We used to watch 'Outsourced' on the TV. We could relate to it better than a lot of American folks since we are from India and living in America has exposed us to both the cultures and environments. On one episode, employees fool Todd (the American in-charge of the call center in Mumbai office) saying it is a vacation day called 'Vindaloo day'. He believes it and says everyone can go home. I cracked up laughing so much watching that.
My husband who knew that 'Vindaloo' is a spicy curry asked me more details. To be honest, I had no idea. Then I totally forgot all about it till I saw 'Indian Food Made Easy' on the TV. In that, the host Anjum Anand was teaching a friend how to make 'Pork Vindaloo'. I adapted that recipe but used vegetables of my choice.
A little about Vindaloo - It is a portuguese inspired Goan dish. It uses Vinegar (vin part of the name) and 'aloo' is mistaken for potato. But, it is not. It sounds similar for the name 'Garlic' in portuguese. Portuguese used wine to preserve their pork on sea and in hot weather of India. When short of wine, they subbed it with vinegar. Since vinegar is cheaper than wine, they started using vinegar. That is the history of 'Vindaloo'. Most of the recipes you see have different spices in varied amounts. I do not know how authentic Anjum Anand's recipe is, but I followed it pretty much.
One year back - Cake Decorating Basics Part V
Eggplants - 2 medium cut into big chunks
Potatoes - 2 cut into big chunks (I used red potatoes)
Green Bell pepper - 2 chopped into big chunks
Red Onions - 1 large or 2 medium chopped fine
Oil - 3 - 4 TBSP
Salt - to taste
Coriander - 1 tsp
Cumin - 1 tsp
Cloves - 5
Black pepper - 10
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp or to taste (If you can get kashmiri red chilli powder, use that along with the regular chilli powder to get that beautiful color. I didn't have it)
Cinnamon - one 2" stick
Cardamom - 2 pods seeds only
To make a paste:
Powder from above
Garlic - 5 pods
Ginger - 1" piece peeled
Red wine vinegar - 1/4 cup (Or white wine vinegar)
Place eggplant and potato pieces (or the vegetables you are using) in a large bowl. Prepare the powder in a spice blender. Place the garlic, ginger, vinegar, spice powder in a blender or food processor and make a paste. Pour this on to the vegetable pieces in the bowl. Set aside. Heat oil in a pan. When hot, add onions. Sprinkle some salt and let it cook. When they are half done, add bell pepper. Continue to cook for couple more minutes. Add the vegetables in the bowl with the vindaloo spice paste and stir. You can add about 1/2 cup of water at this point but not more than that. Stir well and cover with the lid and let it cook. Give it an occasional stir and add water if it has become dry. It takes about 30 minutes for it to cook and the flavors to blend well. Check for the salt and adjust if needed. Serve with rice.
You could garnish with some fried nuts if desired. You can use any vegetable of your choice, but meatier veggies like potato, pumpkin, certain kinds of squash, yams, plantains, sweet potatoes make a good vegetable vindaloo.