You know you want to learn how about make Indian food, and this pork vindaloo recipe is a perfect place to start. Pick up a copy of food writer and cooking-school owner Monisha Bharadwaj’s new cookbook, and get to know the basics. With tutorials on spices (and how to use them) and all kinds of techniques from around the subcontinent, The Indian Cooking Course is a hot essential for your culinary library.
This is probably one of the most popular curries on Indian restaurant menus the world over. However, not everyone in India knows a vindaloo as it is a regional Goan curry influenced by the Portuguese, who made it with vinho (wine) and alho (garlic). The wine got replaced with coconut vinegar, making this a spicy, tangy curry that is eaten with rice or savory cakes called sannas. In the Western world, where Indian takeout curries have come to be classified only by heat to make it easy for customers to choose, a vindaloo signifies a spicy dish suitable for the brave. In fact, a traditional Goan vindaloo needs to be only as hot as the cook thinks it should be.
- 15 dried red Kashmiri chilies (or 6 to 7 for a milder curry), broken in half and seeds shaken out
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, scraped and chopped
- 3 tablespoons coconut or white vinegar
- 3 cloves
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 pounds boneless pork, cubed
- Boiled rice or appams, to serve
For the curry
Soak the chilies, garlic, and ginger in the vinegar with ½ teaspoon of salt for 20 minutes. Heat a skillet over high heat, add the cloves, cumin seeds, cinnamon, and pepper and dry-toast for 40 seconds, then add to the soaking chilies.
Blitz the onions and chile mixture in a blender, adding a little water to help turn the blades. This is the vindaloo masala.
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat, add the pork and cook for 3 to 4 minutes to seal, then add the vindaloo masala from the blender. Stir to blend and coat the pork. Rinse out the blender with a little water and add this to the pork.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 40 minutes, until the pork is tender.
Season to taste and serve hot with plain rice or appams.