Posts Tagged “vindaloo”

Runner Bean Vindaloo Last month I made the annual end-of-summer visit to my parents' farm. This is a particularly opportune time of year to visit as there is a huge _glut_ of produce coming from the garden (and mushrooms from the woods, but that is a story for another time). I left with an overflowing box full of tomatoes, sweetcorn, apples, peas, broad beans, a _massive_ quantity of courgettes, cucumbers, runner beans and fresh herbs. I took as much as I could carry. In previous years I would hesitate before taking the runner beans. I have to admit, until recently I was always a bit unenthusiastic when it came to runner beans. I think it was their slightly furry texture that put me off. However, my mum used to make this unusual but very delicious green bean chutney which I loved; rich with mustard seeds and onions and turmeric, it had a curry-like aspect to it which, as a long-time curry lover, obviously appealed to me. Last year I had about half a kilo of runner beans and, wondering what to do with them, I remembered this chutney, and so got mum to send me the recipe. It is, as you'd expect of any good chutney, quite vinegary, which is another thing that particularly gets my taste-buds going! The chutney was great, and just as tasty as in my memories. This recipe is not for a chutney, but it was the seed of an idea. I had a moment of inspiration and realised that I could make a hot version of the runner bean chutney which, with generous quantities of vinegar and garlic, would be kinda like a _vindaloo_. It turned out to be really good, I'll definitely be making it again and I'll be pre-ordering the runner beans from the garden next year! --- * 500g runner beans * 3 tbsps of high quality rapeseed oil * 50ml white wine vinegar * ½ tsp ground turmeric * 1 tbsp ground cumin * 1 tbsp paprika * 1 tbsp ground coriander * 1 tsp cayenne pepper * 1 ½ tsp garam masala * ½ tsp brown mustard seeds * ¼ tsp whole fenugreek seeds * 15 fresh curry leaves * 3 medium onions, finely sliced along the grain * 2 tbsps fresh ginger, finely grated * 10 medium cloves of garlic, peeled and finely grated * 1 handful of baby spinach leaves * 1 tsp sugar * 1 tsp salt 1. Finely slice 2 or 3 of the runner beans length-ways and set aside to use for garnish later. Roughly chop the rest of the beans into about 2 inch pieces. Put a large, heavy based casserole pot or deep frying pan on a medium-high heat and add the rapeseed oil. Wait for the oil to heat up. Fry the beans in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, until they are lightly browned. Set aside on a tray or in a bowl. 2. While the beans are frying, measure out the turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper and garam masala and set aside in a bowl. 3. Ideally, your pan will be big enough to cook the rest of the curry in it; if not, transfer all the fat from the pan into a larger one. Set the pan over a medium-high heat and add the mustard and fenugreek seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the onions and curry leaves. Stir and fry until the onions turn a light golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic, and stir until fully mixed. Now add the spice mixture. Turn the heat down and continue to cook for around 5 minutes. 4. Add the beans to the pan along with the salt, sugar, and about 150ml water. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 5-10 minutes, until the beans are soft. 5. Taste the curry and add more salt if necessary. Finally, add the baby spinach and stir until gently wilted. Serve with white rice, and garnish with the raw sliced beans.

Chicken Vindaloo Of all the curries in the world, the Vindaloo is probably the most misunderstood. It’s notorious for being extremely hot and spicy, yet a genuine vindaloo is nothing near as spicy as its reputation would suggest, as I discovered when I visited Goa; the former Portuguese colony in India that is the Vindaloo’s home. I sampled several local versions of the famous curry there, and expecting my head to be blown off with heat and spice, I was actually pleasantly surprised; these Vindaloos were only moderately spicy, but strong with garlic and also had a distinctive vinegary tang. Vinegar is the key ingredient in a Vindaloo, and it’s possibly the cause of the Vindaloo’s fearsome reputation. Accidentally adding too much vinegar, and a little too much cayenne pepper, and you’ll have a concoction so eye-wateringly powerful that it’s probably not very enjoyable to eat. Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe for Vindaloo calls for duck, which is a break from tradition; the classic was typically made with pork. I have opted for chicken, and the result is excellent. This is adapted from Madhur’s recipe, although the underlying technique is hers. Afterall, she is the master of Indian cooking. Personally, I like to enjoy this with nothing more than some plain white basmati rice, although some sautéed green vegetable such as kale or chard, will go alongside nicely. --- * 4 chicken thighs, bones and skins removed * 3 tbsps of high quality rapeseed oil * 80ml white wine vinegar * ½ teaspoon ground turmeric * 1 tbsp ground cumin * 1 tbsp paprika * 1 tbsp ground coriander * 1 tsp cayenne pepper * 1 ½ tsp garam masala * ½ tsp brown mustard seeds * ¼ tsp whole fenugreek seeds * 15 fresh curry leaves * 2 medium onions, finely sliced along the grain * 2 tbsps fresh ginger, finely grated * 10 medium cloves of garlic, peeled and finely grated * 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely grated * 1 handful of baby spinach leaves * 1 tsp sugar * 1 tsp salt 1. Put a large, heavy based pan on a medium-high heat and add the rapeseed oil. Wait for the oil to heat up. Season the chicken thighs generously all over with salt, then fry in the pan, on both sides, until golden. Remove, and set aside. 2. While the chicken is browning, measure out the turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper and garam masala and set aside in a bowl. 3. Ideally, your pan will be big enough to cook the rest of the curry in it; if not, transfer all the fat from the pan into a larger one. Set the pan over a medium-high heat and add the mustard and fenugreek seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the onions and curry leaves. Stir and fry until the onions turn a light golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic, and stir until fully mixed. Now add the spice mixture and tomatoes. Turn the heat down and continue to cook for around 5 minutes. 4. Cut the browned chicken pieces into approx. 2cm chunks, and add to the pan along with the salt, sugar, vinegar and 270ml water. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 20 minutes. 5. Taste the curry and add more salt if necessary. Finally, add the baby spinach and stir until gently wilted. Serve with white rice.