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Old 02-13-2008, 09:41 AM   #1
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Vindaloo, my first attempt, now follow up

See my post below, or this.

I used a few small red potatos diced.
1 ripe fresh tomato diced.
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled.
1/4 cp. water.
2 tbs. Patak Vindaloo paste from jar.

This was not at all what I expected. I'm Texan, German American and really like pretty much all food.. but this was so strange..I ate half my plate, my roomate actually ran out the front door from the smell....

I am not new to Cumin, Cardamon or chillies, so it was not that...

Is it the Tumeric or Fenugreek that gives curry that smell and flavor?

I feel sort of odd that I just really didn't like this at all.

I guess I was expecting a sort of a Mexican version of Shrimp Creole.

I need to get to an Indian buffett and see what I'm getting into here!

It was good fun though!
Thanks, Eric Austin Tx.

I am trying Vindaloo for the first time. I don't know anything about Indian food, but I am adventurous. Not having all the spices I see in the recipies, I thought I'd look for a pre-packaged "kit" to get started.

I found Patak's ready made Curry paste at my local Indian food grocery. What an interesting place just up the street from me! They make all kinds of "kits" and jars of paste..

The lable says.. Fry up one onion, then add 1/2 pound shrimp, then 1 cp. crushed can tomatoes plus a 1/4 cp. water, cook till shrimp are done, 5 min. then stir in 3-4 tbs. of Vindaloo paste from jar, serve over rice...

Does this sound OK?

I'll probably like it... but my SO is not very adventurous.. and I'm hoping it will be good enough so I can try harder next time!

Thanks, Eric, Austin, TX.

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Old 02-13-2008, 09:46 AM   #2
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Eric, I can't say if you'll like it, since you've never had Indian food before, but it's simple enough to give it a try. If you find you like it, you may want to acquire the ingredients and make your own.
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:44 AM   #3
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Hi Eric, Vindaloo is quite an interesting choice for someone who has not had a great deal of exposure to Indian food. The reason I say that is because it's pretty spicy (In it's authentic form).

I don't use Pathak but I am sure they are good. Next time try to make it from scratch, yes you will need to buy some whole spices but worth it since whole spices last a lot longer than ground spices.

Also authentic vindaloo does not use tomatoes. It uses lots of onions and pungent spices - cumin, corrainder, mustard, fenugreek, black peppers, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and then uses vinegar for tartness. The curry is very thick and that's the only dish that is popular with pork as a meat choice. Most dishes in India avoid using pork and beef.

I would also suggest that if you are open to trying Indian food try with North Indian recipes first. They are milder and creamier and you might enjoy them. Some of the names of dishes you can google are:

Palak Paneer
Vegetarian Kofta Curry
Makhni Chicken
Chole

All the best.
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Old 02-13-2008, 04:49 PM   #4
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Patak's Vindaloo paste is quite hot. I always have a jar of it on hand to turn out an impromptu Vindaloo dinner.

I do agree that if you don't like hot & spicy, this might be a bit much for a starter to Indian cuisine. But do keep in mind that if it is too hot for you, there are plenty of authentic Indian dishes with less fire.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:36 PM   #5
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I believe what Yakuta has said is correct. In fact, I'm surpised at a prawn vindaloo, as the spicing is meant for pork (and only pork). Contrary to what you may find on the internet, Indian food is very specific in the way the ingredients are chosen and used, so that for the vast majority of dishes, only one type of meat will do. That means , in India, most recipes are either for mutton (which in India is goat) and chicken (desi chickens are tough!) Beef outside of Kerala is water buffalo (also tough), so if you follow traditional recipes, timings are pobably going to be too long if using tender cuts.
I suggest if you want to explore Indian cookery, try a cookbook by Madur Jaffrey, she may not be the most adventurous, but she is never wrong, either (IMHO).
Just to recap, vindaloo (from a Portuguese recipe, meaning wine-vinegar and garlic) is a pork dish (actually a stew) without tomatoes or coconut, containing significant quantities of chilli (which are not Kashmiri!), but as the meat is marinated with the chillies, the heat extracted into the fat/oil/ghee produces an overall glow, rather than burn your mouth.
HTH
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:56 PM   #6
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To be perfectly honest - & not meaning to contradict you in the least - I've yet to come across even one Indian restaurant in either New York or Virginia that offers "pork" Vindaloo.

