An interesting pairing of beef vindaloo and cornbread!
Tell Me What You Think of Vindaloo!
Photo by heytoto.
Tell Me What You Think of Vindaloo!
Masala Dabba (Indian Spice Container)
This is a handy way to store the Indian spices you use most often. It has a see-through lid and comes with a tiny spoon. I love mine!
Great Gifts to Get Someone (or Yourself!) Started With Indian Cooking - Available from Amazon
Well, I wanted one of each of these--they're just so appealing! They would make lovely gifts for a house warming, a bridal shower or a student moving into their own apartment for the first time.