Pork Vindail

After the Christmas period I find myself once more craving warm and spicy foods. You can’t keep a curry fan down, and I turned to my Rick Stein book, India, for inspiration. The author explains that the word Vindail refers to the fact that it contains vinegar, although I expect it dates back further to the Portuguese “vin d’alho “ which is the origin of the word Vindaloo and refers to the wine (which was then substituted for vinegar in Goan cuisine) and garlic used to make the dish.


The ingredients for the sauce are meant to serve 4 although I made the dish for 2 people.  I  played around with the quantities but have given details of the original recipe in brackets. The sauce is not too hot,  but of course you can add extra chilli if you like, with a pleasing tang of vinegar which is tempered with the addition of a small amount of sugar.

INGREDIENTS (to serve 2 or 4)

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2cm piece of cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves (1 clove)
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (2 medium onions)
  • 5 cloves of chopped garlic (10 cloves)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or use your usual hot chilli powder)
  • ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek (toasted ground fenugreek)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 200g chopped tinned tomatoes plus 1 medium fresh tomato, chopped (500g tomatoes roughly sliced)
  • 2 pork fillets (1kg chicken thighs and drumsticks, on the bone, skinned)
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and add the cinnamon, cloves and star anise. Fry gently for a minute until fragrant then add the onions. Fry until golden brown but not burnt (about 10-15 minutes). Add the garlic and cumin and fry for a couple of minutes. I added a drop of water as it started to stick. Now add the rest of the spices, fry for a few seconds then add the tomatoes. Once they have started to soften and break down (about 5 minutes) add the meat, stir and cover.

The pork cooked quite quickly, about 10 minutes, so I removed it from the pan and kept it warm then continued to cook the sauce for another 30 minutes. If you’re using chicken, leave it in the sauce to continue cooking. When the sauce has reduced and thickened and the meat is cooked (if using chicken), add the vinegar and sugar and if you’ve used pork fillets or steaks, add them back into the sauce. Cook for a further 5 minutes and you’re ready to serve.

Chicken and prawn curries

If you prefer a more traditional chicken  curry, take a look at one of my favourite recipes.


35 thoughts on “Pork Vindail

  1. Sounds lovely! I just put pork loin in the slow cooker with sweet and sour sauce. This would have been a nice alternative but I don’t have some of the ingredients. Don’t even know what fenugreek tastes like. What an ignoramous! 🙂 🙂 Happy Wednesday, Tanya!

  2. That looks delicious – I’m sure you are right about the Portuguese origin, they have left a lasting influence on Goan food and use a lot of vinegar in their own cuisine.

    1. Just a touch makes a difference. Which has reminded me of a Spanish dish I think I blogged years ago called morrete (I think) which is a winter dish of mushrooms and potatoes with vinegar added…so delicious!

  3. Some ‘homework’ to be done here! If I so do I normally cook a so-called ‘vindaloo’ and have had to look up my favourite Rick Stein’s ‘vilnail; – still some homework to do ere I can pass a comment !! Love the fact you have used fenugreek which makes so much a difference!!! Naturally, with 23 countries having a so-called misnamed ‘curry’ as their national dish this is a delight to use !!!!

  4. This looks and sounds lovely, but I fear it would be too hot (spicy) for me!!
    I really struggle to find a flavoursome, but not spicy curry in restaurants. It is so much easier to adjust your own recipes.

  5. Awhile back when traveling in India, I would be served a korma curry dish that would be served with a pile of Chapatis and a small bowl of vinegar. I remember asking what it was for and they said if it’s too hot poor it on. I always used it after that. Great recipe, one that I think would pair well with lamb shoulder as well.

    1. Ron – interesting you mentioning korma from amongst Indian curries . . . I had never heard of the term ‘vindail’ until I went to talk to Mr Google . . . . according to a number of cognoscenti the term actually means ‘korma’ !! What we can learn . . . and no, I did not know about the vinegar ‘trick’ either but then I do order my curries pretty hot by Indian standards, lust medium by Thai 🙂 !

  6. There is something so comforting about a good curry. Not sure why I don’t make curry more often. Beautiful recipe sweet friend.
    Have a beautiful weekend.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  7. I am slowly slowly discovering the joy of spicy heat though my family, sadly, have-not-will-not. I shall enjoy the recipe as a voyeur and take myself with friends off to a restaurant for an occasional spicy meal to satisfy my palate. Love the addition of a little vinegar to modify heat too. Happy New Year Tanya.

  8. I miss the fact that we don’t have a good Indian restaurant in our town. If I can find fenugreek at our market, this sounds like a great dish to make.

  9. Happy New Year Chica! 🙂 Great post! I am a Portuguese Goan and now in Portugal. I can now afford to use real wine 🙂 I make my pork Vindaloo with double the amount of garlic and don’t use any tomatoes.


  10. That sounds delicious and looks even better! I rarely make curries from scratch because we tend to use pastes, but this one doesn’t sound too complicated, so I’ll bookmark it to try. Thanks darling one! Hope you’re all well – have been thinking of you these past few days! xxx

  11. Nice to see you back in action. I don’t think I’ve ever attempted an Indian dish at home, but this sounds delicious and not too hard to make. May inspire me to take the plunge.

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