Today, we are talking about vindaloo. Vindaloo is an Indian curry dish popular in the region of Goa. The cuisine of the Mumbai-based East-Indians also includes a variation of the dish, but it is best known globally in its Anglo-Indian form as a staple of curry house menus. This dish is especially for those brave enough to dare to try a very spicy food.
Vindaloo was introduced to me by some of my Goan friends. I love spicy food but I was not expecting the extreme heat of a traditional Goan vinadloo. The flavors were new and exciting, like nothing I’d eaten before, and I instantly loved it.
Vindaloo was brought to Goa by the Portuguese when they controlled Goa in the fifteenth century. The name Vindaloo is derived from the Portuguese dish "Carne de Vinha d' Alhos”, which is a dish of meat, traditionally pork, with wine and garlic. The Portuguese dish was modified by Goans with the substitution of vinegar for the wine and the addition of red Kashmiri chilies, which gives the dish not only its red authentic color but also the spicy heat. One common ingredient in many versions of vindaloo that is actually not a traditional part of the dish is potatoes; the confusion came about because ‘aloo’ is the Hindi word for potato.
Nowadays, the Anglo-Indian version of a vindaloo is marinated overnight in vinegar, sugar, fresh ginger, and spices and then cooked with the addition of further spices. The end result has a sweet and sour taste. Vindaloo is often served in British pubs and, I must say, they can be really good. The dish is very popular in Britain, Canada, the United States, and Australia, so you may have encountered it before. If you don’t eat pork, or you want to try something a little different, try substituting chicken, lamb, or prawns in place f the traditional pork. I love lamb, so I’m sharing my recipe for Lamb Vindaloo.
- 1 lb Lamb, boneless
- Salt, to taste
- 5 – 6 Dry Red Chilies
- 1/2 tsp Pepper Corns
- 6 – 7 cloves Garlic
- 1-inch piece of Ginger
- 3 Cloves
- 2 sticks Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Sugar
- 1 cup Coconut Milk
- 1/2 cup Vinegar
- 2 tsp Cooking Oil
- 1 cup chopped Onion
- 1 cup cubed Potatoes
- Water, as needed
- Coriander Leaves, to garnish (opt.)
- Wash lamb, cut into 2-inch cubes, apply some salt, and set aside for 1 hour.
- Combine Red Chilies, Pepper Corns, Garlic, Ginger, Cloves, Cinnamon, Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds, and Sugar. Soak in Coconut Milk and Vinegar for 30 minutes and then blend into a fine paste in a blender or food processor.
- Add the spice mixture to the lamb and marinade for 4 hours.
- After the meat has finished marinating, add the oil to a warm pan. Add the lamb and marinade and cook for 5 minutes. Add onions and potatoes and a little water. Cover pan with a lid and cook over low for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the lamb is tender.
- Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves (opt.).
Try this recipe for Lamb Vindaloo at home. It’s delicious, simple to make, and not as spicy as you’d find it in Goa, so give it a try even if you’re not a fan of extremely spicy food.