Pork Vindaloo (Instant Pot Vindaloo Recipe)

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Pork vindaloo is a popular Goan curry that’s tangy, spicy, and flavorful. It’s also effortless to make in an Instant Pot!

instant pot pork vindaloo

Instant pot vindaloo is a spicy and saucy pork curry full of flavor. It’s a bit tangy thanks to the vinegar in the dish, and it’s also known to be spicy (though you can, of course, adjust to taste).

What is Vindaloo?

The short answer: vindaloo is known as an Indian dish with Portuguese origins. The dish was brought to India by Portuguese explorers, where the recipe was adapted using local ingredients and spices.

A slightly more detailed answer:

When the Portuguese came to India during the 15th century, they colonized Goa (and up until the 1960s, Goa was actually still a Portuguese colony…). When the Portuguese arrived, they brought a dish called carne vinha d’alhos, which translates to pork cooked in garlic and wine vinegar. That dish was doctored up with Indian/Goan spices/ingredients, and the name was shortened to vindaloo.

This past summer, we took a family trip to Portugal, and the food there was very, very mild. While I didn’t get to try the original carne vinha d’alhos (pork with garlic and wine vinegar), I have to assume that it’s also a very mild dish. I can’t imagine the original Portuguese version and the Goan version have anything in common outside of the pork and garlic. The vindaloo that I’m familiar with is made with plenty of Indian spices and has quite a bit of heat.

What’s interesting is that the Portuguese are the ones who introduced chili peppers to India. Before visiting Portugal, I guess I just figured their cuisine would be spicy too, so it was surprising that that wasn’t the case.

In her book, Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors, historian Lizzie Collingham says the Portuguese likely brought the chili peppers from Brazil by way of Lisbon and then to India. And while “the Portuguese in India had developed a liking for the fiery taste of the chili pepper,” I learned that wasn’t the case for palates back home. It seems that “on the Iberian Peninsula, chilies were grown more as curious ornamental plants than as sources of a fiery flavoring.”

As for the Portuguese in India, they used chillis “in excessive quantities in vindaloo. Some recipes call for as many as 20 red chillis.” My recipe is nowhere near as spicy, though my south Indian husband would probably prefer the 20 chili version, ha.

I use cayenne chili pepper in my recipe, which is easy to adapt to taste, so make this dish as spicy as you’d like!

“This was absolutely breathtaking. Flavor, texture, everything! I trimmed all the extra fat from the pork shoulder, but there was still plenty of marbling to make it fork-tender and delicious.”

Peter

Does Vindaloo have potatoes in it?

Some people think that vindaloo should have potatoes because vindaloo contains the word ‘aloo.’ In Hindi, aloo means potatoes. The fact that ‘aloo’ is in the name is just a coincidence. This dish is all meat – no taters in here.

That said, I have an easy recipe for Instant Pot Ground Pork Vindaloo with Potatoes on my blog. The only reason I use potatoes in that recipe is to help stretch out the meal and also cut some of the heat. It’s a good weeknight option, but if you’re looking for a meaty pork vindaloo, this recipe, made with pork shoulder, is the one to try.

instant pot pork vindaloo

What to Serve with Pork Vindaloo

You can serve pork vindaloo with any Indian flatbread or Basmati Rice. Here are some more ideas:

instant pot pork vindaloo

Pork Vindaloo Recipe (Instant Pot)

instant pot pork vindaloo

Pork Vindaloo Recipe (Instant Pot)

Vindaloo is known as a popular Goan curry, but it is actually of Portuguese origin. The dish was brought to India by explorers where the recipe was adapted using local ingredients and spices. This spicy curry calls for vinegar, which adds a tangy flavor to the stew. I recommend using pork shoulder in this recipe because it results in tender and juicy meat.
4.99 from 61 reviews
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Servings 5 -6
Cuisine Indian

Ingredients
 

  • 4 tablespoons oil of choice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 onions diced
  • 1 Serrano pepper or green chili minced
  • 2 pounds pork shoulder cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger

