You might have tried Vindaloo at an Indian restaurant or purchased a jar of Vindaloo paste or sauce at a grocery store, but although they may have been tasty, more than likely (sorry to break it to you) they weren’t the real deal. Not even close.
So here are a few facts about an authentic Goan Vindaloo recipe:
- it’s made with pork, not chicken or lamb or beef.
- it doesn’t contain tomatoes.
- it’s spicy, tangy/sour, slightly sweet. But spiciness does not define the dish; it’s not supposed to be unbearably hot and spicy.
- it contains Feni (pronounced Fay-nee), which is a very strong and let’s just say ‘potent-smelling’ Goan spirit/liquor.
- there are no vegetables in it, only meat. No aloo (which means ‘potatoes’ in Hindi). The aloo part of the name is a coincidence. More on that later.
- it’s usually eaten with crusty bread (pao) or steamed rice cakes (sannas), not naan and rice.
Tips and Substitutions
This Instant Pot Vindaloo recipe requires some patience, mainly with frying the onions. The onions are blended and sauteed and this gives the dish a creamy consistency. If you wish to skip the blending, you can finely chop the onions and saute them. In that case, your curry might be less thick, but will be just as tasty.
Initially when you saute the blended onions, they’ll release a lot of liquid and steam. You might even shed a tear or two! In the first stage you can stir the onions occasionally. Once all the liquid has evaporated (about 8 to 10 minutes), keep a close eye on the onions because they can burn very quickly.
As soon as you start seeing them brown on the bottom of the inner pot, be sure to deglaze with water, one tablespoon at a time. Keep stirring and add water if needed, a little at a time, until the onions are cooked, begin to caramelize, and are fragrant.
The country style boneless pork ribs work perfectly for this dish. If you’re substituting another cut, try not to use a lean meat; it’s best to have some fat/marbling for Instant Pot recipes. Before you add the marinated pork to the Instant Pot, make sure there’s nothing stuck to the bottom of the inner pot. If there is, deglaze before adding the meat.
If you can marinate the pork the night before, you’ll have that much more flavor. As with most Indian curries, this Instant Pot Vindaloo tastes even better the day after you cook it.
Instant Pot Vindaloo’s beautiful deep-red color comes from Kashmiri chilies.
Kashmiri chilies are available in Indian grocery stores and they are known for being milder than regular chili peppers, but have a deep red color. Kashmiri Chilies are at 1000 to 2000 on the Scoville Heat Index, somewhere between a Poblano and Pasilla chili pepper.
By way of comparison, the Jalapeno pepper is between 2500 and 8000 Scoville units. You can substitute another red chili pepper, but you might have to decrease the quantity and add some good quality paprika for color.
If you’re using paprika, make sure it hasn’t been sitting around in your cupboard for ages – try and get a fresh container. If you’re interested in seeing the comparison between different types of chili peppers, PepperScale has some very thorough information.
You can add a tablespoon or two of brandy instead of Feni. I would remove a serving of pressure cooked vindaloo, and stir in a half to full teaspoon of brandy, and see if you like the taste, then add more (to taste) to the remaining Instant Pot Vindaloo, and heat through.
If you’re new to the Instant Pot and aren’t familiar with how to use it, please read the Instant Pot DUO Beginner’s Quick Start Guide or the Instant Pot ULTRA Beginner’s Quick Start Guide first and then come back here to learn how to make this Instant Pot Vindaloo recipe.
Instant Pot Vindaloo Recipe Ingredients
Instant Pot Vindaloo Recipe Step-by-Step Instructions
- In a food processor or blender, pulse Kashmiri chilies, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, cinnamon stick, cardamom seeds, black pepper, whole cloves, and black mustard seeds until powdered.
- Add garlic, ginger, tamarind paste, salt, brown sugar, and white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- Blend to a smooth paste, adding water as needed to make sure the contents of the blender are able to move freely, but not too much. When you’re finished, the paste should be the consistency of pesto.
- Marinate pork in this spice blend in a medium bowl and set aside for 15 minutes to (preferably) overnight.
- Blend the onions in the same blender. The blended onions will get the color of the spice blend.
- Instant Pot Duo: Select the ‘Saute’ function.
- Instant Pot Ultra: Select the ‘Saute’ function and press ‘Start’.
- When the inner pot has heated, add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
- Saute onions until the onion juice has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 8 to 10 minutes, the liquid will evaporate and you’ll be left with a thick paste.
- Once the liquid has evaporated, stir more frequently to keep the onions from burning; they can burn in seconds!
