The name vindaloo comes from two Portuguese words: vin, meaning “vinegar,” and alho, meaning “garlic.” When the Portuguese traveled to India, they took pork preserved in vinegar, garlic, and pepper, which was spiced up to suit Indian tastes!
- 2-6 dried red chiles (long slim variety), torn into 2 or 3 pieces
- 5 cloves
- 1-inch/2.5-cm piece cinnamon stick, broken up
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 1/2 mace blade
- 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg, lightly crushed
- 1 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoons frnugreek seeds
- 2 teaspoons garlic paste
- 3 tbs cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 tbs tamarind juice or juice from 1/2 lime
- 1 lb 9 oz/700g boneless leg of pork, cut into -inch/2.5 cm cubes
- 4 tbs sunflower or olive oil, plus 2 tbs
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- Generous 1 cup warm water, plus 4 tbs
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoons dark brown sugar
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 8-10 fresh or dried curry leaves
- Cooked basmati rice, to serve
Grind the first 10 ingredients to a fine powder in a coffee grinder. Transfer the ground spices to a bowl and add the garlic and ginger pastes, vinegar, and tamarind juice. Mix to form a paste.
Put the pork in a large nonmetallic bowl and rub about one quarter of the spice paste into the meat. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes.
Heat the 4 tbs oil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, add the onions, and cook, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes, until slightly browned. Add the remaining spice paste and cook, stirring continuously, for 5-6 minutes. Add 2 tbs warm water and cook until it evaporates. Repeat with remaining 2 tbs water. Add the pork and cook over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes, until the meat changes color. Add salt, sugar, and 1 cup warm water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 50-55 minutes, until the meat is tender.
Meanwhile, heat the 2 teaspoons of oil in a very small saucepan over low heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown. Add the curry leaves and let sizzle 15-20 seconds. Stir in the garlic mixture into the vindaloo Remove from heat and serve immediately with cooked basmati rice.
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