Every time I make a curry or curry paste, I feel privileged to be a part of centuries old knowledge of flavour combinations and balances. How many years, experiments, failures, and triumphs must have gone into the classic curries that we know and take for granted today. It is so fascinating to me the processes that have been mastered over time to create these beautiful, colourful and aromatic spices and spice blends that we are so lucky to have at hand almost whenever we like. I get so much pleasure out of combining the spices and smelling the aromas as they all come together in the mortar and pestle, and then when they ht the heat of the pan…heaven!
I will often make up my own curry pastes with what I have at hand but when it comes down to it, following a good recipe like this one for Vindaloo, can’t be beaten. The balance is just right and the flavours are so beautiful. I found this one in a Women’s Weekly cook book when I was 21 and cooked it for one of my best friends’ 21st birthday dinner. Since then I have only used this recipe for Vindaloo and I always seem to use it as my go to crowd pleaser when cooking for someone special. I recently cooked it for my beautiful sister in laws’ birthday dinner and it went down a treat. Unlike Vindaloos that you find in your local Indian takeaway, there is not a lot of heat, just a whole lot of flavour.
As always, i can’t help myself but to make a myriad of accompaniments to meals like this, and depending on the time of year, a fruit salsa goes perfectly. If it were summer I would use mango, here I’ve used pineapple, I once even used kiwi fruit. Come to think of it, banana would also be lovely.
Having a yummy flat bread is also important when eating curry, it’s essential for scooping up those last bits of goodness left on your plate at the end. If you don’t want to bother with making your own bread, store bought flatbreads or pappadums would also work.
Now, about the rice. Until a couple of years ago I was never a big fan of rice and only saw it as a filler for stretching out a curry/stirfry, etc, between a lot of people. Man, was I wrong. After some Goan people taught me the proper way to cook Basmati for curries, I enjoyed it immensely and started playing with different types of rice and how to use the right ones for the right purposes. Fluffy basmati is so beautiful with a thick curry like this, as the curry is quite a heavy texture, the rice is lovely and light. Make sure you buy good quality basmati and follow the cooking instructions in this recipe if you want to achieve the optimum result. The best thing is it’s one of the easiest ways to cook rice too!
I hope you give this curry a go and enjoy it as much as I did, do it when you have a day off and appreciate every moment.
Canola oil, for sautéing
1kg pork neck, cut into 3cm cubes
2 brown onions, sliced
2 cups beef stock
300ml coconut cream (this isn’t necessary but adds a nice creaminess and takes away a bit of the heat)
about 8 small, washed potatoes, halved
2 cups basmati rice
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground chilli
2 ttsp black mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cracked pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 pineapple, finely chopped
1 long red chilli, de-seeded, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped mint leaves
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp sugar
1 cup plain yoghurt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped coriander
1 small cucumber, peeled, de-seeded, finely diced
salt and pepper
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 cup chickpea flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
150mls lukewarm water
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients for the curry paste in a bowl and set aside for half an hour.
Meanwhile, heat some of the canola oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish over medium high heat and, in batches, fry the pork until browned, about 2 mins. Remove from pan and set aside. Add more oil if necessary and sauté the onions until soft. Add the curry paste and fry, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 mins. Return the pork and add the stock. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to low, simmer, covered for about 2 hours or until pork is becoming tender. Add the potatoes and coconut cream and continue to cook, uncovered for another 45mins to an hour or until potatoes are soft and pork is very tender.
Meanwhile, to make the pineapple salsa, combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside for at least an hour, stirring every now and then.
To make the coriander yoghurt, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside, in the fridge, for at least an hour, stirring every now and then.
To make the paratha, combine the flours, cumin and seasoning in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the water an olive oil. Mix to combine and knead for a couple of minutes until smooth. Wrap in cling wrap and rest for an hour. Roll into 10-12 balls and roll out with a rolling pin to 1/2cm thickness. Heat oil in a frying pan over high heat and fry paratha for about 30secs a side or until golden brown. Once cooked keep them wrapped in a damp tea towel so that they remain warm and moist, you can also re-heat them in the oven in the damp tea towel or some foil.
Once the curry is cooked, turn off the heat and cover.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Rinse the rice in a sieve under cold water until water runs clear. Add to the boiling water and stir immediately to prevent any clumps. Boil for about 10 mins or until just cooked. Pour into a strainer and sit the strainer back onto the empty saucepan (not on the heat). Allow to sit, without stirring, for about 5 mins, during which time you can put the curry, bread, salsa, and yoghurt on the table. Pour the rice into a serving bowl and add to the table.
Get everyone to the table and enjoy!!