Pigs cheek vindaloo

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Preparation time: 20 Minutes
Cooking time: 60-90 Minutes

Difficulty: Medium - experience needed
Serves: 4-5


8 pigs cheeks, trimmed of any excess fat
2 medium onions or equivalent shallots, thin sliced (I used shallots as this is what I had to hand)
10 garlic cloves, pounded to a paste (I used my blender for these instead)
2 tbsp ginger, grated (these went in the blender too - I’m quite lazy)
150ml white wine vinegar
15 curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 fenugreek seeds
1tbsp paprika
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp of garam masala (if you can make your own garam masala for this, you will get a much better result than using bought ground powder - recipe is below)
1 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 tinned chopped tomatoes
groundnut or vegetable oil or Ghee
475ml Water


1. combine the paprika, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne pepper, coriander and cumin in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Get a large, wide pan and heat up a few tbsp of oil on a high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the pork for a few minutes on each side. Take out of the pan and set aside.

3. In the same pan, heat the oil again, and when hot, add the mustard and fenugreek seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds start to pop, add the onions and curry leaves.

4. Fry the onions until they are browned around the edges. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a minute.

5. Add the small bowl of spices and stir and fry for 30 secs. The mixture will probably stick to the pan. Don’t worry too much, but stir frequently to ensure this doesn’t burn.

6. Add the tinned tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes, scraping at the bottom of the pan as you stir. Return the pork to the pan, add the vinegar, sugar, salt and the water. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer the vindaloo with a lid on the pan. I simmered the pigs cheeks at this stage for 90mins. Cuts such as shoulder may take more like 60 mins.

7. After the pork has simmered for it’s cooking time, uncover the pan, turn up the heat in order to reduce and thicken the sauce slightly.

Serve with rice (the sauce is quite thin so you want lots of lovely rice to mop it up).

As pigs cheeks are relatively fatty, this curry can get quite oily. If you have time to make this the day before, you can always then cool it down and remove the oil that settles on top. Even though I didn’t do this, I still managed to skim a lot of oil off the top whilst it was simmering.


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