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Goan Pork Vindaloo with Potatoes

by Madhur Jaffrey from Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Nation (Ebury/Random House) Photography: Jean Cazals

A classic from my Ultimate Curry Bible, this dish is such a favourite with the British that I have to include it here. You could think of this recipe as ‘vindaloo light’. It has the garlic, vinegar, black pepper and chillies – in this case chilli powder – that a vindaloo requires, but in gentle quantities. Serve it with plain rice.

You could also choose to make this in a pressure cooker. To do so, follow the general recipe, but add just 120ml (4fl oz) of water, bring to full pressure, then reduce the heat to very low and cook for 17–20 minutes (20 minutes will give very tender meat).

Serves 4


2 teaspoons mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

3 cloves

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

5 garlic cloves, chopped

2½ centimetre (1 inch) root ginger, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

¾–1 teaspoon chilli powder

2 teaspoons paprika

salt, to taste

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

560g (1lb 4oz) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2½ centimetre (1 inch) chunks

3 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil

340g (scant 12oz) waxy red potatoes (or any waxy potatoes), peeled and cut the same size as the pork

½ teaspoon caster sugar


Put half the mustard seeds and all the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and cloves in a clean coffee grinder or spice grinder and grind as finely as possible.

Tip this spice mixture into a blender with the onion, garlic, ginger, vinegar, chilli powder, paprika and 3 tablespoons of water. Blend until smooth.

Rub 1¼ teaspoons of salt, all the turmeric, black pepper and 2 tablespoons of the spice paste all over the pork. Put in a plastic food bag, seal and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or longer if desired.

Pour the oil into a large, heavy-based, non-stick, lidded pan and set it over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the remaining mustard seeds. As soon as they pop, which will be in a matter of seconds, put in the remaining spice paste. Stir and fry for five to six minutes, or until the paste is lightly browned. Put in the pork with its marinade and stir for a minute. Cover and reduce the heat to medium. Let the meat cook for about 10 minutes, lifting the lid now and then to stir; it should become lightly browned.

Now pour in 750ml (1½ pints) of water and add the potatoes, ½ teaspoon of salt and the sugar. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook very gently for 50–60 minutes or until the meat is tender, then serve.

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