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Monday, November 7, 2011

Pork Vindaloo a Hit!

Thanks to Sunset Magazine, our first foray into Indian cuisine came out a complete success. The Pork Vindaloo recipe in their latest issue was attempted in our kitchen over the past two days with the goal of serving it to our group of Usual Suspects! A rich combination of fire and spice, this vindaloo was a big hit at our recent dinner and provided us with days of leftovers. Do be cautious with the chiles as the Arbols are a spicy beast. I tasted the stew after I browned the meat to check for the heat level and wound up adding more chilies but still only about 3/4 of what the recipe asks for. Proceed at your own risk!


2 pounds of pork butt or shoulder or lamb, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
2-inch piece of cinnamon stick, shattered
6-8 dried red Thai or Arbol chiles, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
3 tablespoons cider vinegar, divided
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp or 1 tablespoon of tamarind concentrate
1 tablespoon minced ginger
10 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons coconut or peanut oil, divided
3 white onions, cut into half moons
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
3 Roma tomatoes, cut into big chunks or 1can small can of whole tomatoes
4 green cardamom pods, split
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1/4 cup toasted chopped cashews
chopped cilantro (optional)


1. Rub pork all over with 1 teaspoon of salt. In a spice grinder combine peppercorns, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, half the chiles and paprika. Grind to powder and turn into a bowl with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of vinegar, the tamarind, ginger, garlic and 1 teaspoon oil. Place cubed meat into a gallon zip lock bag and pour spice mixture in with the meat. Seal the bag and squish the contents together until well mixed. Chill overnight.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Fry onions until browned. Scoop out and set aside. Add remaining oil and add meat. Cook until browned.

3. Return the onions to the pot along with brown sugar, tomatoes, cardamom pods, remaining whole chiles (split them before adding), 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 hours or until meat is very tender. If stew is very liquidy after an hour, continue simmering with the lid off. Season to taste with salt, vinegar and cayenne if using. Top with cahews and cilantro.

Serves about 4-6

Serve the Vindaloo over a saffroned Basmati rice. We doubled the recipe and cut down a bit on the chiles. Be careful, they are hot!

Bon Appetit!