Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Pork Vindaloo - with Skinny Suggestions

A fiery curry, popular in Goa which is packed full of flavour

Although it's not the hottest of all the curries, vindaloo is known as being notoriously hot - however, the chilli is just one small part of the flavours of a vindaloo.

5:2 Pork Vindaloo

Some versions have cubed potato in them, although this is not traditional and I tend to think that if you're serving it with rice and/or flatbreads and potentially other dishes, potato is unecessary.

Serves a generous four or modest six (or more with other dishes) from 209 calories per serving. All the flavours of the classic fiery Goan dish of pork with vinegar and garlic, with the option to cut the calories right down for fast days. If you’re confident handling meat, you could buy a whole leg of pork, de-bone and cube it, and add the bone to the curry along with the meat for extra flavour (removing before serving).

Calories per serving:  If you want to be really strict, please check the packaging of the pork you’ve bought, as different cuts of pork vary quite widely in terms of calories, otherwise check what I’ve put below in the ingredients for something comparable (trimmed of visible fat). For the leanest pork, 313 calories each per serving for four servings, 209 calories for six.

The cuts I’ve described below have calorific contents per supermarket packaging (those without a single shop specified have very similar counts for Tesco, ASDA and Sainsbury’s), but obviously you can’t beat a good local butcher for meat! If you don’t have an electric spice grinder, and don’t want to grind all the spices by hand just use pre-ground spices, and if you haven’t got the odd less popular spice or two, do still have a go – you’re still going to get a really tasty curry!

On a fast day, you could serve this with a small serving of boiled/steamed rice, or plenty of cauliflower ‘rice’.

Choose which cut of pork you want depending on who you're cooking for. The really lean cuts are low calories but less tender; pork fillet / tenderloin is my favourite for being low calorie and more tender than topside / leg; and shoulder has more flavour and will be more moist because of the fat content, but has the most calories.

Got a Thermomix? Click here for the Thermomix version of this recipe.


  • 750g pork cut into approx 2-3cm dice
(Examples of calories: LOW fat leanest cuts: diced topside (Tesco)/extra lean diced leg (Sainsbury’s) (110cal/100g) [825]; MEDIUM fat: fillet/tenderloin/diced casserole (ASDA) (150cal/100g) [1125]; HIGHEST fat: shoulder steaks/diced shoulder (170+cal/100g) [1275])

For the marinade
  • Seeds from 6 green cardamon pods [3]
  • 8 cloves (or 1/2 tsp ground cloves) [2]
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns [5]
  • 2 tsp ground cinammon (or a 3” stick roughly broken up, if your grinder can cope with it) [10]
  • 2 x 15ml tbsp coriander seeds [30]
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds [15]
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds [2]
  • ½ tsp turmeric [4]
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 large dried red chillies - preferably kashmiri (you can grind these up with the other spices, or leave them whole if you prefer - shake out the seeds if you want to reduce the heat) [10]
  • 100ml white wine vinegar [20]

For the curry
  • 1 tbsp ghee (or use coconut oil/vegetable/sunflower oil etc. for dairy free - you can use more if you're not counting calories) [135]
  • 10 cloves garlic, finely sliced [60]
  • 3 inches ginger root, peeled and grated [11]
  • 4 fresh green chillies, sliced (if you want to err on the side of caution, you can either leave out the seeds, or reduce the amount of chillies - 1 green chilli will still give you a medium spicy curry, because of the dried red chillies) [20]
  • 2 onions, halved from tip to root, and finely sliced [82]
  • 3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped (you don’t need to skin them, but you can if you prefer), or use one tin chopped tomatoes (400g) [100]
  • 1 tsp jaggery, or soft brown sugar [20]
  • Salt to taste (I add around 1/2 tsp)


Cut the pork into 2-3cm cubes. If you bought it on the bone, reserve the bone to add to the curry for extra flavour.

Grind all of the spices together for the marinade (you can reserve the dried red chillies if you prefer, to add to the curry whole) as finely as you can. If you don’t have an electric spice grinder, you might find them easiest to grind in batches in your pestle and mortar. A good food processor will also do the job, or if all else fails, use bought ground spices for convenience (it’s unlikely there are many people able to tell the difference in the finished result!).

Mix together all of the ground spices (with the dried red chillies, if you haven’t ground them) with the vinegar. Add the cubed pork and make sure it is thoroughly coated. Set aside in the fridge for 2-4 hours or overnight if you have time.

If you prefer to cook your curry in the oven (to avoid it burning on the bottom), rather than on the hob, pre-heat your oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Heat the oil in a good, large, non-stick pan over a low-ish heat, add the onions and cook for about 8-10 minutes until just turning golden, but not burnt (i.e. dark brown – add a tbsp or so of water if you think they’re burning). Add the garlic, ginger and green chillies and cook for another minute or two. Add the pork (reserving the remaining marinade), turn up the heat and fry for 3-5 minutes or until a little browned (being careful not to burn the other ingredients). Add the chopped tomatoes, 250ml of water, the remaining marinade and reduce the heat, bringing the mixture slowly to the boil.

Add the jaggery/sugar (and the pork bone, if you have one) and either cover tightly and simmer on the hob for around 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally (watch it doesn’t catch on the bottom, add a little extra water if it looks as though it’s getting dry), or transfer to an oven proof dish with a tight-fitting lid, and cook for 2 hours, checking and stirring occasionally, adding a little extra water if necessary, until the meat is tender.

Remove from the heat, discard the bone (if you added one), and add salt to taste – start with 1/2 tsp, stir in well and taste, and add more if desired. Enjoy served with rice and/or flatbreads - or if you're watching the calories, serve with cauliflower rice instead.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Recipes

If you liked this recipe, you may also like these...