Goan Vindaloo Curry
Procedure for Vindaloo

This is our 'go-to' curry recipe when we want something fiercely hot and sour. It's based on the authentic Goan recipe which is a mixture of Portuguese and Indian cooking styles.

Goa is located in West India and the population live largely on a diet of seafood. The Portuguese conquered Goa in the sixteenth century chasing the abundant exotic spices that grow there.

Authentic Goan Vindaloo isn't always bristling with chillies although in this recipe we use a large amount of the dried variety. Western curry houses have given Vindaloo it's fiery reputation and added food colourings and copies amounts of chilli to meet the expectations of the uninformed western diner.

The word vindaloo originates from the Portugese 'Carne de Vinha d' Alhos' which translates to 'Meat of Wine Garlic' - hence the vin(wine) and alho(garlic) in vindaloo.

The use of pork is also a western adaptation as traditionally vindaloo would be based around chicken or mutton.

As we mentioned we prefer to use lots of chillies. Reduce the quantity according to your own taste and seed the chillies to make this curry even milder. We have used fresh turmeric for no other reason than we can currently get hold of it. Substitute 1 teaspoon of dried turmeric for the fresh.

Grinding spices can be a bit of a handful on a camping trip and without a blender you need to resort to a mortar and pestle. The vindaloo paste can be made ahead of time and bottled leaving you to deal with only the garlic and ginger paste when it's time to cook.


1 kg of lean pork diced into 2cm cubes

2 red onions, peeled and sliced into paper thin half rings

5 tablespoons vegetable oil

12 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 inch cube of ginger, peeled

1 inch cube of turmeric, peeled or 1 teaspoon ground

5 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, preferably palm vinegar

3 x 1 inch pieces cinnamon stick

2 teaspoons whole peppercorns

2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds

1½ teaspoons black mustard seeds

2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds

15 dried chillies, preferably Kashmir chillies

1 teaspoon whole fenugreek seeds

12 whole cardamon pods, bruised

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1½ teaspoons salt


Blend the garlic, ginger and turmeric with a minimum amount of water until you have a smooth paste.

Use a stainless or enamel pan, nothing with an absorbent surface as vindaloo is quite acidic. Aluminium pans will almost certainly taint the curry.

Heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a heavy pan and fry onions on a medium high heat until they are dark brown, verging on crisp.

In this order add the whole spices one at a time allowing 60 seconds between the addition of the next spice - cinnamon, pepper, coriander, mustard, cumin, chillies, fenugreek, cardamon. Stir fry the onion/spice mixture constantly.

Add the vinegar to the pan after adding the last spice and remove it from the heat immediately. Be warned, the fumes will be extremely strong. Stir well to scrape up any onion or spice residue and place in a blender. Add the sugar and salt and blend until you have a smooth puree. This is the vindaloo paste which may be made ahead of time. The combination of spices and vinegar means that it a natural preservative and will keep for long periods.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and on a high heat brown the pork in small batches, draining and setting aside once done.

Without burning, reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic/ginger paste and stir for 60 seconds.

Return the pork to the pan and stir fry for 5 minutes until the pork is coated and the pork smells highly fragrant.

Add the vindaloo paste to the pan. Wash out the blender with 1 cup of water and add to the curry.

Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat until the curry is just simmering. Cook for 1½ hours until the pork is tender.

Serve with plain fluffy Rice, chutneys and an Indian bread such as Naan.

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