As a young girl growing up in a Hindu family there were certain meats that were never cooked in our house. Even though we were hardly what you would call a traditional religious family Pork and Beef were meats that were never introduced in my mother’s kitchen.
There is a misconception in India that Hindus do not eat Pork at all. If someone takes the pain to read the Indian food history “Pork” is mentioned as a meat that was occasionally relished by Hindu Kings but somehow over a period of time the taste for the Pig diminished, maybe it was because Pig was usually considered a dirty animal. But all that changed when the Portuguese invaded Goa. Not only did they do a mass conversion of Hindus into Christianity, they also introduced the people to the delights of Bread and Custard, they also reinvented Pork for the Goans.
And Vindaloo has to be the most famous dish that the Portuguese gifted us, although it was really made popular by the British when they invaded India. Vindaloo literally means meat cooked in Vinegar and Garlic with lots and lots of Chillies.
I was introduced to Pork by my aunt’s Goan neighbors would treat us to exotic Pork dishes like Vindaloo and Sorpotel and I guess being the foodie that I am, I fell in love with it and my love affair with Pork began. Not sure whether it was the lure of eating something that was forbidden in our house or whether it was the exotic looking Pork dishes that came out from their kitchen but I Just couldn’t get enough. And every time there was a trip planned to my aunt’s I would call her and beg her to ask her neighbor to cook Vindaloo for me and she always obliged.
Over a period of time I made friends who were from Goa and even dated someone who was a Christian and was an amazing cook and they all kept firing this love of Pork in me that just kept growing with every bite. But I really never tried to cook with Pork till I met “Gia” on facebook, who is a self -proclaimed Pork lover and tortures all her friends with pictures of Pork cooked by her mother and her. Her recipes and pictures are so tempting and easy that one cannot help but make them.
So finally out of lot of beating around the bush my love affair with Pork was out in the open. The husband is also aware of it and seems to relish it as much as I do. So there is no point in hiding the fact that we are now a family of “Pork Lovers” who enjoy this forbidden meat. And we do eat it openly now and the family knows
The recipe for “Pork Vindaloo” that I am sharing today is from “Gia” and is as authentic as a recipe can get. If you have eaten really good Vindaloo, you will know that this recipe is a keeper even before you eat it, as the smell of the Vindaloo invades your kitchen. I usually make it 3 days in advance as the flavour of the Vindaloo is enhanced over a period of time. I also mix Pork Belly with Pork chops as the belly has a good amount of fat on it. There is also no Oil or Water in this recipe and I like to make it a little dry and always serve it with bread instead of Rice or Roti.
Here is the recipe (cooking time 45 minutes, serves 4 – 6 or just 2 greedy people)
1 Kg Pork (Cut into cubes, get Pork which has fat on it)
12 -15 Kashmiri Chillies
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
8 – 10 Black Peppercorns
4 – 6 Cloves
2 1 inch sticks of Cinnamon
½ tsp Turmeric powder
15 – 20 flakes of Garlic and equal amount of fresh Ginger
½ cup of Goan Palm Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt to taste
1 tsp Sugar
3 – 4 Green Chillies Slit lengthwise
3 – 4 medium sized Onions sliced thinly
Make a fine paste of the Chillies, Cumin seeds, Peppercorns, Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric and Cinnamon using the Vinegar instead of water. Marinade the Pork with this mixture and some Salt and leave it overnight if possible for all the amazing flavours to be soaked up by the meat.
When ready to cook, take a heavy bottomed wide vessel, add the sliced Onions and the Pork and mix well. Do not add any Oil or Water as the Pork will release the fats in which everything will cook.
Let the Vindaloo cook on a medium flame, stirring after every 15 – 20 minutes to ensure that it doesn’t burn. The Pork should take around 45 – 60 minutes to cook. Once done add a teaspoon of Sugar and Green chillies to it. The taste has to be tangy and hot with a tinge of sweetness.
Turn of the heat and keep the Pork in the fridge for 2 -3 days before you serve.