Sunday supper was Jake’s request.
He chose a dish I made when we first moved into our house; Madhur Jaffrey’s version of Pork Vindaloo from her cookbook Quick & Easy Indian Cooking.
We absolutely love Indian food. I’m happy to say it’s one of the cuisines I introduced Jake to for the first time and he also enjoyed it as much as I did upon first taste.
We’ve never tried real Vindaloo and many other recipes are much more complex. This tastes so good that frankly, we don’t care how precise the recipe is. Plus, it’s so easy to make that it’s practically foolproof.
Jaffrey recommends using a pressure cooker for many of the recipes in this cookbook. I don’t own a pressure cooker for the very good reason that I’d probably injure myself with one. Just simmer the pork in a large saucepan for a few hours until it’s buttery tender.
Adapted from Quick & Easy Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey.
A Cook’s Notes: I’m terribly inexact with my measurements. This recipe is forgiving as long as you keep tasting the sauce once the pork is cooked. The original recipe called for 1 1/4 lb. pork but I used close to two pounds with no issues. I just added a little extra of each spice. If I had remembered to purchase fresh ginger at the store, I would have added a tablespoon to the dish when I added the garlic. I also skimmed some of the excess fat from the surface. You really can’t mess this up.
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 heaping teaspoon of ground cayenne, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 lb. boneless pork shoulder, cut into cubes and trim big pieces of extra fat.
1/2 teaspoon of salt, to start
Vegetable oil or ghee, a few tablespoons or enough to saute the onions
1 small onion, halved and cut into thin slices
6 cloves of garlic, finely minced or crushed into a paste.
Optional: 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, grated (or some dried ginger)
3/4 of a can of coconut milk, well-stirred
Sugar or honey, to taste
- In a small bowl, combine the mustard, cumin, turmeric, cayenne and vinegar.
- Cook the onion slices in a pan heated to medium high in a few tablespoons of oil or ghee (clarified butter) until it starts turning brown.
- Add the garlic and ginger and briefly cook until fragrant but not browned.
- Add the mustard-spice paste and cook for a minute.
- Add the pork and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and water.
- Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the pork is silky tender.
- When you are sure the pork is cooked, taste the sauce for seasoning. I added a couple teaspoons of sugar to create a round, balanced flavor.
I served the pork with steamed white rice, homemade raita (I love this recipe!), garlic naan and mushrooms sauteed with garam masala and sprinkled with fresh cilantro.
I cheated and bought frozen garlic naan, but you could make your own for much less money.