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Goan Pork Vindaloo

Updated on October 30, 2014

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.

Pork Vindaloo

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

10-15 cloves

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

Cuisinart DCG-20NR Coffee Grinder, Red
Cuisinart DCG-20NR Coffee Grinder, Red

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

Ninja Mega Kitchen System (BL771)
Ninja Mega Kitchen System (BL771)

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 Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lots of garlic!Coarsely chopped, ready to go.Love all these fresh ingredients!Dried red chilies from the Indian grocery store.The finished masala paste.
Lots of garlic!
Lots of garlic!
Coarsely chopped, ready to go.
Coarsely chopped, ready to go.
Love all these fresh ingredients!
Love all these fresh ingredients!
Dried red chilies from the Indian grocery store.
Dried red chilies from the Indian grocery store.
The finished masala paste.
The finished masala paste.

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 photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cilantro, even MORE garlic, sliced onions.Sauteing onions.Cilantro, tomatoes, green chilies.Cilantro.Green chilies sliced lengthwise.Adding the sugar to the vegetables.Vegetables cooking.Final cooking with lid on the electric skillet.  40-45 minutes.Putting together a simple raita.Fluffy basmati rice.
Cilantro, even MORE garlic, sliced onions.
Cilantro, even MORE garlic, sliced onions.
Sauteing onions.
Sauteing onions.
Cilantro, tomatoes, green chilies.
Cilantro, tomatoes, green chilies.
Cilantro.
Cilantro.
Green chilies sliced lengthwise.
Green chilies sliced lengthwise.
Adding the sugar to the vegetables.
Adding the sugar to the vegetables.
Vegetables cooking.
Vegetables cooking.
Final cooking with lid on the electric skillet.  40-45 minutes.
Final cooking with lid on the electric skillet. 40-45 minutes.
Putting together a simple raita.
Putting together a simple raita.
Fluffy basmati rice.
Fluffy basmati rice.

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!

See results

Masala Dabba (Indian Spice Container)

Tabakh Stainless Steel Masala Dabba/Spice Container Box with 7 Spoons - Clear Lid
Tabakh Stainless Steel Masala Dabba/Spice Container Box with 7 Spoons - Clear Lid

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.

Thanks for stopping by--I'd love to hear your comments about making or eating vindaloo!

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    • heytoto profile image
      Author

      Karen Kolavalli 4 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      @SusannaDuffy: Definitely! And oftentimes there really are no shortcuts to achieve the subtleties of flavor in Indian cooking.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Sometimes the hard work for one particular recipe is worth it

    • heytoto profile image
      Author

      Karen Kolavalli 4 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      @ajgodinho: I'm seriously jealous of all that home cooking you got to enjoy! My daughter was home from college over the Easter weekend, so I fixed pork vindaloo for her since she missed out when I made it for this page.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I was born in Goa, so I've tried many types of vindaloo. Pork Vindaloo is definitely one of my favourites. I visited Goa this past month and enjoyed some delicious home-cooked Goan food! :)

    • heytoto profile image
      Author

      Karen Kolavalli 4 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      @flycatcherrr: hehe. Sure!

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      Where I live now it is impossible to get a decent vindaloo - you wouldn't want to come cook dinner for me, would you? :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @heytoto: You are welcome, and well deserved. - Congratulations!

    • Sniff It Out profile image

      Sniff It Out 4 years ago

      I'm lucky to live in an area where there are a good few Indian restaurants, so it isn't really too difficult finding something authentic, however, I love to cook my own Indian food too so I will be trying out your pork vindaloo recipe soon!

    • heytoto profile image
      Author

      Karen Kolavalli 4 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      @Rosetta Slone: That's what my mother-in-law used in the village--mortar and pestle, built into the kitchen counter. And always the freshest spices and other ingredients! Thank you so much for the blessing!

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 4 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      This looks great, and definitely not intimidating. I love making my own curry pastes and freezing them - although I use a mortar and pestle rather than blender. Makes the spices' flavours really pop out!

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Great lens - I'm bookmarking this for if I ever want to try making vindaloo. Since we raise our own pork I happen to have a lot of pork shoulder in the freezer right now and I'm always looking for new ways to make it!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Presented nicely, all though Vindaloo is quite a involved recipe, you have made it very easy to follow.

      Thanks for showing, and sharing with us.

    • heytoto profile image
      Author

      Karen Kolavalli 4 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      @maryseena: What a very good idea! Thanks for stopping by.

    • maryseena profile image

      maryseena 4 years ago

      Vindaloo. yum! I'll have it for Easter!

    • heytoto profile image
      Author

      Karen Kolavalli 4 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      @Brandi Bush: Thank you! And thanks for stopping by!

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 4 years ago from Maryland

      Wow, great lens! This looks yummy and I love all your photos!

    • heytoto profile image
      Author

      Karen Kolavalli 4 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      @anonymous: You and me both, Tipi! Working on the lens made me want to make some more right now! Thank you so much for the Squid Angel Blessing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Looks so good. Would love to have a bit! :)

    • heytoto profile image
      Author

      Karen Kolavalli 4 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      @DobbyMiller: Thanks for stopping by! Yes, definitely try some vindaloo sometime!

    • DobbyMiller profile image

      DobbyMiller 4 years ago

      Looks Good! I have never had it. I will have to try it out. I am adding this to my bookmarks :)

    • heytoto profile image
      Author

      Karen Kolavalli 4 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      @Virginia Allain: I DO like to create in the kitchen when I have time to do it right. You can probably find a restaurant in your area that actually has vindaloo on the menu--try it sometime! If you find that you like it, Chhaya and I will make vindaloo for you next time you're here.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I do like spicy food, but I'm a lazy cook. I'd need someone who really likes working in the kitchen (like you) to fix me a batch of this.