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Lamb Vindaloo

In The States or outside of India, Vindaloo is known as tongue-scorching curry. It is also known as a dish cooked with...

In The States or outside of India, Vindaloo is known as tongue-scorching curry. It is also known as a dish cooked with potato because “aloo” means potato in Hindi. But the original recipe was very different. It came to India around the 15th century with Portuguese explorers. Vindaloo is from a Portuguese dish “carne de vinha d’alhos” which means meat marinated in wine and garlic. Later it got adjusted to suit the local conditions by replacing wine with palm vinegar and adding tamarind, black pepper, and several other spices. When the British invaded India, they were delighted to learn about this curry because it was still very close to the original, non-spicy one. But when they took this recipe back to England, they made it a spicy, super hot curry. The taste of vinegar and spices disappeared under the blistering heat of chiles.


  • 2 Pounds lamb meat, cut into 2-inches pieces
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon turmeric
  • 5 whole kashmiri red chile
  • 10 black pepper corn
  • 4 whole black cloves
  • 1 piece (1/2 inches) cinnamon bark
  • 1 Teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 Teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 Teaspoon yellow mustard seed
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 piece (1 1/2 inches) fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1-2 Cup warm water


1. In a wide mouth open bowl, add meat pieces. Add a generous amount of salt and turmeric to it. Keep it aside for 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, in a coffee or spice grinder, add whole Kashmiri red chile, peppercorns, black cloves, cinnamon, cumin seed, coriander seed, and yellow mustard. Work it until smooth. Transfer it to a bowl.

3. In a food processor, combine onion, ginger and garlic. Work it until smooth. Take it aside in another bowl.

4. In the same food processor, without washing, add ground spice from step 2 and vinegar. Work it until smooth, Take it aside in a bowl.

5. After an hour, add vinegar spice paste, onion-ginger-garlic paste, sugar to the marinated meat. Cover with a cling wrap and marinate for 2-6 hours in the refrigerator.

6. After 2-6 hours, take it out. Keep it in room temperature for 30 minutes.

7. In a heavy bottom pan, over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add meat with marination and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

8. Now add warm water. Cover and cook over medium-low flame for 45 to 50 minutes. Open and check the water, if it's too dry, add another 1/2 cup water. Cook for another 45 to 50 minutes, until the meat is very tender. Serve with rice.