The vindaloo has to be it when it comes to naming the hottest thing on any Indian menu. There’s a serious amount of firepower packed into this curry. If you are a serious heat lover and want your curry hot, then you are in the right place. Today I will show you how to make the vindaloo curry just like authentic Indian takeaways do, and talk a little about its origins.
How Does Vindaloo Taste?
In one word? Hot.
The predominant flavour in Vindaloo is chilli and lots of it! The dish does contain other elements, including tangy tomato puree and fragrant garlic and ginger. But the truth is, you aren’t going to notice, as your mouth, provided you’ve cooked it correctly, will be on fire.
There are two types of people who order vindaloo: -
- Those who can handle spice exceptionally well.
- Those who are trying to win a bet or as a dare.
Want to see what happens when people try hot curries? Check this out… You were warned!
If you want to learn more about how hot the vindaloo is, I’ve got a great article dedicated to it here.
The vindaloo also tastes slightly tangy. The dish does include a squeeze of lemon juice, giving it a sharp, acidic taste and sour edge (that I always think makes it taste even hotter).
What Should Vindaloo Look Like?
Vindaloo has two things as its main base. Tomato and chilli.
As a result, you’ll find that a good vindaloo is a deep red to brown colour. It is a fairly oily curry with plenty of sauce (even more for you to leave when you decide when it is too hot). The sauce is neither too thick nor too thin.
You’ll occasionally find authentic Indian chefs sprinkle the top of the vindaloo with chopped coriander. It is also occasionally served with chunks of potato.
Which Meat is Best with Vindaloo?
If you are cooking the vindaloo using a BIR cooking style, you can use any meat you choose. The usual choice for meat in a vindaloo is chicken.
Traditionally it was served with pork, and occasionally you will encounter vindaloo recipes that reflect this. You are unlikely to get pork in your curry in your local takeaway curry. Most proprietors of Indian takeaways follow the Islamic faith; therefore, pork is most definitely off the menu!
Is the Vindaloo a Portuguese or an English Dish?
Vindaloo shares a historical heritage between several countries. You could very much consider it fusion food. It was exported to Goa, India, by the Portuguese around 1510. From there, it was adapted to use local ingredients.
Following their colonial rule, the dish was again exported to UK shores when the first curry houses arrived in the 1960s and has since evolved into the fiery dish we know and love today.
Vindaloo is actually an evolution of the Portuguese “vinho de alho”, literally translating as ‘wine and garlic’. We don’t see the wine in the present-day dish, but you might still taste the garlic.
Many of the curry dishes you try in the UK today are exported from other regions. It is worth bearing in mind that the vindaloo you’ll try in your local Indian is actually pretty far removed from its origins.
Is Vindaloo the Hottest Curry
Vindaloo is a very hot curry. It sits at the top of the list with some other big hitters. If you are looking for something super spicy, you might also want to consider trying the following curries, all of which will compete with a fiery vindaloo: -
- Naga curry
- Bhut Jolokia Curry
If you want to learn more about making curry spicier, be sure to swing by my guide.
The Vindaloo | Final Thoughts
The vindaloo is a legendary curry, famed for its fiery heat and is considered the epitome of BIR cuisine. It is a fusion between Indian taste and the strange love of British people eating food that is far too hot for their palate. Have you given it a go? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below. If you are looking for a similar taste profile but slightly milder, why not check out my BIR madras recipe?