Photo by Andy Hay
Originally Posted On: Lamb Vindaloo – [Origin, Curiosities and Authentic Recipe]. (thefoodwonder.com)
If you’re a fan of trying out different dishes from around the world then you’ll definitely appreciate this article. Today, we talk about a dish that’s not only from a specific culture but is a blend of two, and get this, it’s two cultures from two different continents, Europe and Asia. The dish is called lamb vindaloo and is a mix of both Indian and Portuguese culture.
In the article, we explain a bit more on how this blend came to be and how you could go about making this dish yourself through an easy-to-follow recipe. That way, you do not exactly have to make your way to India to get a taste.
Continue reading to find out more about lamb vindaloo.
Lamb vindaloo origin
The name Vindaloo comes from the popular Portuguese dish called Carnhe de Vinha d’Alhos. This is a meat preparation that’s prepared with meat, some wine and garlic.
The meat that was mostly used was pork but then the dish evolved into the family of vindaloo curry when it became part of Goa’s cuisine. There, the dish received the Indian treatment that involved the addition of so many traditional spices and the use of malt vinegar as opposed to red wine.
Now, it can be said that Vindaloo has its origin in India. It’s mostly prepared with either lamb or chicken mixed with some potatoes. In the past, this dish was not prepared with potatoes but the change came because of the Hindi word aloo which means potatoes.
Lamb vindaloo is a nice spicy and hot dish that’s prepared with vinegar, coconut and a lot of hot, red chili peppers. Chili peppers were introduced in the 16th century by Portuguese traders. Vindaloo is in fact believed to be the oldest chili pepper dish in India.
Today, it’s become a popular dish in Britain, Middle East, Australia, Germany, New Zealand and the United States.
Lamb Vindaloo vs Rogan Josh
Do you know how to differentiate lamb vindaloo from rogan josh? Here’s more about these two that will help you know where the difference lies.
For lamb vindaloo, the dish’s origin is more European than it is Indian. The Vindaloo name derives from the Portuguese dish name Carne de Vinha d’alho which is simply meat in wine. It was a cooking style that was adapted so as to preserve meat for a longer period.
It’s just that when the Portuguese arrived in India as they brought the dish along with them and while it was initially pork, the Indian locals changed it around to a point where lamb and chicken became the most preferred and most used. Today, vindaloo is viewed as a dish for the Goan Catholics.
To make it as fiery, spices such as turmeric, ginger, fenugreek seeds, paprika, chili, peppercorns and chilies are used.
For rogan josh, the origin brings with it a bit of a dispute, whereby, some believe it’s of Persian origin while others are convinced it comes from Kashmir on the Northern side of India. The word Rogan means ghee in Persian and then Josh stands for hot.
The meat used in the preparation of rogan josh is lamb that’s been cooked in ghee. This dish also incorporates some spices, to be more specific Kashmir chilies that give it that red hue. The spice level is between medium to hot.
Goan Lamb Vindaloo
The Goan lamb vindaloo is one of those great classic recipes of lamb curry that’s a blend of two cultures, Indian and Portuguese. It’s a dish with a global appeal and is a fusion of a recipe from a state in Goa that was previously ruled by the Portuguese since the earliest 16th century times. As a result, the vindaloo recipe became a great union of Indian and Portuguese flavors.
It’s not a recipe for lean meat so it’s highly advisable that when preparing it you go for meat that is high in fat content.
If you’re worried about calories, don’t look too much into it because it’s a dish you’ll have once in a while so when you don’t frequently indulge, you can maintain your healthy lifestyle. If you want to enjoy it, serve alongside white rice as opposed to spicy ones like Biryani or palao.
The white rice is like a blank canvas that will soak up the delicious flavors well. It’s a great dish to serve during parties with your friends.
Vindaloo Recipe Authentic
Preparing lamb vindaloo needs some proper planning, Because of this, it’s worth starting about two days before as marinating requires at least 10 hours and also because you should serve it a day after preparing it.
Here’s how to make an Authentic Indian Lamb Vindaloo.
For the dry spice mix
6 dry red chilies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp poppy seeds
½ tsp whole peppercorns
1 tsp mustard seeds
For the tamarind slurry
2-inch piece ginger, roughly chopped into small pieces
15 to 20 small garlic cloves (or 10 large cloves)
1 tbsp tamarind paste
½ cup white wine vinegar
3 green chilies (chopped)
2 tsp salt
1kg lamb cut into medium-sized pieces
300 grams onion (about 4 large ones thinly sliced)
½ tsp mustard seeds
4-inch piece cinnamon sticks
10 gms Jaggery
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp Kashmir red chili powder
4 tbsp mustard oil
10-12 curry leaves
- Add all the dry spice ingredients into a hot frying pan but do not include oil. Roast them dry for about two to four minutes on medium heat until they have a nice smell.
- Transfer these spices into a grinder and allow them to cool down then make fine powder by properly grinding them. Set this aside.
- Take all the tamarind slurry ingredients and add them into a blender then proceed to blend them until completely smooth.
- Take your lamb pieces and put them in a bowl, add into it both the dry powdered spice mix and the tamarind slurry. Properly give the lamb cubes a massage using your hands so that the pieces are well coated with the spices.
- After a nice massage, use a plastic wrap to cover the bowl and allow the meat to chill in your refrigerator for about 8 hours overnight.
- Heat your mustard oil in a skillet that’s large enough and once your oil is hot enough, add the cinnamon stick and mustard seed then sauté for about a minute.
- Proceed to add the onion and stir fry it on medium heat until it becomes golden brown for ten minutes.
- Once it’s properly brown, push it to the side and then add the red chili powder and turmeric powder. Fry in oil quickly for just thirty seconds then mix with the onions that have been sautéed.
- Add your marinated lamb and cook for ten minutes, then sauté in high heat first then to medium and continue cooking it.
- Avoid adding water at this stage since the meat will start releasing some of its own juices that’ll help cook it. Cover it for twenty minutes but be sure to stir it frequently in between.
- Grate the jaggery then add it to the lamb. Give it a nice stir and check if the meat is already brown by now. If not, cook it for another 5 to 10 minutes.
- You can then add about half a litre of boiling water and stir properly so that the spices are well mixed to make gravy.
- Cook the lamb covered and in low heat until it’s tender after which you can add the curry leaves in.
- Serve hot with plain rice.
In the eastern Indian states such as West Bengal and Orissa, lamb vindaloo is prepared during occasions such as marriage parties. For them, the reason for adding potatoes in the dish is that lamb is a bit on the costly side compared to the cost of chicken. When the potatoes are added, the quantity increases and this makes the curry even thicker and tastier than it would have been before.
According to an old Indian story, there was once a cook who was making the dish and added too much salt in it. The cook then decided that the best way to remedy the situation was to add some boiled potatoes into the dish. It turned out great and ever since then, it became such a great idea to add potatoes to the dish.
Vindaloo’s popularity even inspired a song, “Vindaloo” that became the unofficial anthem song of England’s soccer team during the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
Lamb vindaloo remains a delicious dish that continues to redefine Indian cuisine. It’s also made through a very simple recipe and is definitely worth trying out in case you find yourself in India or in case you’re at home and would just like to try making something that will leave your mouth with a great taste. It will leave you wanting more.
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