Vivek Singh's pork vindalho

Vivek Singh
·2-min read

Vindalho – or vindaloo – is possibly one of the most recognised and loved curries in the world. Even so, as much as it’s loved, it’s also a mystery. For most Indians, it is a hot and spicy dish that must contain potatoes (aloo in Hindi) and no doubt you will come across recipes with potatoes as well. Please don’t be disappointed that this recipe doesn’t list potatoes. It’s the real McCoy, true to its Portuguese origins. This Goan curry is unique for being intense, rich, sharp, hot and sweet at the same time.

Serves 5-6
pork shoulder 750g, cut into 2.5cm pieces
vegetable or coconut oil 4 tbsp
black mustard seeds 1 tsp
red onions 500g, finely sliced
tomatoes 5, ripe, chopped
small green chillies 2, stalks removed
curry leaves 10
jaggery or palm sugar 1 tbsp
salt 1½ tsp
tamarind pulp 2 tbsp
small sweet pickled onions 6, each cut into 2
fresh green coriander 20g, finely chopped

For the paste
cinnamon stick 5cm
cardamom pods 6, crushed
black peppercorns 1 tsp
cloves 10
cumin seeds 1 tsp
coriander seeds 1 tsp
ground Kashmiri chilli powder 2 tbsp
ground turmeric ½ tsp
garlic 10 cloves
ginger 5cm piece, peeled
malt vinegar 60ml

Grind together the paste ingredients, starting with the largest spices first, then adding the cumin and coriander seeds, and blend to a fine consistency. Add the chilli and turmeric powders and mix well. Add the garlic and ginger and grind, adding the vinegar to make a paste.

Rub the paste into the diced pork and leave to sit for at least an hour or overnight in a refrigerator.

Heat the oil in a wide, pan (one that has a lid) over a medium-low flame, add the mustard seeds and let crackle for 30 seconds. Add the onions and fry until soft and golden. Add the tomatoes, chillies and curry leaves, and cook until the tomatoes start to break down.

Add the pork and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook for 10-12 minutes stirring continually until the pork browns. Add 250ml of water, stir well, add the jaggery, salt and tamarind and mix through. Bring to a simmer, cover tightly, turn the heat right down and cook gently for 45-60 minutes.

Check the amount of liquid in the pan and, if needed, cook for another 15 minutes, or until the meat is very tender and the sauce has thickened.

Scatter the pickled onions and chopped coriander over the dish and serve hot.

The leftover curry tastes even better the next day.

Vivek Singh is executive chef and CEO of the Cinnamon Club