Curry guides

How to Cook a Great Vindaloo

This Indian dish is probably the most misrepresented dish in UK restaurants

How to Cook a Great Vindaloo


In its true form it is a world away from its reputation of being “the hottest dish on the menu” that fits the bill after a heavy Friday night out on the booze. It is true that the vindaloo is a fiery dish but it is also quite unique in its flavour as far as Indian food goes. It originated in the Goa region on the South Western coast of Indian during the time of Portuguese administration in this part of India.

The vindaloo emerged from the evolution of a traditional Portuguese meat dish called carne de vinha d’alhos which is cooked with red wine and garlic. This dish arrived on India’s shores where it was tweaked with the addition of spices and chilli and the wine was replaced with vinegar which resulted in the creation of an altogether new Indian dish. The Portuguese Christian community in Goa used Pork as the meat of choice for the vindaloo and even today this region is probably one of the only places in India where pork is found on restaurant menus. Traditionally potatoes were added to alleviate the piquancy of the dish. The basic building blocks of a Vindaloo are Potato, Pork and Vinegar which results in a unique Indian dish which has a really interesting provenance and is a great example of India’s cultural history – oh and it tastes pretty good too. I have always a bit funny cautious about using pork in Indian food and it is not the norm to use Beef or Pork but this works so beautifully that it has become a regular in my home, it helps that it is really quick and easy to prepare.

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