Pork Vindaloo with dried and fresh chillies

This pork vindaloo is hot, tangy and tasty with the hotness of dried and fresh chillies balanced by the warm spice mix, tanginess of tamarind paste and sweetness of added sugar.
The recipe is an amalgam of a number of Goan and Keralan versions and as with all of them is best the next day after the meat marinates in the gravy overnight. Many of the recipes advise marinating the pork for at least 4 hours or overnight before cooking, but I find the results are just as good with an hour or so of marination.
You do need to have you Indian spice cupboard up to date for this recipe but don’t be intimidated by the range of ingredients as the method is very simple.
Using pork scotch fillet or pork shoulder which has some fatty tissue produces the best result.
Preparation time: 1.5 hours Cooking time: 1 hour – 1.5 hours

1 kg pork scotch fillet or pork shoulder diced into medium size cubes
1 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tspn black mustard seeds
1 tspn cummin seeds
1 tspn fennel seeds
1 tspn fenugreek seeds
1 tspn black peppercorns
5 cloves
6 cardamom pods, split and seeds removed
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 tspn turmeric powder
5 dried red chillies
3-5 fresh red chillies
6 cloves of garlic and equal amount of fresh peeled ginger
2 medium onions finely diced
Handful of curry leaves
2 sticks of cinnamon bark
3 black cardamom pods
4 tablespoons oil
2-3 cups chicken stock or water
Chopped coriander to garnish

Place diced pork in large bowl and pour over vinegar and salt. Leave to marinade while you prepare spices.

Using a spice grinder, put in 3 of the dried chillies stalk removed, black mustard seeds, cummin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, black peppercorns, cloves and cardamom seeds removed from pod. Grind to a fine powder.
In a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic, fresh chillies and ginger to a paste. Add tamarind and turmeric and mix through.
Add dried spice powder and garlic, ginger and tamarind paste into bowl with pork and mix well through. Allow to marinate for at least an hour and overnight if you can.


In a large casserole pot, add oil and heat before adding cinnamon bark, 2 dried chillies, curry leaves and black cardamom pods. Heat gently until fragrant.
Add onions and cook on medium heat until slightly caramelised.
Add pork mixture and cook, stirring to avoid it sticking, until spice mixture turns colour and pork pieces are “sealed”
Add enough water to cover pork mixture, simmer on medium heat for 1 hour – 1.5hours until pork is tender.


Garnish with coriander and serve with plain or turmeric rice and salads.

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Born in South Africa, of Indian heritage. My family moved to Australia in the early 80's. I have a busy professional career as the CEO of a Healthcare Foundation based in Sydney. I love cooking, learning to cook, eating and travel. My blog Freespiritfood.net is written in the spirit of sharing my foodie adventures.

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