The Big Boys Curry Book
There has been a serious amount of rubbish written about the Vindalho, so let us set some records straight.
- The Vindaloo that you get in most high street curry houses has got as much to do with Indian cooking as fish and chips has.
- Vindalho comes from Goa, India; not the Punjab Balti Hut, anywhere.
- The stuff you get in restaurants is not Vindalho, (usually.) Vindalho (or Vindaloo, whichever,) is a word derived from language of Portuguese Goa, Vin for Vinegar, Alho for Garlic. The idea was to create a dish that could keep and so vinegar was used as a preserver. Vinegar also acts to intensify chilli heat,(anyone who has tried chillies pickled in vinegar will know what I mean.)
The dish actually is better if cooked a day or 2 (max) before eating and kept in the fridge. This allows the meat to tenderise and for the flavour to become more rounded and full. I have tried a variety of vindalho recipes, some have used wine, some use a lot of vinegar, some require you to marinade the meat for days before hand, some throw in the chilli powder pot. Having tried this recipe, I hope you will agree that you need no other. The overall effect is hot, sour but also slightly sweet. I like this with plain rice and a fresh plain yoghurt.
Warning. This dish is chilli hot and is intended to be so.
The recipe is for 4 persons
- 10 whole red dried chillies (kashmiri if you can get them). Deseed them if you wish. Soak in hot water for 10 mins.
- 2 tsp. red chilli powder
- 3 cloves
- 5 black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp. cummin
- 1/4 tsp. fennel seed
- 1/2 tsp. poppy seed
- 1 inch (2.5 cm) cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp. ginger puree
- 1 tsp. garlic puree
- 1/2 tbsp. tamarind puree (Tamicon)
- 3 tsp. malt vinegar. (If you can get Goan or Parsee vinegar use that instead)
- Grind all spice paste ingredients together to form a paste. You can make the paste in batches and freeze it for later use.
- Rub a little spice paste into meat and marinade for about an hour.
- Fry onion in oil until browned
- Reduce heat and add spice paste and fry for 5 minutes adding a little water as necessary to stop it sticking to pan, (keep stirring.)
- Add meat and saute for 5 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of water, salt and jaggery (or sugar) and simmer until meat is tender.
- Add curry leaves and char masala and cook for another 5 minutes.
The dish can now be eaten but to get the best from it, allow it to cool in the pan, transfer to a covered bowl and leave in the fridge for a day or two.