Spices

  • 4 tablespoons white vinegar
  • ¾ cup water
  • Cilantro garnish

Instructions
 

  • Press the sauté button, add oil and allow it a minute to heat up. Add the cumin and mustard seeds. Once the cumin seeds brown and the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the onions and Serrano pepper. Stir-fry for 8-10 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown.
  • Add the pork, garlic and ginger. Stir for 3-4 minutes to brown the meat on all sides.
  • Add the spices, give everything a good mix, then add the vinegar and water.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 25 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure.
  • Open lid, press the sauté button and cook for 8-10 minutes to boil off some of the liquid and reduce the gravy to a stew like consistency.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Notes

  • For extra tang, feel free to add a bit of tamarind paste to this recipe if you’d like! 
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Comments

  1. Bobbie says

    5 stars
    AMAZING!!! I Have made a lot of Vindaloo recipes at home, but this one is by far the BEST I’ve ever made. I did double everything but the meat for a saucier curry, and blended sauce once done for a smooth texture, as mentioned in a previous comment. Will be a staple in our house for sure 10/10

  2. Tara Jaggars says

    5 stars
    I made this last night and the family LOVED it! I subbed the serrano for a red bell pepper since i didn’t have the serrano on hand. Came out awesome!

    Question: How do you recommend cooking this if you didn’t have an instant pot? I’m visiting a friend out of town next week and would love to make this for her but she doesn’t have an instant pot. Braise in dutch oven for a couple hours?

  3. Weezy Dippel says

    5 stars
    It was terrific. I cut out the fat off the pork shoulder. Next time I plan to brown the onions and the pork in a pan and then use the Instapot. As someone else commented, it’s hard to get the meat brown in an Instapot. The flavours were Spot on!

  4. Vicki says

    too salty using table salt. perhaps you use a different salt. If using table salt cut back half. But the flavour was good.

  5. Brian says

    5 stars
    This delicious recipe is deceptively simple to prepare.

    I find that you must brown the pork in the oil in two batches before you sautee the aromatics. Following the recipe crowds too much into the bottom of the instant pot, which prevents browning. Proper browning produces a gravy with deeper color and flavor.

    I like a lot of gravy – isn’t that why we eat with rice?! – so on the second try I increased all ingredients except pork by 1/3, which still fits easily below the max fill line in the Instant Pot. And, because I prefer a smooth gravy, I removed the pork and pulsed the gravy with a stick blender before serving.

  6. Diane E says

    5 stars
    I made this dish for last night’s dinner, serving it with basmati rice and sauteed chard. Absolutely delicious! Thank you for a wonderful new way with pork. And thank you for the information about Goa and your beautiful photos — so interesting 🙂

  7. Asha says

    5 stars
    I made this yesterday. I do not cook often, but your recipe had simple ingredients and the instructions were so clear and easy to understand. I am so grateful! The pork curry was so tasty and actually tasted like I was in Auntie’s house! Thanks for giving me the confidence to try more recipes on your site!!!

  8. Meika says

    Question! Trying to get some freezer space by using up some of the onion masala! (i know, i know…). I saw you used it in the chicken vindaloo but really wanted to make pork vinadloo.. Any suggestion on how to add in frozen onion masala to this pork vindaloo recipe?

    • Diane E says

      Hi Scott, I used two thick bone-in pork chops. I rough cut the meat off the bones and cut it into chunks. There was still meat on the bones, so I browned them along with the cubes and left them in the pot. Since it was just my husband and me, we didn’t mind the slightly less elegant presentation. Worked great and tasted amazing, although a little leaner than pork shoulder would have been.

  9. Pat says

    5 stars
    I have made this twice. Both times it was excellent. Didn’t change a thing except once I used Tamarind Paste. Used 1/2 teaspoon cayenne both times. Meat was tender. A real spice bomb!

    • Meaghan says

      I’ve substituted stewing beef chunks for recipes similar to this. Cut into the piece size she recommends 1 lb of stewing beef takes 20 min in the pressure cooker. Maybe 25 if you want it more tender.

  10. Lynn says

    5 stars
    My family loves this dish. We’ve made it twice now and follow your instructions exactly. My memory stinks so I keep a list of web recipe links and the tweaks I make to them. The listing for this recipe is “perfect as is.” Thank you for a family favorite. I’ll be back for another soon =)

  11. Ashley says

    Do you think I could use prepared yellow mustard in place of the black mustard seeds? Will I lose out on a lot of flavor if I just omit the seeds completely?

