Growing up we didn’t eat much pork. I only got to enjoy it once per year — usually as a special treat for Christmas. My favorite pork dish was always pork vindaloo. Vindaloo is an Indian curry popular in Goa and other parts of South Asia. Although pork is most commonly used for this dish, you can also make it with beef, mutton, chicken, or vegetables.
The flavor of the vindaloo can vary from home to home. The most common thing is to use vinegar and tamarind along with other spices. You can make vindaloo as spicy as you like. The “aloo” part of vindaloo means potato in Hindi or Bengali, but — paradoxically — this dish doesn’t have any potatoes. It is basically meat and spice!
If possible I recommend using pork butt or pork shoulder. These cuts have some fat which makes for a touch of richness and flavor. With these cuts the vindaloo will melt in your mouth; the meat will be tender and juicy. If you do it right, the final dish may have some oil that floats on the surface — this is a good sign for getting the dish right. If you think it’s too oily, you can always skim off the extra once the dish is done and has sat for a while. I personally don’t do that, however, especially as the oil complements the rice, roti, and naan that you will be eating the vindaloo with. It’s great to use the bread or rice to absorb the extra sauce.
After making this dish, I got the idea that you could serve this with mashed potatoes. That is very unconventional, but I think mashed potatoes would pair perfectly with pork vindaloo.
I hope you try this dish. My husband — who has traditional American-style tastes as much as anyone — has grown to love this flavorful South Asian dish as much as traditional American comfort foods.
- 2 1/2 lbs. pork butt, cut into 1 1/2- inch cubes ( don’t trim the fat)
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. brown mustard seeds
- 2 cinnamon leaves
- 1 small star anise
- 3 dried red chilis
- 1 cup yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp. ginger paste
- 1 tbsp. finely minced garlic
- 1 tbsp. cumin powder
- 1 tbsp. coriander powder
- 1 tbsp. garam masala powder
- 1 tsp. red chili powder
- 1 tbsp. Spanish sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper powder
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 1/2 cup water
- 4 oz. tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp. white vinegar
- 1 tbsp. tamarind puree
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat oil in a large heavy bottom oven proof pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add cumin and mustard seeds, red whole chilis, cinnamon leaves, and star anise. Cook for 40-60 seconds, making sure to not burn the spices. Add pork and spread it around, cookng for about 5-6 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove the pork and whole spices with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a bowl, leaving most of the oil behind.
Add onion, ginger, and garlic to the remaining oil. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.
Turn down the heat to low, then add cumin powder, coriander, garam masala, red chili, turmeric powder, paprika, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Stir well and add 1/2 cup water. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often. If the mixture is too dry add another 1/4 cup water.
Add tomato puree and mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on low, stirring few times in between.
Add pork pieces, along with all the spices and juices from the bowl.
Add vinegar, tamarind puree, and 2 cups of water. Stir well.
Cover and transfer the pot to preheated oven. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, checking and stirring few times. Check for seasoning, then remove whole spices before serving.
You can serve this with cooked rice, grilled naan, or rotis!
Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like this post and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram. If you would to be notified of upcoming posts, please consider subscribing to my blog!