Vindaloo, a fiery Portuguese-influenced pork dish from Goa, has become synonymous with incendiary heat. Though Goan food tends to be fiery, vindaloo has become the yardstick for the hottest of the hot. Traditionally, this curry is almost broth-like in its consistency and is eaten with lots of steamed white rice to tame the heat. However, the runny consistency does not appeal to the non-Indian palate, so it has evolved into a thickish potato-based gravy that has a familiar consistency.
Although this is traditionally a fiery dish, you can adjust the heat by controlling the amount of red chili seeds you include.
Goans use feni, a potent alcohol made from palm and cashew tree sap. The vodka is a substitute for feni, but can be omitted.
Serves4 to 6
Total Timeunder 4 hours
One Pot MealYes
OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Taste and Texturehot & spicy, meaty, savory, spiced, umami
- 2 lbs (1 kg) boneless pork, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1½ tsp (7 mL) salt or to taste
- 10 dried red chilies, half of the seeds removed (see Notes)
- 10 black peppercorns
- 10 whole cloves
- 1 stick cinnamon, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) long
- 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
- ½ tsp (2 mL) mustard seeds
- ½ tsp (2 mL) granulated sugar
- 10 cloves garlic
- 1 piece peeled ginger root, 1-inch (2.5 cm) square
- ¾ tsp (4 mL) cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
- 3 cups (750 mL) finely chopped onions (about 2)
- ¼ cup (50 mL) cider vinegar
- 1 cup (250 mL) grated potato
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) vodka (optional)
Rub salt into pork and set aside while preparing marinade.
Marinade: In a blender, combine chilies, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and sugar. Grind to a fine powder. Add garlic, ginger and ¾ tsp (4 mL) vinegar. Blend to a smooth paste. Rub paste into pork. Cover and set aside in refrigerator for 2 hours.
In a saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sautê onions until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add pork and brown well, about 5 minutes.
Add ¼ cup (50 mL) vinegar, potato, vodka, if using, and 1¼ cups (300 mL) water. Mix well. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until pork is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve over steamed rice.
2004 Suneeta Vaswani