Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Vindaloo masala

This recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver

Vindaloo curry is a staple on the menu of British Pubs and most Indian restaurants in England. Vindaloo is a hot and spicy curried dish available in various incarnations—pork, beef, chicken, lamb, (pork being the standard). The word vindaloo is a garbled pronunciation of the popular Portuguese dish carne de vinha d'alhos (meat marinated in wine-vinegar and garlic), which made its way to India (Goa) in the 15th century along with Portuguese explorers (source). 

As the Portuguese—and their culinary contributions—were assimilated into the Goan culture, the Goan influence began to be evident in the vinha d’alho, with the addition of potent chilies and various spices, including ginger, coriander, and cumin. In the absence of the wine-vinegar, the more local ingredient - tangy tamarind, came to the rescue. The current version of the dish reflects its evolution, resulting in a fiery, tangy concoction containing some combination of garlic, chilies, coriander, cumin, onion, tomatoes, ginger, peppercorns and tamarind. Other ingredients that may typically be found in vindaloo masalas include tomatoes, cardamom, mustard seed, turmeric, paprika, cayenne, fenugreek seed, and cloves. Some recipes call for the addition of a small amount of brown sugar, for a touch of sweetness to counterbalance the tartness provided by the vinegar. (source)

Following recipe is my take on this delectable masala. You will need about 4-5 tablespoons for any dish you make for 4 people. If you prefer less spicy, reduce the amount to 3-4 tbsp in the dish.   

Ingredients: (makes about 8-10 tablespoons)
1 tbsp black peppercorns
10 whole cloves
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp methi seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
4 dried red chillies
5 cloves garlic
1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp tamarind paste
2 fresh hot green chilli peppers
1 tsp turmeric
fresh coriander half palm full
  1. Toast the first six dry spices in a dry pan for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until everything becomes fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Cool. 
  2. Put the spices into a spice grinder and process until finely ground. 
  3. Transfer the spices to a small food processor and add the rest of the ingredients. Process until it becomes a smooth paste scraping down the sides as needed. 
  4. Store this curry paste in an airtight glass jar in the refrigerator. It should keep for about a month.
Dishes to make with Vindaloo masala
Veggie vindaloo
Tofu Vindaloo  

Chicken Vindaloo

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