I remember when I was still relatively young an Indian restaurant and take-away opened up nearby. Considering the suburban ethnic diet for the past 50 years had consisted of honey chicken from the local Chinese restaurant, this was a big step.
For my father and I, this was a fairly exciting development. We'd made trying hot dishes and acting like it didn't burn us because we were men "our thing", so the prospect of eating firecely hot vindaloo represented something of a pinnacle.
I haven't had it much since then, preferring to opt for less intense curries that I can actually taste without chilli burning my tongue into oblivion.
But then I decided to make it.
Serves 6 with rice and naan. Medium heat.
- 1 T mustard seeds
- 2 T curry leaves
- 12 green cardamom pods
- 2 T black peppercorns
- 3 T cumin seeds
- 3 star anise
- 1 medium cassia quill
- 5 dried chillis
- 1 t turmeric powder
Roast in the oven until fragrant. Approx 5-10 mins.
Grind. Add 1 T sea salt.
- 1 head of garlic, wrapped in foil
Roast in the oven for around 45 mins until soft. Set aside to cool.
Cut open and squeeze out the garlic.
- 2 medium brown onions
- 5 red chillis, deseeded
- 2 green chilli, deseeded
- 3 thumb sized pieces of peeled ginger
- The garlic from the above
Puree all in a blender/hand mixer.
In a large saucepan on a medium-high heat add 3 T of ghee and allow to melt. Add the base and cook for 10 mins, stirring regularly so the mixture doesn't stick.
Add the masala and 1kg of diced beef. Stir until the beef goes brown.
Add 1.5L of vegetable stock and 1 t of palm or brown sugar (or jaggery).
Bring to the boil and reduce to a low heat. Cook, uncovered, for around 3 hours, or until the beef is fall-apart soft.
Add either 1/2 C of tamarid juice or 1/4 C of white wine vinegar. Stir.
In a saucepan, heat 2 T of ghee. Add 1 medium brown onion, sliced fairly finely. Add a good pinch of sea salt. Stir regularly until onions are brown. Add 1 T of dried curry leaves and 1 t of cumin seeds. Once cumin seeds are popping and curry leaves look fried, add to the pot and stir.
Serve with rice and naan.
Great the next day.
Maybe some mint sauce for a cooling hit (1 bunch of mint leaves, 1 small Lebanese cucumber without core or skin, 1 tub yoghurt, pinch of salt, blend, lemon juice to taste).
Maybe reduce curry further and shred meat and put inside Vietnamese spring roll wraps and fry if you want to go all next level.