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The Original Vindaloo – Pork Vinho d’alhos

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Pork shoulder vinha d'alhos

The original vindaloo – Portuguese vinha d’alhos


This is one of my all time favourite recipes. My family love it too. We must make this at least once every month.

Pork shoulder vinha d’alhos is a popular Portuguese dish. There is so much flavour here as the meat is marinated/pickled in vinegar and wine for up to three days. Then the marinade is used in the sauce. Not many people know this but it is the original vindaloo!

A bit of history is needed…

So why a Portuguese recipe on a curry blog? Well, Pork shoulder vinha d’alhos was enjoyed by the Portuguese when they colonised Goa and still is to this day. This recipe was then adapted by the Indian population of Goa to become pork vindaloo.

Vinha d’alhos translates as vinegar and garlic and we used plenty of that here.

The Portuguese brought chillies from the New World – the Americas – with them to Goa on their search for spices. The Goan population love them. If fact, they loved them more than the Portuguese and started making this dish with a lot more chillies and other spices that were indigenous to Goa . 

That is why we think of a vindaloo as spicy. It is, but it’s not what vinha d’alhos was or is. The word vindaloo was a mispronounciation of the Portuguese name of the dish. The Goans couldn’t say it and the name stuck.

If you would like to try my Goan vindaloo recipe, here it is

Who is this original vindaloo recipe for?

Anyone who loves a good pork stew! No, it’s not spicy like a vindaloo but I’m sure you could fix that if you must. Just add more chillies. But I hope you enjoy trying the original. 

If you have family or friends who don’t like spicy food but love a good flavoured stew, this one is for them. 


Pork shoulder vinha d'alhos

Pork shoulder vinha d’alhos – slowly grilled and smoked over the coals.

Pork barbecue

Pork on the bbq

Yield: 6 - 8

The Original Vindaloo - Pork Vinho d'alhos

Pork Vindaloo


  • 2 kilos pork shoulder - cut into bite sized cubes
  • 500ml (2 cups) white wine vinegar
  • 500ml dry white wine - perhaps more. I usually go through about two bottles when cooking this recipe as I do get thirsty when cooking for a long time.
  • 10 cloves garlic - peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika - plus more to taste at the end of cooking
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 12 anchovies
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. First marinate the pork.
  2. Place 250ml of the vinegar, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, bay leaves and smoked paprika in a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour this over the pork and rub it into the meat with your hands.
  4. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate over night or up to three days. The longer the better.
  5. When ready to cook, remove the pork from the marinade, retaining any leftover marinade. This will become part of the sauce.
  6. Now you could make it easy on yourself and just cook the pork in a pot. I prefer to skewer it onto kebab skewers and grill it on a charcoal fire until just cooked through and lightly charred on the exterior.
  7. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter.
  8. Add the anchovies to the melted butter and fry, breaking the anchovies up as you do until they become a thick gooey paste.
  9. Add the raw or barbecued pork to this and pour in the remaining marinade.
  10. Add just enough water or wine to cover.
  11. Simmer the meat for about two and a half hours until you can cut into it easily with a fork. You may need to add more water and/or wine as you do this but not too much. The sauce should be quite thick when finished.
  12. Just before serving, pour in the remaining vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste. You may also like to add just a bit more paprika too.
  13. Serve over white rice or crusty French bread

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I hope you enjoy this original vindaloo recipe. If you do try it, please don’t be a stranger. Leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.

Paul Jayasuria

Friday 29th of December 2023

Hi Dan,

Thanks very much for sharing this recipe which hopefully will exceed the others that I've tried with mixed results. One question-when doubling the weight of the pork, would I need to similarly double all the ingredients?

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 2nd of January 2024

Yes, more or less double everything but be a bit cautious with any hot spices, add those gradually to taste. Thanks Dan

Diane Donaldson

Tuesday 25th of August 2020

this recipe was my mom's favourite as it is the original from Portugal, the indians stole it and add a lot of their indian spices to it but i love the original and make it a lot, thank you

Dan Toombs

Thursday 27th of August 2020

I love that recipe too and am aware of the Portuguese origin. I love the original and the Indian version. Thanks very much Dan

Stu Morgan

Wednesday 29th of November 2017

Hi Dan, keen to try this one but have a couple questions. I don't have a grill so will just cook the pork in the pot - do you reckon its worth browning the pork first before cooking it in the marinade and wine? And the last thing is that adding a full 250ml of ww vinegar right at the end without a chance to 'cook down' scares me a bit, can you please reassure me that I shouldn't freak out about this? Cheers Stu

Dan Toombs

Monday 5th of February 2018

Hi Stu

You can definitely brown the meat in oil in a pan. That works really well. As for the vinegar, please feel free to experiment. This should have a vinegary flavour. If you are a bit scared of it, use less. If you find at the end the it is too vinegary for your taste, cook it longer. The vinegar flavour will calm down with cooking. Thanks, Dan


Sunday 6th of December 2015

I've been cooking curries for a couple of years and your recipes are very good. This vindaloo recipe looked so strange, no ginger, no chilliest, minimal spices and with anchovies?? I just had to try it out.

Absolutely brilliant !

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 9th of December 2015

Thanks Doug. Really glad you liked it. :-)


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