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Name:Vindaloo Contributor:Martin Golding
Description:Fryer-esque rant on vindaloo Posted:1999-05-13
Key words:Indian, hot, Penzey's, sambal Category:Main Dishes
ID:142 Updated:2006-04-11 21:36:54
Ingredients:See Instructions.
Preparation:When you get your vindaloo:

Ignore the instructions on the bag except for spice-to-meat ratio.

Straight Penzeys vindaloo is about one-lager, add the suggested amount of cayenne for a truly lager-resistant curry.

Combine an appropriate measure of spice with enough vinegar to make a smooth paste (I occasionally add a bit of wine or substitute yogurt), mix with your cubed meat, let marry for a while (not more than an hour or so if you did the yogurt thing and your meat is chicken, as long as overnight with vinegar and good chewy beef).

In the meantime, cube up a potato or so and chop fine an onion per person (anything from paperthin slices to Cuisinart pulp will work). I think 'vindaloo' is very approximately 'hindi potatoes', so while the dish works without the potatoes, it isn't Authentic.

Fry the onion in copious amounts of real ghee (Authentic) or oil (healthy and easy to get) until lightly browned and fairly dry.

Add meat and fry until dry and sizzling (if you don't hear a crackling sizzle, the spices will be underdone and taste muddy). Add water to make a thick sauce, cover and simmer until potatoes are done and meat is tender (from 20-30 minutes for chicken, an hour or so for the chewy beef). Serve with rice and many 'boys': chutneys, Indian "pickles" (find Patak's brand, and buy one of everything), chopped raisins, chopped peanuts, and sliced bananas.

Our favorite sambal is sliced onions (about 1/4") tossed with lemon or lime juice, chile powder and salt to taste, let marinate an hour. A bowl of grated or chopped cucumbers in yogurt helps soothe the savaged palate.
Notes:> So I'm sitting here eating a curry, but it isn't hot enough. What do you
> use to heat up Indian food?

Without going into the vast semantic complications surrounding the word
curry, and presuming (without evidence) that you didn't start by toasting
a panful of spices and wet-grinding them on whatever-it-is that one
calls the Indian version of a metate, you use hotter curry powder.

"Big help", you think? NOT SO! www.penzeys.com, order a pound of their
vindaloo while you wait for their catalog (I don't think they have
online ordering yet, but they have a phone). I've made Authentic
Vindaloo from a genuine English university recipe, starting all the
way back with the toasting and grinding and sifting, and while it was
_identifiably_ better than Penzeys, it wasn't _significantly_ better,
certainly not better enough to be worth all the effort. (A certain
sort of aesthetic might call for doing that once in a while anyway,
if I had one of the Indian grindstones and knew how to use it.)

Beyond that, except that whatever curry powder you used may not be
properly balanced for heat (the milder curries tend to use more
cloves and cinnamon), cayenne and other hot peppers are Authentic.

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