Sunday Supper: Pork Meatball Vindaloo With Pearl Couscous

Editor's note: Each Saturday afternoon we bring you a Sunday Supper recipe. Why on Saturday? So you have time to shop and prepare for tomorrow.


Pork meatballs are simmered in fragrant vindaloo sauce and served with pearl couscous. [Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

Happy accidents in the kitchen can really work. Such was the case with this recipe, made on a night when I was iffy about cooking at all. It's a riff on vindaloo, a curry dish that appears in iterations throughout India but was made popular in Goa. My version is made with pork meatballs, an array of peppers, and a finishing sprinkle of cilantro. Since I'm not a big fan of rice (there, I said it), I decided to go with pearl couscous instead, which stands up nicely to the bold sauce.

Making the vindaloo from scratch does require quite a number of spices, some of which you may not have in your pantry unless it's very well stocked. But the fresh flavor makes it worth the effort and investment. Of course, you can substitute a prepared paste from the grocery store, if you prefer—just add about four tablespoons to the canned tomatoes to get yourself started and add from there until it suits your taste.

If I had a lot of time on my hands, I'd probably opt to make this dish with pork, beef, or lamb stew-meat. But when a lengthy simmer just isn't in the cards, ground pork makes for a flavorful compromise. I made it into tender meatballs, seasoned with garlic and lemon zest. Rather than brown the meatballs, I simmered them in the sauce so that they'd impart flavor to the finished dish while remaining nice and tender, soaking up some of the heady curry.

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