Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Vindaloo...vindalho or vindallo, is an extremely popular dish from Goa, India. The origin of name 'vindaloo' is traced to the Portuguese word 'Vinha de Alhos' and it itself points to the two main ingredients of the dish, Vinho meaning wine and Alhos meaning garlic. The Portuguese traders introduced this dish to the people of Western coast of India. People say, along with this dish the Portuguese also introduced chili pepper to India which they picked up from Mexico. Originally, in vindaloo the meat was marinated or better to say pickled with wine  or wine vinegar and garlic to preserve it for the long voyages these Portuguese traders undertook. Pork was the meat for vindaloo and pork with lots of fat was usually chosen for vindaloo. The marinated meat was then cooked till  it was tender and had a thick gravy. 

Vindaloo is characterized by its pungent flavor and tangy taste and it is hot. Though with time the dish has evolved to the modern day vindaloo. The traditional wine has been replaced and the pork fat has been substituted by ghee or clarified butter. Now-a-days not only pork, but goat meat, lamb, beef , chicken or prawns are also used to make vindaloo. Some also add potatoes as filler in vindaloo. Many get confused with the name and think potatoes are must in vindaloo (as the word aloo is potato in Hindi), but they are not.

I have come across many different recipes of vindaloo and they vary widely. Fortunately, I got a chance to learn it from my friend Vanessa who is from Goa. She shared the vindaloo recipe the way she prepares it at home. Thanks a lot Vanessa.

Things needed to make Vindaloo:

  • Meat (goat/lamb/beef/pork): 1 kg/ 2 lb
  • Apple cider vinegar: 1/4 cup
  • White wine: 1/4 cup
  • Coriander seeds: 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
  • Dry kashmiri red chilies: 10-12
  • Green cardamom: 4-5
  • Cloves: 7-8
  • Cinnamon: 3-4 (1 inch sticks)
  • Peppercorn: 1 tsp
  • Bay leaves: 3-4
  • Ginger: 2 inch
  • Garlic: 10-12 cloves
  • Onion (very thinly sliced): 1 cup
  • Tamarind pulp/paste: 1-2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar: 1-2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Mustard oil to cook

Steps of making Vindaloo:

1. Clean and wash the meat, pat dry. Soak dry kashmiri red chilies in vinegar. Dry roast cumin, coriander, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, cool down. Make a paste of ginger, garlic, roasted spices and kashmiri red chilies with vinegar. Marinate the meat pieces with this paste, wine, turmeric powder and salt for at least 24 hrs, in the refrigerator.

2. Take out the marinated meat from the refrigerator one hour before cooking. Heat mustard oil (4-6 tbsp) in a heavy bottom pan. When the oil is hot add whole peppercorns and bay leaves, add 1 tbsp of sugar, add onions, cook till the onions are evenly brown.

3. Add the marinated meat, cook on high heat for 5-6 min, keep stirring. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan and cook till the meat is done. Stir in between, make sure there is enough liquid so that the meat does not burn, if needed add little hot water. Add tamarind paste or pulp and sugar(1 tbsp), mix well. Check seasoning and adjust accordingly. If you want to add potatoes as filler in this dish, peel potatoes  cut them into quarters and fry them separately and add when the meat is almost done. Serve with steamed rice.

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1 comment:

  1. tomar presentation and photographs are just awesome...very inspiring!!