I do love a good, hot curry. However a Vindaloo curry from the local Indian Restaurant or takeaway would never be first choice as it simply is a hot curry. Heat a priority, flavour secondary.
Vindaloo originates from the Indian region of Goa. This region is heavily influenced by the Portuguese settlers. It also has a quite large Christian population meaning that pork, a meat rarely eaten in India, can be found on the menu.
So a traditional Vindaloo Curry is made with wine, vinegar and copious amounts of garlic. The name Vindaloo comes from the Portuguese language. ‘Vinho’ meaning wine and ‘alho’ meaning garlic. Quite a few people think that the ‘aloo’ in Vindaloo means potato. Strangely enough many British Indian Restaurants do put potato in there Vindaloo, just to confuse things further!
Vindaloo Curry, How Hot Can You Go?
My recipe for Vindaloo is spicy but no where near as spicy as the dish you would get in a British Indian Restaurant.
If you want more heat it’s quite easy to adapt the recipe. Either add some chilli powder when you fry the masala off. Or add more fresh chillies. Birdseye chillies are great in this dish as are the thin Thai chillies which I believe are a type of cayenne. The other option is to add some chilli pickle towards the end. Naga Pickle, of course, is always going to add plenty of heat!
On the other hand you may fancy the sound of this dish but you’re not a fan of hot curries. If that’s the case then just add however much or little fresh chillies as you want.
But I Like Aloo In My Vindaloo?
If that’s the case then add some! Simply boil a few cubed potatoes so they’re not quite cooked and then throw them in your Vindaloo for the last 20-30 minutes of cooking.
If you like the look of this recipe you might want to check out the recipe for Lamb Madras
‘Ome Made Goan Pork Vindaloo
A rich, spicy Goan Pork Vindaloo based on a traditional recipe but with a touch of British Indian Restaurant influence. This is a far superior dish than you would find in most British restaurants and takeaways though!
2tspof tamarind paste/concentrateor 2 Tbsp lemon juice
1tbspsugarI used jaggary but any will do but the darker sugars work the best
1tbspGaram Masalaagain I used ‘Ome Made, other brands are available
1handfulchopped fresh coriander
3mediumtomatoes roughly chopped
6red chillies slicedAgain add more if you like heat, less if you don’t. I used 8 birdseye chillies, a few sliced and a few whole so they could be dished up to the ones that like extra heat
1tspsalt or to taste
Marinate The Pork
Rub the salt in to the meat followed by the garlic and chillies. Add the wine and vinegar, give a stir, cover and refrigerate. Leave to marinate for at least 3 hours but overnight is better.
Cooking The Curry
Heat the oil in a kadai or heavy bottomed pan.
Add the whole spices (curry leaves, mustard seeds, star anise and cassia) careful as they may splutter if the oil is too hot.
Once the spices are sizzling and mustard seeds popping add the onion and salt. Continue to cook on a gentle heat for 15 minutes or so.
Add the garlic and fry for another couple of minutes.
Add the Kashmiri chilli powder and stir in, continue to fry until the mixture is a nice deep red colour. Add a splash of water if it starts to stick.
Add the curry Masala and continue to fry for a couple minutes. If it starts to stick add a little of the tomato puree/water mix.
Add half of the tomato puree and water mix. Turn the heat up and reduce back down to a thick paste.
Add the rest of the tomato puree/water mix and continue to reduce until you have a nice thick sauce.
Add the pork and the marinade and stir through.
Turn the pan down to the lowest you can. It wants to be barely a simmer.
Cook for around 2.5 hours after which time the sauce should be nice and thick.
Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for another 30 minutes. If the sauce is too thick for your liking just loosen with a little hot water.
Check the seasoning and add more salt if needed.
Serve with rice and Indian bread
This recipe takes a more traditional recipe but I have used the tomato puree in water method which gives the dish a nice rich sauce. The traditional method is slightly thinner.As far as heat goes this is a nice spicy dish but nowhere near as hot as you would get in an Indian restaurant. It also relies on fresh chillies for the heat. If you like it hot I would suggest adding a couple of teaspoons of chilli powder with your curry Masala or you could up the fresh chillies or add a few teaspoons of Naga pickle!Once you have added your meat this could be cooked covered in the oven on a moderate heat or you could put it in a slow cooker.If you are worried about using pork shoulder because of the fat, don’t. with the slow cooking all the fat renders down and gives you a lovely rich sauce and it shouldn’t be swimming in oil. You could of course use another cut such a s loin of fillet but cut down on the cooking time. This recipe will also work with chicken thigh but again cut down on the cooking time.
