This is a flavor explosion for lovers of Indian food and a dish that will be hailed by vegetarians and meat lovers alike. One of the best attributes of the dish, is the fact that it gets better the longer it sits in the fridge. Like with any good Vindaloo, you know it’s going to pack a healthy, spicy wallop, that is why a good raita should accompany this to cool down the palate.
1 medium onion
4 medium sized shallots – finely chopped
½ TSP each of fenugreek and mustard seeds
1 TSP cumin seeds
½ TSP each cumin and coriander powder
2 TBSP of ginger/garlic paste
2 large tomatoes – skins removed and chopped
1 TBSP ACV
½ TSP red chili powder
1 red chili, seeded and sliced
2 ½ cups of water
1 TSP of ground cardamom
1 TSP Garam Masala
1 TSP sweet paprika
¼ TSP ground cinnamon
1 TSP sugar
1 large sweet potato small/med cubes
2 Large yellow waxy potatoes – peeled and cut into small/med cubes
Bunch of fresh baby spinach
Heat up some ghee or about 2 TBSP vegetable oil and add the cumin, mustard and fenugreek seeds until the pop (careful they burn easily). Add the onions and shallots and sweat for a few minutes. Incorporate the rest of the dry spices, the garlic/ginger paste, both the chili powder and chopped chili and toast everything until it becomes aromatic – about 2 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes, the ACV and the water and simmer for about 10 minutes, making sure that the liquid doesn’t reduce too much. Add the potatoes and simmer for about 20 minutes. Incorporate the sweet potato cubes and simmer for another 15 minutes. Just before serving throw in the baby spinach so it can wilt. Ensure that the veggies are just submerged in the liquid; the sauce should thicken while cooking.
½ Hothouse cucumber – very finely chopped
3 TBSP fresh cilantro – chopped
¼ TSP each of ground cumin and coriander powder
1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
2 TSP lime juice
Pinch each ground cinnamon and ground cardamom
½ shallot – chopped very fine
½ TSP of kosher salt
Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend together.
There is a tremendous similarity between raita and tzatziki, and it is easy to get them confused. They both incorporate yogurt and cucumbers. However, Raita is Indian and it has cilantro, a few Indian spices and a bit of heat if it is used as a dip. Tzatziki is Greek and it incorporates mostly dill and sometimes it has parsley as well. In this case, the Raita is being used to diffuse and tame the heat of the Vindaloo.