Enjoy a small taster of destinations from around the globe without leaving your kitchen. Right now, we’re taking you to the beaches of Goa on the west coast of India, for a traditional pork vindaloo.
What is it?
Often bearing an (undeserved) reputation for extreme heat, a Goanese vindaloo is a surprisingly subtle and complex dish that showcases culinary echoes of colonialism across the centuries.
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
2 tbs cooking oil
4 tbs vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbs finely chopped garlic
1 tbs finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tbs ground coriander
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1kg (2lb) pork, cut into bitesized pieces
1½ cups (375mL) of water
Steamed rice or warm naan to serve
Salt to taste
For the Masala Paste:
¾ tsp roasted fenugreek seeds
1 tsp roasted cumin seeds
1 tsp peppercorns
6–8 dried chillies, lightly roasted
4cm (1¼in) stick of cinnamon
2 cardamom pods
2 tsp of water
How to cook
Step 1: Saute the chopped onions in 1 tbs of cooking oil until caramelised. Using a blender, blitz the onion mixture until it becomes a paste and set aside.
Step 2: Combine the vinegar and brown sugar and set aside.
Step 3: Fry the mustard seeds in the pan you used for the onions until they sizzle, then add the chopped garlic and ginger and fry for another 2 minutes.
Step 4: Mix in the ground coriander, turmeric powder and salt. Add the pork pieces and fry for around 6–8 minutes until they have browned. Remove and set aside.
Step 5: Make your masala paste by blitzing all the paste ingredients together in a blender or pestle and mortar.
Step 6: In your original pan, add the remaining oil and stir-fry the chopped onion paste and the masala paste for 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and sugar mixture and the water.
Step 7: Add the browned pork pieces, and cook until the meat softens and a thick gravy is formed. Serve with steamed rice or warm naan.
Although a dish with a reputation for extreme heat – largely from its popularity in British curry houses – vindaloo in Goa is more subtle and balanced. A one-dimensional British vindaloo is prepared with a heavy hand on the chilli, but in Goa the dish’s historic roots are more evident. Imparting a distinctive sourness, palm vinegar and garlic replaces the wine vinegar and garlic infusion the Portuguese used to preserve pork on sea voyages. The all-important masala spices – fenugreek, cumin, roasted chilli, cinnamon, peppercorns and cardamom – are layered and distinct, their individual flavours released as essential oils during slow-roasting. Finally, there’s an earthy sweetness from the addition of sugar and ginger. Mop it up with rice or naan.
Other recipes in this series:
Have you recreated any of the dishes featured in this series so far? Share your pictures with us on Instagram by tagging @lonelyplanet. For more great recipes, check out Lonely Planet’s book The World’s Best Spicy Food.