In anticipation of needed leftovers (including some freezer meals), I decided to go for a big meal tonight and make the Two-Potato Vindaloo (pg. 18). I’ve been experimenting with other Indian food recipes lately, so this one fit right in!
It called for several lengthy simmer times, so I got started right away when I got home from work and 2.5 hours (and a few Doctor Who episodes) later, it was ready to eat…so, if making this one, plan ahead.
I have decided I need a mortar and pestle. I always thought they were cool, in an old-fashioned-kitchen kind-of-way, but after having to grind cardamom and coriander seeds a few times already for the recipes in “Plenty,” I am finding my trusty ice cream scoop handle is not the best tool for the job. In this recipe, I had to grind cardamom seeds (I went straight for the seeds over the pods because I couldn’t find them) and coriander seeds into a “fine powder.” I got close, but after 20 minutes of grinding, I called it good. (See the before and after below.)
The cardamom pods were not the only spice I couldn’t find for this recipe. I also could not find curry leaves. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a curry leaf. So, I just used curry powder…I don’t know if that is a valid substitute or not, but I know Indian food often contains curry powder, so I didn’t think I was too far off the mark. I anticipated having a tough time finding fenugreek seeds (as I had also never heard of them), but I found them in the oh-so-nice bulk spice area in my grocery store.
Once the spices were mixed, I sauteed the shallots and added the spices. My house was beginning to smell so good!
Then: add the tomatoes, vinegar, and water and simmer. Then: add the potatoes and peppers and simmer. Then: add the sweet potatoes and simmer even longer! Then: remove the lid and simmer some more.
Finally, done and cool enough to eat. So, I sat down to finish the episode I was on and enjoy some vindaloo with Doctor Who 🙂 Very spicy (as in flavorful, not hot)! While it turned out good, it did not turn out great, and once again I am confronted with my feelings of being inadequate at cooking Indian food…I don’t know what it is about that particular style, but I can never get it to taste as good as in restaurants. Therefore, 4 stars. Probably not the recipes fault, though…
The finished product about to be spooned over a bowl of rice! And wishing desperately for some naan 😉 (No pic in the book to compare.)