Thursday, October 17, 2013

Damned Rodan's FIERY Vindaloo

And here's another recipe — by request, actually. I've been fond of Indian food since I first tried Lamb Vindaloo somewhere or another, many, many years ago. Like most dishes I enjoy, I just have to try my hand at making it, and, like virtually all of these, I always wing it and hope for the best. For this dish, I start with mostly commercial ingredients but doctor up the works until it's deadly. Also, as with everything I cook, this recipe is little more than a loose guide; I inevitably vary things wildly each time I make a particular dish.

What You Need:
1 lb. lamb or chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces (ground also works well enough,
    though I prefer the texture of the cut meat)
1 cup saffron or jasmine rice (makes about 3 cups, cooked)
3/4 cup chopped onion (I like to use green onions or shallots)
10-oz. can Ro-tel (Hot) diced tomatoes with habaneros
10-oz. jar Patak (or other brand) Vindaloo sauce
1/4 cup Patak (or other brand) concentrated hot curry paste
2–3 tbsp. curry powder
2 tbsp. hot chili oil
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. white sugar
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. lime juice
4–6 hot peppers (serrano, ghost, or tabasco are my favorites), chopped very fine
large bowl of fresh spinach leaves

What You Do:
In a wok or large skillet, heat the chili oil at high temperature. When the oil is hot, add the meat; after about a minute, turn temperature down to medium-high. Pour in the vinegar and add curry powder, cumin, sugar, garlic powder, ginger, and lime juice as the meat is cooking. Stir frequently. Once it's close to cooked through, add the Vindaloo sauce, hot curry paste, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and about half the spinach (place the rest on individual plates to make a bed for the rice). Continue to stir frequently. After five minutes or so, turn heat to low and let simmer, covered, for 30–45 minutes.

This is a good time to prepare your rice. Once it's done, spoon the rice onto your beds of spinach leaves and serve the Vindaloo atop the rice. Now, you do have a perfectly edible Vindaloo dish, or reasonable facsimile thereof, but it's not really good until the following day, when the ingredients have had more time to get acquainted. If I'm using lamb and feeling particularly smart, I'll marinate it the night before in rice vinegar, soy sauce, and just a splash of lime juice. (I rarely think that far ahead.)

I can't guarantee this will meet the expectations of your friendly neighborhood chef at the Indian restaurant down the street, but for Ms. B. and me, this stuff is just the ticket when the Indian craving comes a calling.

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