Citizens, there are very few recipes here on TFD that do not have my name in the title – as there are very few recipes I have been unable to improve, in my not so humble opinion.
This recipe is one of those rarities. 🙂
The word vindaloo is a garbled pronunciation of the popular Portuguese dish “carne de vinha d’alhos” (meat marinated in wine-vinegar and garlic), which made its way to India in the 15th century along with Portuguese explorers.
In Goa the dish was tweaked, incorporating chiles, tamarind, black pepper, cinnamon, and cardamom. Unlike the rest of India, Goa is predominately Catholic and pork is a popular meat in that province.
The best recipe ever created for this amazingly flavorful (and **SPICY**!) dish was posted on the eGullet food community many years ago by a user named “Waaza”. I give the recipe exactly as it was posted, with no changes, as it is simply palatal perfection without compromise! 🙂
Battle on – The Generalissimo
According to Waaza, please copy the entire recipe, do not change anything and credit me if you pass it on, thanks.
Ingredients for 4 people
Heat a large shallow pan on medium high heat. (1)
add 1 tbsp whole Indian coriander (2)
1 tsp white cumin (3)
1 tsp brown/black mustard seed (4)
1 tsp black pepper corns
6 – 10 lightly crushed dry red sanam chillies, or to taste.(5)
Heat until just smoking, then add 1/2 tsp cracked fenugreek seeds.(6) Heat for another 10 seconds only, and take off the heat and cool.
When the seeds and chillies are cold, grind to a medium fine powder. Add to the grinder 1 tsp garam masala (7) and 1 segment of star anise.(8)
Place the ground spice mix in a bowl, then
add 1 tbsp oil, 120ml (4 fl oz or 1/2 cup) cider vinegar(9) and 7 cloves of garlic and 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger.
Mix all together, then add about 700g of diced stewing pork(10) so that all the pork is totally submerged in the marinade.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for 24 hours.(11)
To cook the vindaloo:
Heat 80ml (3 fl oz, 1/3 cup) cooking oil to medium heat in pan. Meanwhile, cut two medium sized onions into 3mm dice(12) add to pan and cook on medium heat for about 20 mins, until onions are golden(14).
Strain pork from excess marinade and add to pan, maintaining medium heat.(15) Continue cooking until the contents of the pan dry up.(16) Add rest of marinade, and cook until dry once more.
Add a little water, and continue the bhuna process.(17) Continue with this for about 5 minutes. Now add 1/2 tsp of ground turmeric, and fry for 10 seconds only(18) then add water or pork stock to cover all the pork.(19)
Place a lid on the pan, turn down the heat to simmer for 1 hour.(20)
Uncover the pan, and allow the gravy to thicken according to requirements, but do not boil.(21)
Serve with rice, or potatoes, or both, and a strong greens-based dish, like spinach.
1) this is to dry roast the spices, where the heating produces flavours which are similar to those from roasted meats. As the pork will not be roasted, it is important that these flavours are developed.
2) Indian coriander is the slightly larger, lighter coloured ‘rugby-ball’ shaped seed, said to have a better flavour than the (usually) Moroccan cultivar, but it really makes little difference.
3) Use the white cumin, and not the so-called black cumin, which has a very different flavour.
4) Or use the European white/yellow, not Indian, but similar effect.
5) Really to taste, if you prefer it even hotter, use the very hot Birdseye type chilli, but they must be dried, fresh will not produce the heat quickly enough for the marinade.
6) Try to find the cracked fenugreek used for making pickles, or very lightly grind whole seeds, be very careful not to roast these for more than 10 seconds, as they will become very bitter.
7) Make your own by grinding green cardamom, cassia, cloves and mace
8) Remove the seed if there is one, it is tasteless. Use just one ‘leg’ of the star.
9) Goans would use vinegar made from toddy, a kind of alcohol made from palm sugar, but a mild cider vinegar works well, as would rice vinegar. I use a mix of acetic acid, red wine and fresh elderberry juice, stored for a year.
10) Use stewing pork, which needs slow long cooking.
11) The pork will absorb some of the liquid, making it juicier, and adsorb some of the aromatics from the spices and garlic/ginger, giving a deeper flavour.
12) The onions need to be cut into small dice so that the water can be driven out without burning, and leave the pan with just oil, so the temperatures can rise to those which start to brown the meat, thus adding flavour.
14) heat the onions (cut and cook immediately, to reduce bitterness) and cook on medium heat until golden, this takes about twenty minutes, there should not be any black bits on the edges of the onion, remove them if you have any, and turn down the heat a little. The heat will depend on the amount of onion, the size, shape and construction of the pan, and the ambient temperature/draughts, but with time, you’ll find just the right combination, believe me.
15) It is important not to increase the heat or the pork will shrivel and become tough as it squeezes out the marinade you so carefully bathed it in!
16) This is the so-called bhuna method, it’s a way of ‘frying’ the aromatics to hot oil extract the flavours without burning them, add a little water when it looks (or smells) as though it might burn. This gives a deeper, slightly smoky flavour to the dish.
17) Continue heating and adding water a few times to complete the bhuna process.
18) Turmeric will burn very quickly, so watch it very carefully, but it still needs a little oil extraction for those vanilla-type notes to come through, and to extract the colour.
19) This is a stew-type dish, all the pork needs to be covered.
20) The water or stock (if you have any) must only be heated to simmering point, that is, just a bubble now and again, if the liquid gets any hotter, the meat will shrivel and become tough, and rather tasteless.
21) You could take the lid off sooner if you think the gravy is going to be too thin, or you could remove the cooked meat, and reduce the gravy on its own. Add salt to taste at the end only, just prior to serving.
You could add some finely cut coriander leaf for garnish if you wish, but I suggest if preparing for a dinner party when several dishes are being offered, you put a very large fresh chilli on the rim of the serving dish, to indicate its pungency! Note, although I have used many chillies, they do blend in very well, the overall effect is one of total glow rather than stingingly hot.