The name “Vindalho” originated from the Portuguese dish “carne de vinha d’alhos”, a pork dish marinated in wine and garlic. Goans modified this Portuguese dish by adding spices and substituting palm vinegar for wine. Thus originated Vindalho which is misspelled and known all over as Vindaloo. The word “aloo” in Hindi language means “potato” and the original recipe has been adapted with addition of potatoes including cooking with other meats like chicken, beef or lamb. This dish is traditionally prepared only with pork (no potatoes) for feasts and special occasions. It is rich, tangy with a hint of sweet, not hot at all. More like pickle and no water is used in the cooking process. Marinating the meat overnight and cooking it on a low heat ensures that the spices penetrate through the meat, resulting in a unique and unforgettable dish. This dish tastes better as it ages.
- 1 kg pork belly (cut into 2″ cubes)
- 1 tablespoon of palm or cashew feni (optional)
- 2 large onions (around 4 cups, sliced)
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar salt
- To be ground to a paste (with vinegar, no water)* Below
- 20 Kashmiri dried red chillies
- 10 peppercorns
- 10 cloves
- 4 cinnamon sticks (1.5″ each)
- 4 green cardamoms (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 8 large cloves of garlic
- 1.5″ piece of ginger
- 3/4 cup palm or white vinegar
1Wash meat, pat dry, apply salt and ground masala. Marinate meat overnight in the refrigerator.
2Heat oil in a pan and saute sliced onions till light brown.
3Add marinated pork, lower flame and sear the meat while cooking the rawness of the spices.
4Cover pan and cook on very low heat, stirring occasionally. Half way through the cooking process, add feni, sugar and taste for salt. The dish is ready when meat is tender with a thick gravy.
- Addition of cardamom is optional.
- Mum never added mustard seeds or fenugreek seeds to vindalho.
- Balance the spice and sour with addition of sugar and vinegar.
- The dish is tangy with vinegar so no tamarind is required.