VINDALOO: WE'RE GOING TO EAT ONE MORE THAN YOU
The Vindaloo, perhaps the most misunderstood dish of all Indian recipes.
A curry house favourite, most people associate this dish with intense heat which burns on the way in and on the way out. A badge of honour to finish, rather than a joy. But the real thing is one of the greatest curries of all. Fiery, for certain, but it has a deep, flavour filled heat from long marination and slow cooking. The classic ingredients of garlic and vinegar, which give it its name are a legacy of Goa's Portugese past.
Slightly different to my old recipe, this version was given to me on my travels by the owner of a small restaurant in Cavelossim and although time consuming, is entirely delicious. The cubes of pork leg are marinated in chillies, garlic, ginger, a clove rich spice mix and a blend of palm vinegar and white wine vinegar and left for about three hours. The end result is well worth the effort. Lots of levels of flavour, meltingly tender meat and enough punch to make it worthy of the name. Here is the recipe. If you can roast and grind fresh spices all the better, if not, use powders.
2lbs of pork leg cubed
1/4 cup palm vinegar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
(or use all white wine vinegar if you can't find palm)
2 tsp ginger/garlic paste ( whizzed up ginger, garlic, salt and water)
5 ground cloves
4 chillies finely minced
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp corriander powder
2 tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp sugar
Mix all the ingredients well with the pork, cover and leave for at least a couple of hours. Pour a little oil in a pan and add the meat and its marinade and half a pint of water. Cook gently for around one hour, adding more water if it begins to stick, The end result should be soft, tender meat with a thick,rich gravy
As an accompaniment, I made a recipe nearer to DH roots, a vegetable dish of potato, sweet potato and spinach cooked in Bengali panch phoron or five spice until the potatoes melt to form a thick coating.
To cool the mouth down between bites a raita of cucumber and mint and, of course, there was no way I was going to let all that porky skin go to waste after I trimmed it from the meat. I salted it for a few hours to remove moisture and then roasted until golden and crispy.
Definitely worth a try