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Saturday, February 14, 2009


If you're in the mood for a decent chilli hit, this recipe is for you; it's a classic Indian dish and this particular recipe is the best I have ever tasted.
Vindaloo is a dish of Portugese origin and is usually made with chillies, garlic, garam masala and vinegar. The word vindaloo comes from the word vin for vinegar and alho, the Portugese word for garlic.
The Portugese arrived in Goa, India, as merchants in the early 16th century and conquered the territory soon afterwards. They introduced Chillies into Goa and the garam masala spices were those traded in the 16th and 17th centuries.
This recipe is based on a Vindaloo recipe from Camellia Panjabi's '50 great curries if India'. It is hot.
I sourced nearly all of the ingredients from Khyber Foods and Spices at 5 X roads in Hamilton.

10 dried red Kashmiri chillies (more if you like it super hot, less if you don't)
1 teaspoon of ground cumin seeds
6 cloves
5cm cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1/2 a star anise
1 teaspoon of black poppy seeds
2cm x 2cm piece of fresh ginger, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon of tamarind pulp (remove the seeds)
4 teaspoons of cider vinegar
65ml of oil
3 large onions, finely chopped
1kg of rump steak, cubed into 2cm pieces
1 tablespoon of grated jaggery (palm sugar)
15 curry leaves

Heat the oil in a large pot or pan and cook the onions slowly until brown, this can take 40 minutes or so.
Soak the chillies in hot water for 15 minutes to soften them. Remove from the water, deseed them and chop finely. Be very careful doing this, if you get these chillies on your hands and then rub your skin or eyes you wil not be a happy camper.
Using a large mortar and pestle or small food mixer, grind all the spices, ginger, garlic and tamarind together with the vinegar and chillies to make a rough paste (do not add the curry leaves at this stage).
When the onions are brown add the paste to the onions, fry for 3-4 minutes and then remove the onions and chilli mixture from the pan, put in a bowl and stand aside.
Add the beef pieces to the pan and brown them well before adding 800ml of water and the onion and chilli mixture back to the pan. Add salt and jaggery to taste and cook partially covered over a low heat until the beef is tender and the sauce is thick and delicious (around an hour or so). Add curry leaves and cook for a further 5 minutes then serve.
I served this with plain white rice, fresh chapatis from Khyber Foods and Spices and a youghurt and cucumber raita.


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