• Yield: Serves 4

You may well call this a simple vindaloo. It has the pork, the garlic, the chilies, and the vinegar, but all in gentle proportions. It is a superb dish that is best enjoyed with plain rice. I like to use small red potatoes here, the larger of which may be halved.

  • 2 teaspoons whole brown mustard seeds

  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds

  • 3 whole cloves

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 teaspoons bright red paprika

  • 1-3/4 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1-1/4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 3 tablespoons corn or peanut oil

  • 12 ounces potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Put 1 teaspoon of the mustard seeds and the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and cloves in a clean coffee or spice grinder and grind as finely as possible.

Put this spice mixture, as well as the onion, garlic, ginger, vinegar, cayenne pepper, paprika, and 3 tablespoons of water into a blender. Blend until smooth.

Rub 1-1/4 teaspoons of the salt, plus the turmeric, black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the spice paste from the blender all over the pork pieces. Put in a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, longer if desired.

Pour the oil into a large, heavy, nonstick, lidded pan and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the remaining teaspoon of mustard seeds. As soon as they pop, which will be in a matter of seconds, put in the remaining spice paste. Fry, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the paste is lightly browned. Put in the pork, together with its marinade. Stir for a minute. Cover and reduce the heat to medium. Let the meat cook for about 10 minutes, lifting the lid now and then to stir. The meat should get lightly browned. Add 3 cups of water, the potatoes, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the sugar. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and cook very gently for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the meat is tender.

Excerpted from From Curries to Kebabs: Recipes from the Indian Spice Trail by Madhur Jaffrey (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2003). © 2003 by Madhur Jaffrey.

Madhur Jaffrey is a cook, author and award-winning actress. Specializing in Indian food, she has written more than 15 books, most recently At Home with Madhur Jaffrey. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, The Financial Times, The New Yorker, Saveur, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Vogue, Smithsonian and House Beautiful, among other publications. She has appeared in more than 20 films, including Merchant Ivory’s "Heat and Dust." She was awarded an honorary CBE for “her services to drama and promotion of appreciation for Indian food and culture.”