October 7, 2011
Yesterday was another vegetable-packed day. In addition to a damn excellent salad for lunch (I love salads more than anyone I have encountered in this world. Don’t judge.) I kept dinner time international with a vegetable and beef vindaloo.
In a spice buying frenzy the other day I bought a good looking red vindaloo curry spice mix (Henry Langdon brand). It caught my eye because it was on sale and, let’s be honest here, homegirl cannot refuse a pantry staple deal. (Another example of this was last week’s two-for-one 200gram Cadbury chocolate bar episode. Five is a reasonable about of large chocolate blocks to have on hand in a two person household, right?)
Anywho, I was excited for my first Indian cuisine attempt. Thai curries I am totally comfortable cooking, but Indian I typically leave to the professionals. The spices always seem too layered and complicated and the food cooked for longer than my slowcookerless self has time for, to make it a realistic midweek meal. But these days I’ve got the kitchen, the time, and the spice blend ready made so why not?
The process is simple enough: saute onions and garlic in olive oil then add bite sized cuts of lean beef (or chicken) to brown for a few minutes. Add spices, diced veg of your choice (I used eggplant, carrot, sweet potato and, later in the cooking process, green beans and zucchini) and then add stock. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for about 2 hours.
I cooked mine about 2 and a half hours to achieve a soft, melty texture on the beef. I also went a little spice happy at the start, so I wanted my spices to have time to cook and mingle with all my ingredients properly. I think it paid off. The curry was flavorful and rich with a powerful, lingering heat (just the way I like it). Leftovers were even better today for lunch.
What I liked about this dish is that I could make it my own and go by my gut with measurements. Once I understood the basic rules (obtained from the spice container and a quick Google sesh) I was able to handle this dish with confidence.
Apologies for the ugly vindaloo photo – I was too hungry!