I’m lucky enough to have spent months in Goa, a beautiful state on India’s western coast. We love Goa for her beaches, stunning scenery, the laid-back hippy vibe and of course, her food.
Food in Goa is somewhat different to Indian food found elsewhere, of course, you could say that about any state and food in the south of India is very different to that in the north, but Goa has something different, the Portuguese influence.
The word vindaloo has its roots in Portugal, vin for wine which becomes vinegar, aloo from the Portuguese word for garlic, ahlo. The aloo in vindaloo owes nothing to the Indian word for potatoes. So what goes into a real Goan vindaloo?
Real Goan Vindaloo With Pork
The secret of a good, real, Goan vindaloo, not a western curry house version, is the overnight marination of the washed and dried pork pieces in the spice masala and vinegar. It’s the vinegar that makes the dish. A vindaloo shouldn’t be the feared Indian dish of maximum fire, it is sour and tangy.
The spice masala includes chillies, garlic, ginger, haldi ( turmeric), jeera ( cumin), pepper, cinnamon and cloves
You’ll get better results preparing Indian food at home if you use fresh ( if possible) individual spices, rather than ready-made curry powders. Don’t forget that many of these spices and aromatics are very good for you, with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
You can find a full recipe for real Goan Vindaloo here.
Or, you could check out this book, which offers still more flavours of beautiful Goa. Unique dishes like balchao, xacuti and cafreal are a far cry from our westernised curry house experiences.
We took a Goan cookery class in a village home last time we were in Goa, it was wonderful to meet Shiva and his family and see how Goans actually cook in their own kitchens. Wherever you travel, seek out these cooking classes, their a brilliant way of discovering real local food as you travel.