This piece is as much a plea to discover and love the Goan pork vindaloo for what it is – a beautifully balanced, hot and sour curry. Not an absurdly hot chili dump with no other dimension to the taste, you may find in a tray labelled vindaloo at the extreme end of a curry joint in England, Sydney etc. That dish may be many things, a vindaloo it is not!
The etymology is apparently the combination of the Portugese terms for wine (vinho) and garlic (alho) and the dish was developed by the Portuguese settlers in Goa substituting palm vinegar for the red wine they used back home with the addition of Kashmiri red chiles and Indian spices. For those who eat pork, it really is the best medium for the vindaloo flavours. I used a nice, fatty cut of pork and let it steep in the vinegar, red chili and spice marinade overnight and cooked it the next day.
Time is your friend with this dish – give the marinade time and then cook it, and the cooked pork tastes even better a day or two later with all the flavors seeping through the meat. A little fresh slaw to cut the heavy flavours and a piece of bread to soak up the gravy, and you’ve suddenly fallen in love with the vindaloo and wondered why you ate those four tablespoon red chili powder monstrosities before!