Vindaloo is a recipe that best represents India’s diverse culinary influences. It was originally inspired by the Portuguese carne de vinha d’alhos (meat with wine and garlic), with the wine swapped out for palm wine vinegar. The dish was introduced to Kerala and Goa by Portuguese sailors who stored chunks of meat in wine barrels on the ship; the wine would turn to vinegar and thus preserve the meat for long journeys. When they got to shore, the sailors would add local spices to the meat and cook a stew. In this version from chef Asha Gomez of Atlanta’s The Third Space, your palate experiences the tang from the vinegar, sweetness from the sugar, heat from the garlic, and a touch of bitterness from the ground mustard seeds. Choose a nice fatty pork shoulder, or Boston butt, to ensure lusciousness, or substitute boneless untrimmed leg of lamb.
- 12-14 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp. hot paprika
- 1 tbsp. sweet paprika
- 1 tsp. brown mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1⁄2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1⁄4 cup canola oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped (1½ cups)
- 1⁄2 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
- 2 lb. pork shoulder, cut into ½-inch pieces (5 cups)
- Make the sauce: In a food processor or blender, combine the garlic, both paprikas, mustard seeds, sugar, salt, tomato paste, vinegar, and ¼ cup water; purée until smooth.
- In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the onion and chile flakes, and cook, stirring, until the onion is golden brown, about 5–6 minutes. Add the pork and the puréed sauce. Stir well to coat the pork, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until the pork is falling apart and the sauce is thick and lush, about 45 minutes.