Ever had a “taste” memory of many years back? We all know what our favorite foods taste like, but to remember vividly how some dishes of our childhood taste like, speaks volumes of the flavors of such dishes.
One of my aunts used to lived in Mapusa, Goa some years back, with her family. My family used to make trips to their house once a month over the weekend and stay with them. My cousins being much older than me and my sister, we would spend the weekend tagging along while they took us around their colony, on their 2 wheeeler, and other such activities that drive pre-teens wild with excitement. I would spend hours thumbing through their collection of 80’s rock and pop cassettes, and the books in their cupboards.
One of my favorite childhood taste memories is this spicy firecracker of a curry, the pork vindaloo, a curry my aunt used to make on special occasions. Now as a pork lovers (especially of the fatty bits), my mom and me used to rhapsody about this curry and polish our plates with relish. This Goan-Portugese curry I believe was taught to my aunt by her neighbors, two lovely Goan ladies who we still bump into sometimes during Sunday mass in Goa.
Iv tried my best to find a curry that replicates this taste, and Matins Corner in South Goa has been the only one to come close. This weekend I referred to 50 curries of India, by Camillia Punjabi, for her lamb vindaloo and replicated the same with a few variations: I omitted poppy seeds, which she uses, added potatoes (that’s how I like my meat curries – with the venerable tuber) and replaced lamb with pork with belly fat
The cast of characters:
Recipe (minimally adapted from 50 Great Curries of India):
Grind chilies, garlic, cloves, ginger, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, cumin, pepper and tamarind paste in a grinder with a little water until well blended.
Marinate the pork with 1/3 rd of this mixture for 30 minutes.
In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil and fry diced onions for 15 mins, till light brown. Add the remaining ground masala and diced potatoes and fry for 5 mins.
Add diced pork and fry for five minutes. Add some water, and cook for 5 minutes without the lid. Now add jaggery and cook for 25 minutes until meat is tender and potatoes are cooked.
Jackpot! this was the curry of my dreams, the hubby and I ate with eyes streaming and singing cries of joy when our mouths were not stuffed, cold water at hand. If you can’t handle the spice you can reduce the chillies and pepper to be added.