Pathia is a wonderful Indian dish that has it’s roots in Persia. Sweet, hot and sour it hits all the right notes in out household.
Obviously you can alter the level of heat to suit your taste by using more or less Chilli powder and fresh chillies.
Chicken & Paneer Pathia Made With ‘Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masala
For this recipe I used chicken thigh as the main ingredient with a little added paneer. If you are using chicken breast it may take a little less cooking.
You can use whatever main ingredient you like though. Prawns work really well. If you are using lamb or beef remember they will need longer cooking or try par-cooking first. If you want a vegetarian version You can use whatever you like. If using root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots try par-boiling before adding to the sauce. They will then cook quicker and take on more flavour from the sauce.
1teaspoon'Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masalaor any other brand of masala
400gramchopped tinned tomato
3wholeIndian bay leaves
4tablespoonoil or ghee
6clovesgarlicfinely chopped or grated
1thumb sized piecegingerfinely chopped or grated
1 - 3teaspoonchilli powderto taste
1tablespoon'Ome Made B.I.R Curry MasalaOr any other brand of your choice
1tablespoonKatsuri methi (dried fenugreek leaf)
2teaspoonsaltor to taste
3 - 6smallchillessplit in half
Base Curry Sauce
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the sliced onion and salt. Cook on a low heat for 20 minutes or so stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic and ginger and continue to fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the diced carrot and pepper and again fry for a minute or so before adding the curry masala. Cook gently for a minute, stirring so it doesn't catch.
Stir in the tomato puree followed by the chopped tomatoes.
Add around 4 litres of water and give a good stir. Bring the sauce to a simmer, throw in the coriander stalks and continue to cook for 45 minutes or until the carrot is soft.
While waiting prepare the Spicing Essence.
Blitz the sauce with a hand blender until smooth. The sauce wants to be the consistency of (full fat) milk. If it's too thick add a little water. leave on a low heat while you prepare the curry.
Add all the ingredients to a pan. Put on the heat and bring to a simmer. cook gently for around 40 minutes. After this time the water will have reduced and you should be left with a thinnish syrup.
Drain the syrup in to a bowl until needed
Heat the oil in a pan or karahi and add the garlic and ginger, gently fry for 20 seconds.
Add the Kashmiri chilli, stir in and add the curry masala followed by the chilli powder. Cook the spices for a couple of minutes. If it looks like its going to catch, add a little of the base sauce.
Once the spices are cooked out add around 1/3 of the base sauce to the garlic, ginger and spices, using a ladle. Careful as it will probably spit and splatter.
Cook on high until the sauce has reduced to a thick paste. If you are worried about the mess, partly cover the pan with a lid. You only need to stir very occasionally as you want the sauce to caramelise. Make sure you scrape the caramelised bits round the edge back in to the sauce!
Once the first lot of sauce has thickened, add the rest of the base sauce to the pan. Continue to cook until this has reduced to a thickness that you are happy with. You can now add the chicken. Cook gently, for chicken thigh around 40 minutes, chicken breast around 20 minutes.
Once your main ingredient is nearly cooked, add the rest of the ingredients and spicing essence. Continue to cook for 15 - 20 minutes more.
Serve with rice of your choice and some naan bread or chapatti.
Well maybe not. Allegedly one in every thirty, or twenty % padron peppers is a hot one. So eating them is a bit like playing Russian Roulette… but with peppers.
For those that don’t know Padron Peppers are little chilli peppers that grow in the northwest of Spain in an area called, well, Padron of course.
I first heard of them when Rick Stein was doing his series on Spain. He cooked them the classic way, in olive oil until blistered and then sprinkled with sea salt.
I thought then that they looked delicious but that was a couple of years ago and it is only now that these little tasty morsels seem to be readily available. In fact they seem to be the new craze!
They are incredibly tasty, and generally not spicy. However it’s great fun when you get a spicy one and there is no way of telling!
We simply cook them gently in olive oil until the skin starts to blister and small flecks of charred flesh appear. They are then spooned into a bowl and sprinkled liberally with salt.
The bowl is then handed round the table and we all take one. The kids always look a bit apprehensive just in case they have picked one of the hot ones. It’s great to watch them gingerly take that first bite!
We always give the children a little pot of Greek yoghurt on the side which they dip their pepper into. And of course it helps if they do happen to get a hot one!
I whole heartedly recommend anyone to try these peppers. They really are tasty and such a simple little treat to prepare as a snack, simple starter or a full Tapas blow-out.
Just remember as they say in Spain; Os pementos de Padrón, uns pican e outros non, Padron Peppers, some are hot, some are not!
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