  12. Pat Galvin says

    5 stars
    I forgot to ask. For your recipes, when you call for salt, is that coarse Kosher salt, or table salt? Thanks for the great food. Made Pork Vindaloo again last night and was really enjoyable.

  13. Pat Galvin says

    5 stars
    We made this earlier this week, exactly per the recipe. Was wonderful. Lots of great spice but not super hot. We had pork shoulder remaining and are making it again this eve. I did spoon off some of the pork fat, as a good pork shoulder has quite a bit of fat in it. Thanks for a keeper recipe!

  14. Peter says

    5 stars
    This was absolutely breathtaking. Flavor, texture, everything! I trimmed all the extra fat from the pork shoulder, but there was still plenty of marbling to make it fork-tender and delicious.

  15. Manhar Chauhan says

    Hi Ashley

    I took the liberty of using lamb in the vindaloo and cut the pieces about 1.5 inches. While the taste was quite good, I was disappointed to note that chunks of meat had shriveled to less than 1/2 size. Can you comment on whether this is to be expected, or what I could have done differently?

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Manhar, I’m not sure why that happened – a guess might be that perhaps they were fatty pieces and the fat melted into the sauce? If you make this again you can try using larger pieces and see how that goes. I hope that ends up being helpful.

  16. Meghan says

    We don’t have an instant pot, but I’m interested in making this. Have you considered doing a conversion for a slow cooker or dutch oven?

  17. Kathy says

    5 stars
    SO delicious & easy to make! It was my 1st time making a vindaloo, and it was so GOOD! Thank you Ashley for this wonderful recipe!

  18. Alice Brown says

    Hi Ashley,

    I am making Vindaloo for a crowd and would like to add some potatoes to this recipe. When should I add the potatoes in and how long should I cook it for?

    Thanks.

    Alice

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Alice, I would suggest making the vindaloo as is and adding cooked potatoes at the end (you can see how I cook potatoes in the IP in this post). I would make the curry and the potatoes the night before you plan to serve it to help the potatoes absorb flavor. I wouldn’t cook them together as the potatoes will likely become too soft. I hope that helps!

  19. Michelle says

    5 stars
    This recipe turned out amazing!

    Omitted the cayenne, but used one whole Serrano (seeds and all). The heat was almost over my limit this way, so next time I might try removing seeds from just half the Serrano pepper before chopping. That said, I liked it having more of a kick than I’m used to.

    It was super tasty with a lovely complex flavour. I used cubed pork leg which turned out wonderfully tender. When it came time to reduce the sauce, I removed the pork with a slotted spoon so it wouldn’t become over cooked or dry (I boiled the sauce pretty hard to speed things up). Tossed the meat back in once it looked thick enough and served up my best looking (and tasting) curry ever!

    Served with some steamed carrots and green beans, and a baked potato with a dollop of yogurt (to tame the heat). The sauce went so well with the potato and yogurt. I think I’ll try this recipe with beef and lamb as well in the future. This one’s a keeper!

  20. David Oldale says

    5 stars
    I really should not have given a rating before trying the dish but I have been cooking and eating curries for 50years so I must say the recipe does look good. But hey I do have a problem and that is there is only one of me and I now have a small appetite and cooking a meal suitable for 5/6 would be just a waste. So any advice on cutting down the ingredients would be a great help as this is one dish I am looking forward to cooking. Like your husband I like my curries extremely hot, eating a phall being quite normal. I was a firefighter before I retired when it was quite normal on nights on the way back to the fire station to stop off and pick up curries for all the lads from the local takeaway. Magical times! Many thanks and by the way your web site is sensational.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi David, I haven’t tried halving this recipe but I think it’d be fine if you wanted to try that. Also, I’m sure this dish will freeze well, so you could always make the recipe and freeze it into smaller portions. Let me know how it goes and what you think if you make it 🙂

      • David Oldale says

        5 stars
        Hi Ashley, well I did it following your advice and halving the recipe – the result after a bit more tweaking to my taste – astounding!
        Used same amount of oil plus!!! Frozen chicken breast pieces,didn’t have a sterano pepper so used a habenero chilli and a teaspoon of ground birds eye chilli powder, I said I liked it hot!!! Cooked for the 25mins added after npr 2 pieces of cooked potato another good glug of oil and some extra water plus a squirt of tomato ketchup. Tasted but not eaten! Always better next day after the flavours have infused and mellowed. It really was rather superb! Please note in the UK every so called Indian restaurant/takeaway (they are really Bangladeshi or Pakistani) put potato in their vindaloo. Would I make this again – too damn right I will, it was gorgeous!

