Vegetable Vindaloo

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Vegetable Vindaloo

Goan in origin, vindaloo is a hot and spicy preparation that typically features meat marinated in wine or vinegar and garlic. Typically vindaloo dishes are hot and spicy too, with a pleasing tangy element from the use of vinegar, tamarind or lemon juice, and usually tomatoes as well. But vindaloo dishes need not feature meat, and here vegetables are the star of the dish. Any variety of mixed vegetables may be used, though the ones I suggest add nice contrasts in texture and color, and also make for a filling side.

Mixed Vegetable Vindaloo

I wanted the vegetables to shine in this dish, but you could also add lightly fried chunks of paneer cheese or chickpeas to this dish as well, adjusting the amount of vegetables used and increasing the spices, tomatoes and water accordingly to suit your preferences. Ideally, the sauce should be fairly thick, but not too dry. I served the vegetables over a hot bed of fresh cooked white basmati rice, which helps temper some of the heat. The number of chilies and hot spices may also be adjusted according to how hot you want the dish. Chili fan that I am, the recipe here is rather on the hot side of the spectrum, but simply reduce or increase the dried chilies and other hot spices to suit your tastes. It is a warming dish, to say the least, and very comforting.

Vegetable VindalooVegetable Vindaloo
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on December 10, 2019

Mixed fresh vegetables cooked in a fragrant, hot and tangy vindaloo sauce

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 35 to 40 minutes

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Vindaloo paste:
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 black cardamon pods
  • 3 to 5 dried whole red chilies, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons smoked hot paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar or jaggery
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame or olive oil
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons water, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon sesame or olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2/3 cup water + more as needed
  • 4 1/2 cups mixed chopped vegetables (I used cauliflower, potato, white mushrooms, carrots, green beans, bell pepper and eggplant)
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • Start by making the vindaloo paste. In a small food processor or spice grinder, pulse together the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamon and dried chilies to a fairly coarse powder. Add the turmeric, paprika, cayenne, sugar or jaggery, garlic, ginger, vinegar, tamarind paste, oil and 4 tablespoons of water, and blend into a fairly thick and smooth paste, adding a bit more water as needed. Set aside.

  • In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and stir for 60 seconds or until they turn grey begin to splutter and pop. Add the onion, reduce the heat to medium, and sauté for 6 minutes or until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the chilies and asafetida, if using, and stir for another minute. Add the vindaloo paste and cook for another minute.

  • Add the tomatoes and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until slightly thickened. Add the water and mixed vegetables, and cover. Cook for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender. Stir in the frozen peas and balsamic vinegar, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened, adding a bit more water as needed if the mixture seems too dry.

  • Remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice and salt, taste for seasoning, and serve hot.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Vegetable Vindaloo Recipe

Other vindaloo dishes to try from Lisa's Kitchen:
Chickpea Vindaloo
Eggs Vindaloo

Audio accompaniment: J. S. Bach - BWV 131-4 Meine Seele wartet

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