Authentic pork vindaloo

Authentic pork vindaloo

I Love Curry
Jonathan Gregson

I have tried the vindaloo served in some British curry houses and I’m sorry to say it is mostly an amalgamation of those restaurants’ different curry sauces with lots of chillies, with no real Goan flavour. Those curries have little to do with real vindaloo… except that they are hot. An authentic vindaloo does use a fair amount of chillies, but that’s not its defining feature. It has wonderful spices, vinegar, ginger and garlic to bring the best out of the rich pork, and doesn’t have the thick sauce of curry house versions. This is a true vindaloo, with a light liquor. For the best flavour, cook the pork in minimal water so it stews, as much as possible, in its own juices. I quite like it with sautéed potatoes to soak up the lovely sauce. This is my version, learnt from a Goan, and but I have lightened up on the number of chillies he would use.


Quantity Ingredient
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
5-10 dried red kashmiri chillies (or 3–6 hotter dried red chillies), halved, seeds shaken out
6 black peppercorns
3 green cardamom pods
4 cloves
2cm cinnamon stick
13g ginger, peeled weight, roughly chopped
7 fat garlic cloves
3 tablespoons good-quality white wine vinegar, or to taste
400g pork shoulder with some fat, in 2.5cm cubes
50g belly of pork, in 2.5cm pieces
salt, to taste
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
sugar, to taste


  1. Using a spice grinder, grind the whole spices to a fine powder.
  2. Make a paste of the ginger, garlic and vinegar. Add this to the pork along with the spices and salt, cover and marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours, if you have time.
  3. Heat 4 tbsp of the oil in a non-stick saucepan. Add the onion and fry until golden brown. Add the pork and marinade and brown gently over a moderate heat for six or seven minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 40–50 minutes, or until the pork is tender, checking every so often and adding a splash of water from the kettle if the pot looks like it is running dry.
  4. Once the pork is tender, taste, adjust the seasoning and serve. Some people like to add a little sugar. I don’t, but I leave it to you to decide.
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