  21. Deepa says

    If i want to add diced potatoes or baby potatoes, would that change the cook time and/or water added? Thank you!

  22. Adrienne says

    5 stars
    This recipe is definitely a keeper! I have tried other vindaloo instapot recipes and I have been disappointed. The flavours here are complex and I thought it was a good balance of spices and vinegar, although I would use even more cayenne next time ;-). I like it hot! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  23. Mapleleaf75 says

    4 stars
    Hello,
    Well as I did have a piece of Pork loin, I cut it in bite sized pieces to make this recipe!
    I used Kashmiri chilli powder as it’s not very spicy and I had smoked paprika so to add colour, added 2 teaspoons.I also love patatoes so patatoes went in too, forgot to mention, I used red wine vinager as well as tamarind sauce!
    Yes it trned out good real fiery red in colour and also taste! Made Jasmine rice.
    My husband and self are not used to very hot food but we enjoyed it. I think instead of pork, i dont care for the texture, or taate really, so chicken or lamb should turn this dish quite a rave!
    Thanks for your help in sharing the recipe

  24. Angela Lavery says

    Hi
    I am planning on making your Pork Vindaloo on Sunday but also am out in the afternoon. Do you think the meat would hold up to being cooked & left on keep warm till dinner or will it fall apart too much. Loving your recipes!

  25. Gerry says

    5 stars
    I make this recipe with lamb shoulder; works very well! One question though: when you are thickening the sauce at the end, do you recommend using low, normal, or more for the saute mode.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Gerry, great to know this works well with lamb shoulder! As for sauté mode, I typically go with the default which for me is “normal” mode but you can always do it on high if you’re in a rush 🙂

  26. Manan says

    I love your recipes – your instant pot chicken biryani is probably my favorite recipe of all time!

    A question for you: how much tamarind paste would be good for this? I do like tanginess.

  27. Paige Roberts says

    5 stars
    This recipe was so delicious and flavorful. We could not find black mustard seeds anywhere so we used ground mustard instead and it was still incredible. Will absolutely make again!

  28. margriet says

    can i just cook it in a large creuset pot.
    how long will it take to cook the pork then.
    Thanks
    margriet

  29. chris martin says

    5 stars
    Amazing recipe, I recently was turned onto pork vindaloo after a a quick trip I had made to the international isle at our local Aldi’s food store. there I picked up a jar of premade sauce and it was delicious… this recipe is a very accurate recreation of those feelings I had when I ate this dish for the first time, kudos!

  30. Mary Ann Lynch says

    5 stars
    Most delicious. The pork melted in our mouth. Sauce was delicious. Doubled recipe but didn’t double water. Used half the vinegar (subbed apple cider vinegar for white) and added tamarind paste to make up the difference. When done, there was quite a bit of melted pork fat so I removed a lot of the liquid and put it through a fat separator. Then put the defatted liquid in a skillet and reduced by half. Refrigerated and ate the next evening. I was so pleased with the result. Definitely a home run!

  31. Mary Ann Lynch says

    I’m doing some meal planning for the holidays when I will have a good size crowd to feed including some vegans. Only have one instant pot so looking to do as much ahead as possible and reheat. Wondering if you think that the dishes like the pork vindaloo, chicken curries, and mushroom do pyaza are appropriate for doing ahead and reheating? If can do these types of things ahead, I can save the time just prior to the meal for items such as vegetable biryani and corn kadai. Any thoughts?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Mary, I would definitely make any meat the day before – it’ll just get better/more flavorful overnight. The mushroom do pyaza and the corn kadai will also be just fine a day in advance. I’d also suggest making a dal (amritsari dal – onion masala recipe is a good one) if you have the time – vegetarians and non-vegetarians will enjoy it and you can also make that dal a day in advance. Making the veggie biryani just prior is a good idea (as the veggies would get too soft if you were to reheat). Hope that helps!

