Lamb Vindaloo

Vindaloo is one of the more authentic dishes at your local Americanized curry house. It was brought to Goa by the Portuguese. One common ingredient that is actually not traditional is potatoes. The confusion came about because aloo is the hindi word for potato! When making curry, or generally any eastern or middle eastern dish, I think it is VERY IMPORTANT to get whole spices. The key to curry is the intensity of flavor and you aren’t going to get that from curry powder. You aren’t even going to get that from ground cardamom or cumin, you have to grind them yourself! The blender works fine for this. It is fun to me tasting and smelling all of these exotic spices! Go on a vacation with your senses. Travel to the market in Goa and pick through the cloves and cardamom pods, rip a piece of cinnamon bark off the larger stick. Watch out for the camel droppings. I guess all I am saying is what I say every day. Have fun cooking and take pride in what you make. The more “scratch” you start from, the better your food will taste!! If you are going through the effort of cooking, why not add the extra 10 minutes of using the whole spices? It will cost more in the beginning, but the spices will keep their flavor for a long time because they are not already ground. Ok enough ranting.

Before you start cooking the meal, make some ghee. It’s easy. Just put some butter in a saucepan on medium/low, and skim off the white stuff as it simmers. This is also called clarified butter when you dip your lobster in it, but in India it is called ghee. I think the food tastes way better with ghee, more like takeout.

We combined a few naan recipes we saw. Most had yogurt in them. The recipe is at the bottom of the page.

You neeeed to kneeeed it. (hehe… I know I’m a loser…)

Some ghee to help it rise.

We planned to get jasmine or basmati so when we saw jasmati, it seemed the obvious choice.

The finished ghee. The other fun thing about making the ghee is you get to say ghee a lot. Ghee.

This is the first time we have used cardamom and it was awesome. Once you crack the pods and start pulling the seeds out, the smell is amazing. This is the essence of most Indian curries.

Since it is the first time using it, it reminded me of these beautiful necklaces I got for Mandi for her birthday last year! We always wanted to use cardamom since I got them for her but haven’t used it until now! If these look cool to you, this is the artist’s website.

It took a bunch of pods to get a teaspoon

Vindaloo waiting to happen.

A cool thing about our new kitchen is that these shelves are metal so you can stick a recipe up there. I felt like bobby flay.

Vindaloo is supposed to be spicy so we used 4 of our chiles.

Make sure the onions get nicely browned.

Add the onions and peppers to the spices in the blender.

Vindaloo paste on the left, garlic and ginger paste on the right. My mouth is watering.

Frying the lamb up in some ghee and veg oil. Pat them down with paper towels first so they are dry, then salt and pepper. Only do a few at a time so as to not crowd the pan. Make sure the pan is crazy hot to get this nice color on them. Take them out when browned and put them in a bowl.

The naan dough has doubled. Now is the time to mix in a ton of garlic and portion into smaller balls.

After all the meat was done, the garlic ginger paste goes in the pan for a minute followed by the vindaloo paste.

Followed by the meat, followed by some stock or water (or both in this case). Oh, and some coriander and turmeric.

We saved some onions for the rice.

Rice recipes called to leave these spices whole, and only bruise the cardamom pods. The flavor was good and it made for less mess, but you kinda have to watch out to not get a whole peppercorn or clove in your mouth when eating.

We cooked thoes spices in the ghee for a few minutes.

Then added the rice for one minute.

Then the water and covered and simmered..

The dough has sat for another half hour and is ready to cook.

Brushing with more ghee.

Oven is preheated to 500 and my infrared thermometer tells me the grill pan surface is 515.

One minute and 30 seconds later these things look perfect! We decided to cook them this way because we once tried naan and had a failure. After watching a show about Indian cooking I realized naan is made like pizza and would need a preheated surface to be placed on. I thought of using my pizza stone but thought this would work better with the wet ghee covered dough.

This was the opposite of failure.

Best of Bermuda awards 08. Best naan award stripped from house of India. Its an upset!

Under the towel they stayed warm and softened up a bit

The curry thickened up after cooking for 45 minutes and the lamb was nice and tender.

The curry recipe is excellent. It is the second one on this page. The one by Madhur Jaffrey.

The Naan:

Dissolve packet (.25oz) yeast into 1 cup warm/hot water. Let sit 10 minutes.
When frothy, add 4 Tbsp yogurt, 1Tbsp honey, salt, and 3 and a half cups of flour. Mix and move to a floured surface and kneed for 7 to 8 minutes. Add flour if needed. Form a ball and coat with ghee and let sit in a ghee’d bowl for an hour until doubled in size. Kneed in minced garlic and form 6 smaller balls. Coat in ghee and let sit for half hour. Roll them out into flat disks and cover in ghee yet again. Slap onto a preheated cast iron skillet or pan that is 500 degrees. Flip after 1 minute or when bubbles are formed. Brush on some more ghee for the last time. And sprinkle some garlic on there….ghee!

The Rice:

Heat some Ghee, throw in a few pieces of cinnamon, 2 cloves, 10 peppercorns, and few pinches of cumin seed, all whole. Also 3 “bruised” cardamom pods, and 2 bay leaves. Cook 2 minutes. Add rice and stir. 1 minute. Add amount of water package recommends. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for amount of time package says. Eat carefully around cloves and other chunks!