Traditional Goan vindaloo isn’t cooked with potatoes like most restaurant vindaloos are. This is down to a mistranslation that just seemed to stick. The original curry houses in the UK were opened by Bangladeshi and Pakistani immigrants. These restaurateurs translated the last part of ‘vindaloo’ namely the aloo part to mean potato.
In reality, the Goan version of vindaloo was a play on a Portuguese dish dish called carne de vinho e albos or meat cooked with vinegar and garlic.
You probably don’t need me to tell you that this is a fiery hot curry. The potatoes help make this famous spicy curry easier to eat. They help soak up the heat. Leave them out and you may be sorry.
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- 4 chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
- 5 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
- 3 onions sliced and diced
- 3 tomatoes – diced
- 6 cloves garlic – finely chopped
- 1″ ginger – finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon hot red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 2 large potatoes – boiled until cooked through and then diced
- 150ml tamarind water or vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
- 4 fresh green chillies – finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the butter/olive oil in a large saucepan.
- Add the onions and fry slowly over medium high heat for about 20 minutes until the onions are translucent and lightly browned.
- Now add a pinch of salt which will help release some of the water from the onions and continue stirring for about 30 seconds.
- Add the ginger and garlic followed by the tomatoes and allow to simmer for about ten minutes.
- Pour in the chicken and stir to combine.
- Add the tamarind water/vinegar, sugar (if using) the fresh green chillies and all of the other spices.
- Add the potatoes and cover to simmer for about 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Check the curry regularly and add water if the sauce becomes too thick.
- Just before serving, sprinkle with salt and black pepper.