Fork Spoon Knife is the personal blog of Asha where she chronicles her journeys in food through stories, recipes and photographs. She can also be found doodling and sharing her experiences as below.



Christmas Special: Goan Pork Vindaloo

Pork Vindaloo

Christians across India make distinctive dishes to celebrate Christmas that are quite regional and some influenced by the cuisine of the settlers in the region. Pork Vindaloo is a typical Christmas dish made by Goan Christians to celebrate the festival. This dish represents a confluence of the indigenous and Portugese cuisines.

The Vindaloo or Vindahlo derives from the Portuguese dish, Carne de Vinha d' Alhos, a dish of meat, usually pork, with wine and garlic. It was adopted in India with a heapful of spices and using malt vinegar instead of red wine. Alcohol is not typically used in food preparation in India.

Spice Route Spices 2

Contrary to its popular adaptation in the West, the Vindaloo is neither a fiery hot dish nor a curry. The dish is meant to be mild and tangy (from the vinegar) and is a really a pickled pork dish.

It is usually served as a main dish with rice or bread. You can also serve them as appetizers nestled in puff pastry cups.

Pork Vindaloo 1

Goan Pork Vindaloo
(24 appetizer cups or serves 4 as main)

500 g fatty pork shoulder, boneless or pork belly
¼ cup malt vinegar
8-10 medium spice dry red chilies (Kashmiri chilies), deseeded
5 cloves of garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
5 cloves
6-7 whole peppercorns
1 stick of cinnamon
2 medium red onions
For roasting:
3 cloves
4 peppercorns
½ stick of cinnamon

Warm the vinegar and soak the chilies in it for about 30 minutes. Cut the pork into 2inch pieces, sprinkle with salt and set aside. Drain the chilies and reserve the vinegar. Grind the dry spices into a fine powder. Add the soaked vinegar to the powder. Add the chilies, garlic and ginger and grind to a smooth paste. Pat the pork dry and toss in the spice mixture to coat well. Marinate the meat in the spices overnight.

Grind the onions into a puree and add to the pork. Toss to mix well. In a pan roast, the cloves, cinnamon and peppercorns until their aromas release. Add the marinated pork mixture and cook for 2-3 hours over low heat adding as little water as possible and stirring occasionally to prevent sticking at the bottom.

The vindaloo is best eaten the next day as the flavors meld together better.

To make the pastry cups, roll out each puff pastry sheet into a 12 inch square. Cut into nine 4 inch squares and fit them into cupcake pan. Fill with the pork vindaloo and bake at 400 F for 15 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Served with a dollop of sour cream or fresh cream and sprinkled with herbs.

Pork Vindaloo 2


  1. Love, love that wooden board in the second picture with all the spices! Where did you find that?

  2. Lovely spice mix, must try the same with potato alone. Lovely clicks.Festive greetings to you and your family.

  3. What a gorgeous color! It looks like a fabulous way to celebrate.

  4. Amazing pictures. Beautifully pictured vindaloo.

  5. I've always wanted to try this dish but never trusted a recipe. I trust you so I'm gonna try this after Christmas. Thanks!

  6. Oooo Finally, I find a recipe of vindaloo. Thank you! I will substitute this for goat, lamb or shrimp.

  7. If I can't find the right pepper, what else could I use?! And - would it be inappropriate to serve this with naan? :-) I've got some time next week to play around in the kitchen - will be buying a pork shoulder and report back when I'm done!


  8. What a good idea to serve this pork vindaloo as a starter.
    I wish you a very happy holidays Asha !

  9. Kim,

    kashmiri chili is a mild chili. so you can sub with a mild dried pepper. I think some Mexican chillies can be used in its place.
    Also, when you get the shoulder get a fatty cut and don't trim the fat

  10. Asha, I had pork vindaloo before and loved it, so I'm gonna save this precious recipe and make it mine :-)
    Love the photos and your styling is always very pleasing to the eye.
    Merry Christmas,

  11. I much prefer mild and tangy to spicy hot and this is one perfect dish! Bookmarked, dear Asha! And a very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  12. Your pictures are always so fluid and dynamic. The tangy pork is great too. Reminds me a bit of a Spanish pork escabeche. GREG

  13. Asha, thanks for putting up this post.I have always wondered about the Vindaloo...especially the chicken vindaloo. You've just prepared me for my Goa trip in Jan. Will have to have to make sure I get a serving of the Chicken Vindaloo... :) Merry Christmas to you!

  14. One of the best meals I have ever had was a Vindaloo, but I haven't tried to make it yet, this sounds wonderful!

  15. As always, gorgeous pictures! And the recipe looks delightful!

    Merry Christmas

  16. Gorgeous pictures Asha. Hope you have a great holiday weekend!

  17. wow! what a great idea. should try this out ASAP.
    Happy Holidays!

  18. I've heard so much about this dish--it looks delectable! Love your presentation.

  19. LOL.. As soon as I saw that wooden board the same question came to my mind as Sylvie's and then I thought the answer would be your landlord :-)
    Love ur landlord ;-)
    That's an awesome dish Asha n gorgeous photos as usual!

  20. Love that spice photo! Brings back nice memories of our honeymoon days in Goa :-)

  21. Very impressive recipe and fantastic photos. I am a Catholic Goan; whose ancestors adapted this recipe from a portugese dish. I've lived in Canada for 43 years and have the good fortune of access to all the ingredients, except the Goan vinegars that impart a distinctive flavour. The chilies are the key ingredient. Most indian grocers should have it. Otherwise Mexican non smokey, mild chillies like Guajillo and Pasilla chiles and cider or 50-50 cider and malt vinegars are OK. You can also use fresh tamarind pulp soaked in 1/4 cup boiling water and sieved into the dish 20 minutes before it is cooked.
    In our tradition after turning of the stove we added a tsp Cashew liquor brewed in Goa (feni). You could add a tsp of brandy. (The liquor evaporates, leaving an added level of richness)

    The most challenging labour intensive Goan dish is Sorpotel. Same spices, Same 4 parts pork to 1 part calf or pork liver, is diced to 1/16th inch, after par boiling to tighten the meats. The pork broth instead of water is used for cooking. Tart, chilie flavour, No need to make it too hot.


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