      • Mary Ann Lynch says

        Reporting back on my Indian dinner during the holidays. Made Chana Masala and Chicken Achari curry ahead of time and put in the freezer. I slightly undercooked the Chana Masala so that I could put it back in the instant pot for a few minutes just prior lo serving to heat and finish cooking. I reheated the chicken Achari in the microwave. Both were amazing. Also did the Corn Kadai using my premade onion masala. We also made aloo gobi on the stove top using pre roasted potatoes and cauliflower so that they would not be mushy, a kachumber salad, basmati rice. It was a delicious meal and making the curries ahead enhanced their flavors. Also want to say how much I love the Rice Flour Roti recipe. It is great for wraps and tacos. So simple. Thanks for everything you do. Making the pork vindaloo this week.

      • Ambili says

        I think that is where I screwed up. I do not know what naturally release means and I am not sure when to close the valve. Is there a specific term you use in your recipes for us to know when to keep the valve closed or when to open it?

        • My Heart Beets says

          Any time you secure the lid, you should close/seal the pressure valve — in my recipes, I usually say “close the pressure valve” which means to make sure it’s on “sealing.” If a recipe says to “naturally release pressure” that means let it be and wait for the pin to drop on it’s own and then open the lid. If it says quick release that means to turn the valve to release steam which will force the pin to drop sooner allowing you to open it. If a recipe says to naturally release for X minutes, that means to wait for X minutes before turning the valve to release steam. I hope that makes sense!

  32. Praj says

    I have tried several of you recipes with success. This one was a success as well- except the gravy was a bit watery. I wish I could try it with 1/2 cup of water.

  33. Leo Davids says

    I just made this for the third time, it was excellent. I have made many of your biryani recipes and never had a failure, all where delicious.

  34. Susan says

    5 stars
    This was delicious!!! I did have to add more salt and more cayenne…but that’s bc I’m a salt and spice addict. I also threw in cinnamon sticks and whole star anise in w/ the mustard seeds. I had curry leaves – so I threw those in too. I had some w/ just the meat and curry…but then also decided to roast some diced potatoes in the oven and mixed it in w/ the leftover curry. It was delicious both ways. Thank you for a great recipe to try on the instantpot. I am still trying to get used to it…but this recipe gave me a base (the setting to saute first, approx. 25 minutes if pork or beef, saute again to thicken) on how to potentially make any meat curry – so thank you so much for that….sincerely. Love your website and will definitely let others know about it too.

  35. I.L. says

    If you wanted a chicken vindaloo, would you use chicken thighs and cook for 10 minutes? Any other adjustments? Thank you.

  36. Rita Patrick says

    I just made this and it was very good. Very flavorful and another easy to follow recipe. Thanks Ashley!

  37. Glenn Parrish says

    5 stars
    So glad I found your site! Have tried several of your recipes to great success.

    Do you think I could double the vindaloo for a potluck? I have an 8 qt Instant Pot, but sometimes the ingredient ratios change.
    Thanks!!

  38. tom scott says

    5 stars
    I passed a link to your blog to my son who recently acquired the crock pot version of instant pot. For my birthday last week he cooked the pork vindaloo, chicken korma & a potato/green bean dish. It was all very delicious.
    You have an excellent blog. Both comprehensive and easy to navigate. Nice job!!

  39. tom scott says

    5 stars
    For my birthday this week my son cooked this dish and chicken Karma and a potato & green bean dish. All were delicious. I had emailed him a link to you’re site last week. He just got a new instant pot (crock pot version) and your site has so many instant pot recipes. I think I’m going to have to get a crock pot myself.
    P.S. I love your site. It is so organized and easy to navigate. Your recipes and explanations are very comprehensible and easy to print.

  40. Karen says

    5 stars
    I used beef instead and thought this was scrumptious! I may have done less garlic, as that was quite a lot to peel and grate, but I’ll just buy a jar of garlic paste next time and cheat. Also, if you have a cold and a stuffy nose, this is just the ticket!lol Delicious and will make again definately. 🙂

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