A secret love affair with Pork – Pork Vindaloo

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.

IMG_2065And 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.

IMG_1930I 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.

IMG_1932Over 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.

IMG_2034So 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)

Ingredients

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.

A cheats start to 2013 – Indian style drunken Pork curry

So 2013 is here infact it is 2nd day of the New Year. I had a 10 day break from work which was much needed and I spend the 10 days chilling and relaxing, full of ideas, thoughts and resolutions for the next year. But they are all in the head.

I need to really get off my lazy bum and write them down. Maybe stick them up on the fridge or on a wall in my bedroom so I am reminded again and again of the things I need to achieve in 2013. One of the things that I decided however was to be more adventurous with food and try new cuisines and food I have not tasted before. Now I am adventurous by nature and this is an easy resolution for me. But “D” is not very adventurous with food and it will be difficult to follow this through if he not involved in it too.

I decided to be cheeky and cheat a bit and make something that “D” would not necessarily try, which is “Pork”. Pork is such a beautiful meat but “D” hates it. Not for religious reasons but because he has never eaten beautifully cooked Pork. And there is no harm is sometimes introducing your family to new tastes and flavours so they can grow. I also had my resolutions to keep right.

This is almost the same recipe as the one I used to make my favourite “Goat Curry” but I added a dash of Rum to give it a little twist. “D” loved it and asked for 2nd and 3rd helping. When I finally told him what it was he was shocked. After getting over the initial shock he admitted how gorgeous it tasted and he would love it if I made it again. I guess the bargain paid off. I know I cheated and cheating is bad but now the husband of mine knows a new taste and I am glad I embarked on this adventure.

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Here is my recipe for Indian Style Pork curry (Cooking time 45 minutes, serves 4)

500 Gms Pork pieces

2 medium sized Potatoes cut into medium sized Pieces

2 medium sized Onions finely chopped

3 medium Sized Tomatoes finely chopped

2 -3 Green Chillies

1 tablespoon Ginger Garlic paste

1 tsp Turmeric Powder

1 ½ Tsp Red Chilli Powder

1 tsp Cumin powder

1 tsp Garam masala powder

1 tsp Coriander powder

Salt to taste

Freshly chopped Coriander

2 Cardamoms

1 Bay Leaf

1 Cinnamon stick

2 Cloves

1 ½ Tablespoon Mustard Oil

1 ½ Tablespoon Dark Rum (Optional)

2 cups Water

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In a bowl add the Pork, Potatoes, Turmeric, cumin, Garam Masala, Red Chilli and Coriander powder. Mix well and keep it aside till you get everything ready.

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Heat the Mustard oil in a pressure cooker or a deep bottomed pan. Add the Cardamom, Cinnamon, Bay Leaves and Cloves. Once they start to splutter add the thinly sliced Onions and let them cook till they turn almost golden brown in colour. Now add the Green chillies and Ginger Garlic paste, I did not chop the chillies so anyone who did not want to eat them can throw them away. But you are welcome to chop.

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Add the Tomatoes and let them cook till the oil separates.

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Add the marinated Meat and Potatoes and start sautéing them in the masala. I spend around 15 minutes on a low flame just letting the meat cook in the masala. I did not add any additional water at this stage but you can.

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Add Salt to taste and the Rum. Now add 2 cups of water and let it cook for another 20 minutes if using a Pan or in a pressure cooker give it 7 – 8 whistles. Garnish with freshly chopped Coriander with serve with hot rice or fluffy Rotis/Chapatis. So while you drool at the gorgeous dish I will get back to making my list for 2013 and I hope this is the only time I have to cheat.