Goa Pork Stew

Six years after a sea route was discovered between India & Portugal, India became a part of the Portuguese Overseas Empire. The capital of that Indian empire was the tiny coastal jewel state of Goa, which the Portuguese ruled until 1961. Goan Catholic cuisine has a distinct Portuguese flavor because of the addition of chilis, which the Portuguese introduced to India.

makes ~4 cups


1 lb boneless pork leg or shoulder pieces 

1 Tbsp minced garlic 

2 Tbsp grated papaya (optional)

½ tsp turmeric

2 Tbsp EVOO

Masala to purée together:

3-4 whole dried red chilis

½ cup caramelized onions

1 inch piece of ginger

1 cup coconut milk

4 Tbsp coconut oil 

1 Tbsp whole coriander

½ tsp ajwain

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

1 tsp chopped cloves

1 tsp cracked cardamom seeds

2 tsp salt

1-2 cups chicken stock

2 cups of carrots, cut into 1 inch rounds

2 cups of cubed potatoes, cut into 1 inch rounds. 


  1. Trim and marinate the pork in garlic, papaya, turmeric, olive oil and refrigerate for 3 hrs to overnight.

  2. Purée together all masala ingredients in blender until smooth.

  3. In a large stockpot, heat up the coconut oil and pop the coriander, ajwain and black mustard seeds. Immediately add the black pepper, cloves, and cracked cardamom seeds.

  4. Add the marinated pork. Fry the pork for 4-5 minutes on medium heat then add salt and the puréed masala.

  5. Continue cooking on medium to low heat for another 5-7 minutes. Lower the heat, cover the stockpot and simmer the curry for 20-30 minutes. Add 1-2 cups of chicken stock.

  6. Add the potato & carrots. Continue cooking covered at low heat for another 15-20 minutes. The meat should be tender and the vegetables should be soft. Let the curry rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

ideas / variations

  • Serve with basmati rice or a roti.

  • Garnish with fresh herbs like cilantro.

  • Make sure to crush the cardamom seeds, and any other whole spice to a size your comfortable eating. A bite of semi - whole cardamom is not for the faint!