I prefer my lamb vindaloo without the potatoes!
When I first came to the UK, I was here on a student work visa. I worked in a pub near Croydon and was taken out for my first real British Indian restaurant curry after my first shift. I was told to order the lamb vindaloo and I loved it!
Growing up in California where Mexican food is very popular, I loved spicy food but I was not expecting the extreme heat that was introduced to me that evening. The flavours were new and exciting – like nothing I’d eaten before.
That was 25 years ago but I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was the beginning of my love affair with British Indian restaurant (BIR) cuisine.
Nowadays I make all the classic BIR meals at home so I am happy to be able to show you the king of them all: the lamb vindaloo.
But first, a bit of vindaloo trivia. Many restaurants include potatoes in their vindaloo curries. ‘Aloo’ means potato in Hindi so a lot of the original self-taught Indian chefs mistakenly added potatoes to this fiery curry and it stuck.
Vindaloo, however owes its origins in Portuguese controlled Goa in the fifteenth century where the dish was usually served with pork meat. The name vindaloo was most likely a mispronounceation of the similar Portuguese dish carne de vinho e albos or meat with wine and garlic.
British Indian restaurant vindaloo is not very similar to the authentic Goan version other than it is quite spicy. If you would like to read my authentic vindaloo recipe, please click here.
By the way, I don’t add potatoes to my vindaloo curries but have included instructions here just in case you want them.
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- 800g pre-cooked lamb meat as I do here
- 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 2 fresh green chillies finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 3 tablespoons red hot chilli powder (be careful – less might be better)
- 2 potatoes – pre-boiled (optional)
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 500ml (2 cups) heated homemade curry sauce as I do here
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons chopped coriander
- Heat the ghee/vegetable oil over medium heat.
- When the ghee is hot, scoop in the garlic and ginger along with the chopped chillies.
- Allow to sizzle for about a minute and then add the cumin, coriander powder and the turmeric. The curry will darken as the turmeric fries away.
- Now throw in the potatoes (if using) and the heated curry sauce. Stir to combine while adding the pre-cooked lamb pieces.
- Add the red chilli powder one tablespoon at a time while stirring. This way you can stop when it gets up to the heat you like.
- Add the vinegar and cook for a further minute.
- Scoop in the yogurt one tablespoon at a time stirring as you do.
- Then sprinkle with the chopped coriander and season to taste with salt and pepper. I like to shake a bit of chilli powder over the top too.