This is a dish that was requested by a reader because they liked their curries hot and most of mine, so far, had been pretty mild. I should warn you, this is definitely a HOT dish – so hot, it has been known to induce labour (although, it didn’t work for my wife). Vindaloo gets its heat from two main sources – the vinegar & chillies – the rest of the spices are reasonably mild. So, if you want to reduce the heat a little, then tone down the vinegar and chilli content. The current recipe is definitely for a decently hot final outcome!
This recipe is for 2 people
500 grams of meat, cubed – I’ve used beef, even though it’s quite rare to find beef in India. Mutton, Hogget or Lamb work extremely well in this dish – chicken can also work, but I find the flavour of chicken to be too mild compared to the power of this curry.
2 Cayenne chillies
1 medium onion, minced
1/4 cup of white vinegar
1 cm knob of ginger, grated
1 tbsp of brown sugar
1 tsp cumin seeds
2cms cinnamon sticks (I’ve used 2x1cm sticks)
1 tsp mustard seeds
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp turmeric
1 cup of warm water.
3 tbs vegetable oil for cooking
To get a really infused flavour, I like to marinade my meat in vinegar and chillies. Prick your meat with a fork.
Throw in your chillies, chopped – warning, wash your hands after chopping chillies – chillies are hot on your tongue but unbearably painful in your eyes, nose or other delicate parts of your body. Seriously, wash your hands.
Pour in your vinegar and mix around to ensure all your meat is coated. Cover & set aside in the fridge – the longer, the better – I left mine for about 6 hours.
When it comes to cooking time, start by frying off your meat in a little oil. STAND BACK, Don’t pour in the vinegar just yet, but the vinegar and chillies infused in the meat will make it pretty pungent! Open a window, at least! Cook till browned, then set aside.
In the same pan (retaining the meat juices) fry off your cumin, mustard seeds, and cinnamon over a medium heat.
Put in your garlic, ginger and minced onion and cook till the onion is translucent.
Put in your ground spices and sugar and mix into your onions – if the mixture is a little dry and sticks to the pan, put in another tablespoon of oil – you don’t want the ground spices to stick or they’ll go bitter.
Take any left over vinegar from marinading your meat and mix it with 1 cup of warm water. Pour this in to your onion mixture.
Bring to the boil an add in your meat.
Cover, but leave the cover slightly open to allow the sauce to thicken. Bring the heat down and leave to cook. The lower the heat and slower the cooking, the richer the sauce will be. At least 30 mins to get a really rich, thick sauce.
Take the lid off and season to your taste.
Serve with basmati and a decent dollop of plain yoghurt – it’ll help reduce the heat! Enjoy!