One of my favorite restaurants in Portland is Bollywood Theater, and one of my favorite dishes is their spicy Pork Vindaloo served “goa-style” on toasted dinner rolls. This recipe combines many elements from their original recipe and adapts for cooking in an Instant Pot.
I’ve separated the ingredients lists into the masala spice blend and the core dish. Some of these spices might be hard to find at a regular grocery store. If you want the easy way out, just buy the masala directly from Bollywood.
Masala Spice Blend
- 6 whole dried kashmiri chiles (stems removed)
- 2 tsp cumin seeds or 2.5 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2-inch cinammon stick
- Seeds from 6 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 8 whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
- 5-6lbs of pork shoulder or country ribs
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 2 (additional) dried kashmiri chiles (stems removed)
- 2 serrano chiles, chopped
- 1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
- 3 Tbsp garlic (minced)
- 3 Tbsp ginger (minced)
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2.5 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
- Fluffy dinner rolls (1-2 per person)
Night Before Preparation (10 minutes)
- Cut pork into 2" cubes. Trim excess fat, but leave some fat for flavor. Salt with 1tsp/lb. Allow to sit, preferably overnight… but for at least 3 hours.
Mise-en-Place (10 minutes)
- Combine chiles, cumin, turmeric, cinammon, cardamom seeds, peppercorns, cloves and mustard seeds in a spice grinder or mortar/pestle. Grind to fine powder.
- Add canola oil to Instant Pot. Preheat to Saute on High.
- Dice onions. Set aside.
- Combine garlic, ginger, 2 kashmiri chiles and chopped serrano peppers in a small dish. Set aside.
Brown the Pork (20 minutes)
Brown the pork in stages. Avoid crowding the pot to get a good crust. The pork will cook through in later steps, so focus on browning not cooking. You want to have some fond (the little browning bits) on the pan’s bottom when you’re done. Set the pork aside in a large bowl (you need the juices that accumulate later).
Caramelize the Onions (15 minutes)
With the pork browned, you should have some fond and oils still in the bottom of the pan. Reduce to medium heat (if your Instant Pot can do that), and saute the onions until they caramelize (about 8-12 minutes). Stir more frequently after the liquid has evaporated, as they can burn quickly. Add a small amount of chicken stock to deglaze the pan if the buildup of burnt bits gets too excessive.
Sizzle the Spices (1 minute)
When the onions are glazed, move them to the sides of the pot. Add the minced ginger, garlic, serrano and extra kashmiri chiles to the middle of the pot. Cook until fragrant (30s-1m). Add more chicken stock if needed to deglaze. Quickly stir in the dry spice mixture into the onions, garlic and chiles. Saute for just a few seconds to wake up the flavor in the spices.
Deglaze one last time and add any remaining bits to the blender. Now add the whole contents of the pot to the blender.
The Instant Pot bottom should be fairly clean and ready to pressure cook. Set it aside while you blend.
Add the brown sugar and vinegar to the blender. Add just enough chicken stock to lubricate the mixture.
Turn the blender up to 11 and really puree it to be as smooth as you can get it.
Pressure Cooking (35 minutes total, 15 minute pressure cook cycle)
Add your onion and spice puree back into the Instant Pot. Add the pork and all reserved juices to the pot. I often dump pieces of pork into the blender to help “drag” out more of the spice paste that’s stuck in the corners of the blender. You can use a spatula too.
Now you have a judgment call to make. How thick do you want your vindaloo?
The heat is going to thicken your spice paste a bit, but some additional juices will cook out of the pork under pressure, so it’s going to come out with the thickness only slightly changed.
If your mixture is pretty runny already and you’re above the minimum liquid line in the Instant Pot, don’t add any more chicken stock. If you like it a bit more mild and want it to spread further, then add more stock.
Use the Pressure Cook setting with a 15m timer. Allow the pot to naturally release pressure when done.
The thickness of the dish will vary at this point, if it seems too runny, set to the slow cook with the lid off for awhile to allow the sauce to reduce.
Toast Your Rolls
Cut the dinner rolls in half, butter the cut sides and toast them on a griddle or a skillet while the vindaloo reduces.
Serve two halves of a bun with the toasted sides up and spoon some vindaloo on top.
Alternative: Serve over white rice.
Makes about 8-10 servings.