- If the onions begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to deglaze, and keep stirring.
- After about 5 minutes, the onions will become a thick paste, caramelized and fragrant.
- Deglaze with more water if there’s anything stuck to the bottom of the pot before adding the meat, and stir to loosen any brown bits.
- Add 2 more tablespoons oil and marinated pork.
- Saute for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring well. Press ‘Cancel’ and deglaze to make sure there isn’t anything stuck to the bottom of the inner pot.
- Stir in 3/4 cup water.
- Instant Pot Duo: Close the lid and make sure steam release handle is in ‘Sealing’ position; Press ‘Manual’ (or ‘Pressure Cook’) and ‘+’ or ‘-‘ until display reads ‘15’ (15 minutes).
- Instant Pot Ultra: Close the lid; Select Pressure Cook mode; Adjust time to 15 minutes (00:15) and press Start.
- Instant Pot display will change to ‘On’.
- Once the Instant Pot is pressurized, the float valve will go up.
- The display will count down from 15 to 0; it will then switch to ‘Keep Warm’ mode and display ‘L0:00’ or ’00 00′ and begin to count up.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally (NPR). The float valve will be in the down position. This may take 15 to 30 minutes.
- Press Cancel and Open the Instant Pot.
- Transfer Instant Pot Vindaloo to a serving dish.
- Serve with crusty bread or rice.
Instant Pot Vindaloo
Instant Pot Vindaloo is a spicy, tangy Indian curry from the state of Goa in India. This is an authentic Goan Indian family recipe that comes from my mother-in-law and was adapted for the Instant Pot.
- 6 whole Kashmiri chilies stems removed
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2- inch piece of cinnamon stick
- 6 cardamom pods seeds only
- 1 tsp whole black pepper
- 8 whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp Indian black mustard seeds
- 1 Tbsp garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp ginger finely chopped
- 2 tsp homemade tamarind paste or prepared tamarind paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- Water for spice paste + 3/4 cup water + more for deglazing
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless country style Pork ribs cut into 1 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 cups onion chopped
- 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
Add garlic, ginger, tamarind, salt, brown sugar and vinegar.
Blend to a smooth paste, adding just enough water to make sure the contents of the blender are able to move freely. When you're finished, the spice paste should be the consistency of a thick pesto.
Transfer spice blend to a medium bowl and marinate pork in spice paste for 15 minutes to (preferably) overnight.
Blend the onions in the same blender/food processor, without washing the jar. The blended onions will get the color of the spice paste.
Select the 'Saute' function of the Instant Pot.
When the inner pot has heated, add 2 tablespoons oil.
Saute onions until the onion juice has evaporated, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.
** Once the liquid has evaporated, stir more frequently to keep the onions from burning; they can burn in seconds!
If the onions begin to stick to the bottom of the Instant Pot, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to deglaze. Keep stirring and adding water as needed, but only a little at a time.
After about 5 minutes, the onions will become a thick paste, caramelized and fragrant.
Turn off the Instant Pot and deglaze with more water if there's anything stuck to the bottom of the pot, stirring to loosen any brown bits.
Select the Saute function again.
Add 2 tablespoons oil to the inner pot and add in the marinated pork.
Saute meat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Deglaze if needed, to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the inner pot.
Press Cancel. Add 3/4 cup water and stir to combine.
Close the lid and select 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook' and cook for 15 minutes.
Allow the pressure to release naturally (NPR).
Transfer Instant Pot Vindaloo to a serving dish.
Serve with crusty bread or rice.
- Prep time does not include steps that are already accounted for in the ingredient list, e.g. minced garlic, cut up pork, etc.
- Instead of blending the onions, you can finely chop the onions. In that case, your curry might be less thick.
- If you have access to the Goan liquor called 'Feni', finish with 1 to 2 tablespoons after cooking is complete. You can also substitute brandy for the Feni. I suggest adding a little bit to one serving and taste before you add it to the entire dish.
- If using store-bought tamarind paste, different tamarind pastes have different strengths. The Indian version is much stronger than the Thai version. If using the Indian version, decrease the quantity.
- See the blog post for more detailed recipe tips.
I am not a certified nutritionist. I provide my best estimate of nutritional information merely as a courtesy to my readers. If you depend on nutritional information for dietary or health reasons, I suggest using your favorite online nutrition calculator to confirm the nutritional value of this recipe based on the actual ingredients that you use.
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You might also like to try these Instant Pot Recipes:
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