Recipe contributed by: Arbez Patel
Born in Karachi and a proud Texan since 1980, Arbez has two extremely picky kids and a non -veg husband. She is a medical technologist by profession who is not passionate about cooking but can be creative in the kitchen when she needs to.
Growing up in Karachi, I spent many an afternoon at the home of my Goan friend Jenny, watching her mom prepare the evening meals. In our second year of college Jenny’s lovely mom became ill, and Jenny herself took over the task of cooking for her family. Following recipes in her mom’s hand written note book Jenny and I muddled along trying to come up with a passable variation of what Aunty threw together with one hand tied behind her back.
A couple were disasters, some had us in absolute hysterics and some were actual winners! The Vindaloo was one such recipe we mercifully mastered in just a couple of attempts, and what a triumphant day that was.
Vindaloo originated in Goa, a Portuguese – Indian colony. The Portuguese introduced their own way of cooking various meats especially pork by marinating the meats in wine, garlic and a variety of spices called Vinha de alhos and the Pork Vindaloo was born. I can never make this dish without thinking of my crazy college days and a sweet friend who was to lose this sweet gentle lady she called mom. So with a prayer and a kiss towards heaven, here is my variation of the Vindaloo all wrapped up in puff pastry or a papeta pattice (aloo tikki style), cos we parsis can make a tea time snack out of anything!
- 16 dried Kashmiri Chillies, stemmed and seeded
- 1 (1 inch) piece cinnamon stick
- 2 gram cumin seeds
- 6 whole cloves
- 6 whole black peppercorns
- 0.5 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- Salt to taste
- 1 kg boneless pork loin roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 onions, chopped
- 10 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 475 ml boiling water
- 2 green capsicum (peppers) seeded and cut into strips
- 60 ml white vinegar
- 4 Puff Pastry sheets
- Grind the Kashmiri chilis, cinnamon stick, cumin, clove, peppercorns, and turmeric in the mixer to a smooth powder.
- Mix with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to create a smooth paste. Season to taste with salt.
- Mix the pork cubes with the spice-vinegar paste in a bowl until evenly coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and marinate in the refrigerator 3-4 hours or overnight.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Cook and stir the onions, garlic, and ginger until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add the pork and its marinade, and cook, stirring frequently, until the pork cubes have firmed, about 5 minutes. Pour in the water, bring to simmer, then reduce heat, cover, and cook until the pork is tender, about 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can also empty the contents into a pressure cooker and cook this for 2 whistles and 10 minutes on slow.
- Stir in the green capsicum strips and 1/4 cup of vinegar. Cook uncovered until the green chile peppers have softened and the vindaloo has thickened, about 30 more minutes. Season to taste with salt.
- After cooled, shred pork using two forks, mix well with gravy. Should be fairly dry.
- Cut puff pastry into desired size squares. I make 3x3 inch squares. Place vindaloo mixture in the middle of each square.
- Dampen edges with water. Fold pastry into rectangles, triangles or little pockets. Seal edges down with fork and poke the tops a couple of times to allow venting.
- Brush with beaten egg and water mixture and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or till golden brown. Garnish as desired. Serve hot and enjoy!!
Optional: Vindaloo Tikkis
- If you don't have access to puff pastry, you can also make some Vindaloo Tikkis instead. First, boil peeled and quartered potatoes in salt water. Cool and mash, season with salt, pepper and finely chopped cilantro. Refrigerate.
- When cold, use oiled hands to make patty with mash potato, add vindaloo mixture in the middle, close and flatten into round discs. Refrigerate to firm.
- Just prior to shallow frying the tikkis, dust them in flour and fry, turning carefully to brown both sides. Serve with lemon, sliced onions and cilantro.
This post is part of my ongoing series on the blog, the A to Z of Parsi Food which has been curated in collaboration with Parsi food enthusiasts globally. For more interesting recipes follow the hashtag #AtoZChallenge mentioned below.