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The Vindaloo originates from the Indian state of Goa, around two hundred miles south of Bombay. Goa was originally colonised by the Portugese who brought their language and Christian religion with them. The name translates roughly as meat cooked in wine (or vinegar). In UK curry houses this dish is often very hot and fiery, however this authentic recipe has a very aromatic and subtle taste. Everyone I have served it to has loved it, I hope that you do too.


The Vindaloo Paste:

      2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
      3 hot dried red chillies
      1 teaspoon black peppercorns
      1 teaspoon of cardamom seeds (taken from the pods)
      3 inch stick of cinnamon
      2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
      1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon light brown sugar

10 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions peeled and sliced into rings
3 tablespoons water

Ginger / Garlic Paste:
1 inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 whole bulb of garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons water

The Meat:
2 lbs of pork shoulder, diced and trimmed of excess fat

Additional Spices:
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric


Firstly make the Vindaloo paste as follows:

  • Grind together all the spices for the Vindaloo paste, then add the vinegar, salt and sugar and mix well.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in an ovenproof casserole dish over medium-hot heat. Then fry the onions, stirring often, until they turn dark brown and become crisp.
  • Remove the onions from the casserole and place them on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
  • Put the onions in a blender with 3 tablespoons of water and blend together into a smooth paste.
  • Mix the onion paste together with the ground spices and vinegar to make the Vindaloo paste. This can be prepared in advance and kept cool.

Secondly, make the ginger / garlic paste:

  • Blend the ginger and garlic together in a food processor with a little water until it is a purée.


  • Add the meat to the oil left in the casserole after frying the onions. Turn up the heat to medium-hot, then batch fry all the diced pork, setting aside when lightly browned.
  • Set the temperature to medium and put the ginger / garlic paste into the casserole. Fry for a few seconds while stirring.
  • Add the Additional Spices (turmeric and ground coriander). Continue frying and stirring for a few more seconds.
  • Add the meat and its juices to the casserole, then add the Vindaloo paste and stir it all together.
  • Add half a pint of water, stir again and bring to the boil.
  • Turn the temperature down and simmer the Vindaloo with the lid on for at least one hour. Alternatively, cook it in the oven for at least an hour and a half at 160ºC until the meat is tender. Stir the mixture frequently, adding a little water if necessary to ensure it does not dry out.


The Vindaloo can be prepared a day or two in advance and left in a cool place. This allows the spices to fuse together creating an even more aromatic dish.

I like to serve Vindaloo with basmati rice and a spinach / potato curry (saag aloo).

Serves 4 to 6