“I rustled up this proper vindaloo for Kate, who’s always loved her mum’s home-cooked version. With soft pork belly, sweet caramelized onions and a gorgeous gravy, this Goan curry is spicy, sour and a little bit sweet – it’s all about rich and subtle flavours, not blow-your-head-off heat! Trust me, you’ll love it. ”
Place a large, wide, ovenproof pan on a medium-high heat with the coriander and cumin seeds and the peppercorns. Crumble in the dried chillies and toast it all for 1 minute, or until smelling fantastic.
Tip into a pestle and mortar and bash to a fine powder. Peel and roughly chop the ginger and garlic, pound into the mortar with the turmeric, then muddle in 1 tablespoon of oil and the vinegar.
Using a sharp knife, chop the pork belly into rough 2cm chunks. Return the pan to a medium-high heat with the pork and season with a little sea salt. Fry for 15 minutes, or until golden all over.
Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the onions. Once the pork is golden, add the curry leaves and three-quarters of the curry paste to the pan (save the rest for another day). Toss well, then add the onions and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until golden, stirring occasionally.
Finely chop the fresh chillies, then stir into the pan with the tamarind paste and sugar. Transfer to the oven for around 25 minutes, or until darkened.
Take the pan out of the oven and skim away any excess fat (store in an airtight jar in the fridge for epic roasties another day). Place the pan on a high heat, add 600ml of boiling water and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Place the charcoal and cinnamon stick over a direct flame on the hob, turning with tongs until the charcoal starts to smoke and turn white. Place both in a small heatproof bowl with the cloves, then sit the bowl directly in the middle of the vindaloo pan (like you see in the picture).
Drizzle over a drop of oil until the charcoal starts to smoke like incense. Carefully cover the pan with a double layer of tin foil and poke a hole in the top to allow the smoke to escape.
Put the curry back in the oven and cook for around 20 minutes, or until the meat is tender; or, if you prefer it falling apart, cook it for 1 hour longer, topping up with water if it gets too dry.
Remove the charcoal bowl before serving. I like to dish up with homemade naan breads, a simple baby gem salad and raita.