The True Vindaloo

Hey there spice lovers, this month I’m hanging out at my buddy Exban’s place for a nice romantic wine and dine.

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Why? Partially because his girlfriend dumped him but mostly because I felt like making a proper vindaloo and needed someone to finish off the booze with. An explanation that, if anything, only raises more questions.

Since when did a vindaloo have wine in it? Why is there alcohol in an indian dish when the nation’s religions are so against it? And why can’t I drink it all myself?

Well, for starters, the vindaloo, or vin d’ aloo, isn’t an indian dish. It comes from goa and uses indian spices, certainly, but goa wasn’t a part of india at the time. Goa was officially portuguese and portuguese cooking had no such anti-alcohol restrictions. They were more than happy to be working with wine.

Their earlier dish, the “carne de vinha d’alhos” from which the vindaloo was derived, got its name from its three key ingredients: Pork, wine and garlic. Three ingredients to which the goan people added coriander, turmeric, chilli and a whole host of other spices, along with potatoes to bulk it out and keep the heat from getting too high.

Because, unlike today’s vindaloo, their vin d’ aloo wasn’t meant to be the hottest dish on any menu. All they wanted was a full-on fiery flavour to their marinated meat.

And, while even most “traditional” recipes pull from a later date, once the wine had been swapped for vinegar, I’m going to be taking it right back to its origins, today, with a rich and fruity red wine.

So, let’s get started, shall we?

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Seafood, Fruit and Spice

Hey folks, I’ve been popping by my local farmer’s market a lot recently and one of the veg stalls has really rekindled my interest in the humble orange habanero.

Imported from spain, he’s managing to sell them fresh and full of fruity flavour, despite the snowy weather.

Personally, I’d recommend shopping somewhere similar for your hot peppers, if able, because I can definitely taste the difference. But, since big supermarkets seem to sell habaneros all year round, you’ll probably have more luck looking there right now.

Either way, though, they’ll work for today’s recipe – White fish poached in a ginger wine, habanero and orange sauce.

A sharp and spicy, yet sweet and fruity, almost honeyed dish that really is utterly delicious.

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