Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pork Vindaloo

As promised in my previous post, I am bringing you one of my sister-in-law Annies' ace recipes. Annies is an outstanding home cook and baker. She has many dishes that can qualify her as a top chef contender . So, as any good s-i-l would, I decided to pester her for a peek at her recipe stash. She kindly responded to my requests cutting time out of her busy schedule to send me some cookbook- worthy stuff.

I will start with the one recipe that Annies credits  to her husband, Anoop, JZ's brother. Anoop is quite the food aficionado, knowledgeable in some fanciful food techniques. They are brothers, sharing the same Master Chef mom (yes, my mom-in-law is an insanely wonderful cook- beyond comprehension and a grand subject for future posts) , however, JZ's genetic inclination in regard to culinary technique is not as, how do we say, swanky. Being hero of the potato masala, rightly called JZ masterpiece, and throwing in every spice/herb in the pantry is where it's "at' for him. Sorry, I'm not delving into a discourse on quantitative genetics here, just felt the need to bring about a quick intro on the source behind this brilliantly fashioned pork curry. 

Annies rightly puts the aspects of her husband's dish into perspective~
"...this is Anoop’s specialty. It is always a big hit at all our church potlucks. It is loosely based on the vindaloo, but he’s given his own twists and turns to it. There have been times that he’s substituted the ground raisins with plum chutney/sauce. At other times he has substituted the raw tamarind with sweet tamarind sauce (the kind that’s had with Punjabi samosas), etc, etc. So, the recipe is more a guide than a mandate. The idea? To get a dark, hot, spicy dish with a sweet/sour undertone. "

The taste profile says it's pork vindaloo and for recipe indexing's sake, it is just that. The dish contains many key components of the fiery Goan curry such as vinegar, hot red chillies and the right tangy, sweet balance that thinly cuts the line between it being curry rather than pickle. The amount of tamarind/raisins called for evens out the heat factor, while the  other ingredients pull together to bring about utter spiced perfection.  

  • *2 tbsp cayenne pepper or Indian red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds or powder
  • 3-4 tsp raisins
  • 1 lime sized ball of tamarind, seeded(1 tbsp of tamarind paste)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup vinegar (more or less)
  • 3 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 heaping tsp ginger paste
  • 1 heaped tsp garlic paste
  • 2 serrano pepper, slit lengthwise(green chillies)
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • *2 1/2 lbs pork cut into cubes
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 11/2 tsp salt (or enough to taste)

  • Grind together ingredients starting from the cayenne pepper ending with the garam masala into a paste with a 1/4 cup of the vinegar. 
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker or heavy bottomed saute pan on medium heat. Saute the onions followed by ginger, garlic and serranos until golden brown. 
  • Add the masala paste and continue frying till the masala is cooked and oil begins to separate. Then, add the chopped tomatoes and continue frying till the tomatoes blend in and the oil separates again.
  • Add the pork cubes and sear for about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the vinegar, boiling water and the salt. 
  • Cook on pressure till done (around 15 mts). Turn off the flame and let the pressure subside. Open the lid and let it simmer on medium until the gravy thickens. Add more vinegar or salt, if necessary. Alternatively, if using saute pan, bring ingredients to boil, reduce flame to low and cook for 40-50 minutes.

This dish is on the spicy side,should you need to adjust spice/heat level try reducing the amount of cayenne or substitute it with paprika, though it might alter the taste.

For the pork, I used tenderloin.

Tamarind, ginger, garlic pastes and all the other spices, powders can be found at Indian specialty grocers.

Annies' further instructions ~"Best left overnight (or more) in the fridge to pickle before serving hot the following day. Goes well with crusty breads, appam / vattayappam, sannas ( spongy rice cakes), a variety of Indian breads or even with piping hot basmati rice". 

Do heed the advice of applying a wait time from the actual making to actual consumption. It takes a 24 hour window for some happy coupling of spices and meat.This allows all flavoring to properly hinge on to the pieces and render a well rounded, savory, and very piquant (depleted my adjective stockpile) pork vindaloo. The aroma that it imparts the next day is ridiculously mouth watering, compelling me to take a couple of hand spoonfuls onto a slice of bread, this morning. Possible breakfast contender? 

If you've never tried pork vindaloo, go, print out the recipe, frame it if you must.  Amongst our extended family itself, it has reached a status of epic proportions. One day it might require a recipe patent- just saying.

I was introduced to vindaloo during the initial year of my marriage, and it holds a special place in my heart. Goa was JZ's and my first place of residence and we would periodically haunt the coastal beach shacks  to gorge on the red curry/ rice staple. 
The scripture best describes Annies and Anoop's perspective in life. It is their family motto, the Christ- centered dictum that eventually swept our entire family into precious, redemptive faith. 


  1. A favourite dish of my brother's this looks utterly fantastic :D
    Even I am tempted to try some ;)

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Thanks Uru, so, your brother eats meat and you don't? Looks like you're swaying to other side, friend ;-)

  2. I've never seen this dish cooked with pork, you make it look SO good!

    1. Yes, this can be made with other meats too. Thanks so much Mango Ginger :))

  3. Thank you for the recipe and for spreading the gospel.

    1. Thanks so much for the inspiration, Joel- God bless you.

  4. could you make this dish without a "pressure cooker"

    1. Yes, you could. Saute the ingredients, pork,and cook in a heavy set pot until done. I always make it that way- in India they prefer the pressure cooking as the meat is not always tender- cut and uniform.

  5. Thank you for a fantastic recipe and great story of family togetherness. My husband and I love tasty food and vindaloo, and have been looking for such a recipe as yours. Thanks for sharing and we share our blessings with you. Jo

    1. You are very welcome! Thank you much for the encouraging words.

  6. Looks so yummy! Got to make it tonight ;-)

  7. Stumbled upon this blog while looking for an appropriate image for Romans Chapter 1. Blessings and keep up the good work!!

  8. i tried it an it was great,Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe :)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!