Indian Pork Vindaloo

This is a recipe from western India, originating in the province of Goa and is a staple in most Indian restaurants. It is traditionally very hot due to the large amount of dried red chili pepper. I’ve seen many variations that use lamb or even chicken. What I love about this recipe (aside from the intense heat) is the pungent combination of the masala rub that compliments the tart bite of the vinegar and lemon.

Serve with basmati rice.


For the Masala Rub/Marinade-
1 tsp. whole cumin seed
1 tsp. coriander seed
1/2″ chunk of whole cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
10 black peppercorns
1 or 2 tbs. fine-ground hot red pepper or 8-10 whole hot red chili pods
1/2 tsp. turmeric
6 whole cloves
2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

1″ chunk of fresh ginger, grated
8 whole garlic cloves, peeled and minced or crushed through a press
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup white vinegar


2 pounds pork shoulder or cubes, cut into even-sized 1″ pieces
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2 ripe red tomatoes
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/2 cup water
3 tbs. butter, ghee or canola oil

Indian Basmati rice


Combine the dry spice ingredients in a spice grinder and pulse until finely ground. Place in a non-reactive mixing bowl with the minced garlic and ginger. Add the lemon juice and white vinegar and mix to form a paste. Add the pork and mix to coat well, cover and marinate in your fridge for at least six hours (overnight is best.)

When ready, process the onion and tomatoes in a food processor until finely chopped. Remove and set aside.

Heat the butter or canola oil in a large 5-quart heavy bottomed casserole or cast-iron dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the marinated pork and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Stir often to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

Add the onion/tomato mixture and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil and add the water to cover and bring to a slow boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered for about one to one and a half hours until the pork is tender. Taste, correct the seasoning with salt, if necessary. Serve hot with basmati rice on the side.


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