Mumbai Recipe – Pork Vindaloo

Pork Vindaloo Recipe

As a child growing up in Poona (now Pune), India, I looked forward to our monthly visits to Bombay (now Mumbai). Once a month, our entourage made up of several families boarded a train and made our way through the Ghat Mountains to spend the entire day at the seaside metropolis. A typical visit consisted of shopping, catching the latest Bollywood film, dining at a fancy restaurant and, of course, getting snacks from the “street wallahs” for the ride home. What I relished most was the variety of foods one could find in Bombay.

Mumbai is culturally one of the most diversified cities in the world and is referred to as the “melting pot” of India. Here you will find Parsi, Maharastran, Goan and European influences that are celebrated in the traditions and various cooking styles popular in the region.

One popular dish you can find in a Mumbai curry house is Pork Vindaloo. It has its origins from the Portuguese dish “carne de vinha d’alhos,” a dish of meat, usually pork, marinated in wine and garlic. The Indian version uses vinegar and sugar instead of wine, and a medley of chilies and spices in addition to garlic.

Pork Vindaloo is easy to prepare. For best results, dry-roast the spices first and use a mortar and pestle to grind ingredients. To avoid burning, use a heavy-bottom skillet for sauteing. Here is my favorite recipe for Pork Vindaloo.

Recipe: Pork Vindaloo

Serves 4

  • 2 pounds (900 g) bone-in leg of pork
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) peppercorns
  • 4 dried chilies
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) cloves
  • 4-inch (10 cm) piece of cinnamon stick, roughly broken
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 g) ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 g) ground coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 g) fenugreek seeds
  • 4 tablespoons (60 mL) white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) dark vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons (60 mL) oil
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 10 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2-inch (5 cm) piece of ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 4 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) jaggery / light brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Trim any excess fat from pork, remove the bone and cut into 1-inch cubes. Reserve the bone to use later during simmering.
  2. Split open cardamom pods and remove seeds. Finely grind cardamom seeds, peppercorns, dried chilies, cloves, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, turmeric, coriander seeds and fenugreek seeds using a mortar and pestle.
  3. In a large glass bowl, mix ground spices together with vinegars. Add pork and mix thoroughly to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
  4. Heat oil in a heavy-bottom pot and sauté onions until lightly brown.
  5. Add garlic, ginger, tomatoes and chilies, stir well.
  6. Add pork, increase heat to high and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned. Add 1 cup of water, and any marinade liquid left in the bowl, reduce heat and slowly bring mixture back to a boil. Add jiggery and pork bone. Cover tightly and simmer for 1.5 hours, occasionally stirring until meat is tender. Discard the bone and season with a pinch of salt to taste.


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