By Chef Sara
Vindaloo is a very well-known, spicy and tangy curry from Goa, India, and is based on the traditional Portuguese dish carne de vinha d'alhos, or “meat in garlic and wine marinade”. Over the years, vinegar has replaced the wine, and in this recipe for Vegetable Vindaloo, the usual pork is replaced by a much more compassionate and healthful variety of vegetables that hold up well to simmering. Eggplant, mushrooms, and cauliflower seem to get more delicious the longer they cook! Served over basmati rice, this warming dish is a natural for cold winter nights.
If you're new to Indian cooking, the ingredient list may look intimidating. However, let me assure you that majority of the ingredients are spices, and the vindaloo comes together quickly once the sauce is made. Never fear: the blender does the majority of the work! For the best variety and prices on spices, I highly recommend seeking out an Indian grocery store. I especially love Krishna Indian Grocery in Poughkeepsie, New York. The selection is great and the owner is very helpful and friendly. If you want shop for spices online, two trusted sources are Kalustyan's and World Spice Merchants.
I hope you love this recipe for Vegetable Vindaloo. May it bring you lots of warmth and nourishment this winter!
[This recipe is adapted from one by Richa Hingle, the brilliant blogger behind VeganRicha.com.]
For the Sauce
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
¾ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
4 black peppercorns
1 dried red chile, or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon hot paprika (or substitute an additional teaspoon of sweet paprika for a milder sauce)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole tomatoes
1 cup vegetable stock or water
For the Curry
1 tablespoon grape seed oil or refined coconut oil
1 large red onion, chopped
1 small Italian eggplant, cubed
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved if small, quartered if large
1 small or ½ large head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
1 (14 to 16 ounce) canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed, or 1 3/4 cup cooked
1 cup frozen peas
1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
Chopped cilantro, to garnish
Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a high-speed blender, and blend on high until smooth. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, first grind the whole spices in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, then add everything to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Set aside until needed.
Heat the oil in a wide, deep saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook until softened and translucent, approximately 7 to 10 minutes. Add the eggplant, mushrooms, and cauliflower, and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until just heated. Pour the blended sauce over the vegetables, mixing well, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow to cook for 15 minutes.
Stir in the chickpeas, frozen peas, vinegar, and sugar, then allow to cook for 15 to 20 minutes more, until the vegetables are very tender. Taste, adjust seasonings as necessary, and garnish with cilantro just before serving. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.