The traditional offering is lamb, with options for goat, chicken, or shrimp.

And again - I'm not saying this to mean you're incorrect; just saying what restaurants - good authentic restaurants - offer. In fact, I frankly can't recall any pork dishes at all being offered at any Indian restaurants I've frequented.
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
To be perfectly honest - & not meaning to contradict you in the least - I've yet to come across even one Indian restaurant in either New York or Virginia that offers "pork" Vindaloo.

The traditional offering is lamb, with options for goat, chicken, or shrimp.

And again - I'm not saying this to mean you're incorrect; just saying what restaurants - good authentic restaurants - offer. In fact, I frankly can't recall any pork dishes at all being offered at any Indian restaurants I've frequented.

BreezyCooking
no offence taken....
the reason that one doesn't see pork on Indian restaurant menus (outside of Goa, where vindaloo originated) is that most restaurants are either run by Muslims (from Pakistan or Bangladesh) or frequentent by same, and as we know, Muslims do not eat pork. In fact, only in Goa is pork freely available, though sold by 'pork butchers' in other Indian states.

I take it you mean the traditional offering in US (and UK) restaurants is lamb, etc. This is so, but for the reasons given, but also, there must be very few (if any) restaurants outside Goa that are run by Goans, so most of mainstream India would not have tasted vindaloo, or even heard of it. As to good authentic restaurants....are there any? even in India they are serving overspiced, heavy on the oil/cream variants.

No, vindaloo is pork, fatty pork at that, and strong pork, like wild boar that will take a strong gravy, which chicken, prawn and even lamb will not take. Horses for courses (pun intended).
cheers
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:38 AM   #8
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O.K. so here is the deal:

Vindaloo originated as Waaza indicated from Goa and that has a strong Christian foothold. The rest of India Hindu's are a majority (so Beef is a no no) and Muslims are the largest minority (so Pork is a no no).

The only people in India that eat pork are Christians and perhaps a few Hindus that are not vegetarians.

The traditional Vindaloo uses Pork and the adapted version can use any other meat the more popular choice is seafood (prawns for example) because again Goa is on the coast and seafood is available in abundance.

I just came back from India 2 weeks back and I did see Vindaloo on the menu both in Mumbai and Bangalore restaurants but again using prawns mostly and no pork.

In US you would not find Pork Vindaloo because the restaurants cater to Muslim population as well and if they have Pork on their menu they will loose all the Muslim customers. Same thing with Beef, Indian restaurants even in the West will not have beef (unless it's some upscale place that caters to the Western crowd) because they will lose the Hindu customers. In general using Beef or Pork in Indian restaurants (traditional ones) does not make good business sense to they adapt to what works - lamb, chicken and seafood.
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:33 PM   #9
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If you are just starting out w/ indian cuisine an intermediate approach is to use the commericial sauces but add a few of the basics in the raw form.

For instance mustard seeds, you can get the brown ones, fry them up and then start your dish from there with the paste. Or get some of the tamardin paste in the base form and add work that in. or coconut milk, or make your first chutney and use that w/ the paste.

This way, if you mess up it wont be a total disaster because the biryani or the vindaloo or the curry paste will save it, but you will learn how the flavors work and the cooking techniques.
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Old 02-23-2008, 09:56 AM   #10
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best to get an Indian cook book, that way you don't mess-up. I suggest a good book as many recipes on the net are laughable. India is very diverse, a cook from Bengal would never have (or very unlikely to have) eaten a vindaloo, or even heard of it. So unless you get a book by a very well travelled Indian author, or a less well travelled author writing on just one region, you may well end up with 'kitchen sink' curries, that is, with something of everything

Regional cooking is very specific as regards technique and ingredients. A prawn vindaloo is pointless, you just wouldn't taste the (expensive) prawns. If you want a prawn dish, try a Parsee pathia or subtle Bengali or Keralan variety, or other Goan dishes (all from coastal regions).

cheers
Waaza
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