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18 January 2015 @ 08:48 pm
Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries: Week Eighteen: Goa Lamb Vindaloo  
When I flipped through the book and saw that this week was vindaloo, I knew I had something spicy in store, both because of memories of having the roof of my mouth seared off in Indian restaurants and because of half-remembered snippets of info from the internet. And when I took the first bite, it was pretty spicy. Not as spicy as the tantanmen incident, which will probably forever be the benchmark by which I judge how likely I am to die while eating something, but pretty spicy. softlykarou told me that she actually burned her hands just touching the spice mixture, and even though I was obviously sad at the injury my wife suffered in the line of duty, I took it as a good sign. I get on with spicy food like a house on fire.

Notice all the peppers and spices that went into this.

The first bite was spicy, don't get me wrong, but it actually wasn't as spicy as softlykarou taking 1d4 fire damage (no save) would have implied. It didn't induce a coughing fit, which is often my first response to spicy food, and I couldn't tell if I had to eat it very slowly because it was hot temperature-wise--I have what is known in Japan as 猫舌--or because it was spicy. But eat it I did. I ate it all, spooned up all the leftover spice bits and onions and sauce, and all but licked the bowl clean. I didn't go back for seconds because I wasn't that hungry, but if I had been starving I would have devoured most of what was left, I expect. Even beyond just my general love for curry, this was great.

Probably qualifies as a chemical weapon as well as a food item. Useful in roguelikes to save inventory space.

Words from the Chef
Making the spice mixture for this dish and then cutting the onions was a downpour of tears. The extra chillies with the large amounts of garlic and ginger were sharpened by the the acid in the vinegar. Admitted I was still using different chilies, Kashmiri chilies are a bit hard to come by and aren't used enough that I felt like I needed to run out to Devon Street. Overall it's a very easy recipe with straightforward steps that weren't all that different from what I had done. I will note the relatively short cook and marinate time so this is one that, if I made the spice paste ahead, could work for a week night as well as a night like tonight. I'm just hesitant due to spice because I've got less of a tolerance than my husband.

Look at that sauce. Om nom nom.

The odd thing is that I've spent a lot of these posts complaining about the lack of vegetables in the various curries we've been eating, but oddly, I didn't mind their lack here. The vindaloo had only meat--supposed to be lamb, but again the butcher didn't have any boneless lamb, just ground, and we weren't making keema--onions, and a ton of different kinds of spices, and that was basically all I needed. I actually think that shoving a ton of vegetables in here would have ruined the curry. It would have diluted its purity of essence, so to speak, by adulterating the fundamental mix of meat, sauce, and heat. I don't want to get all mystical, but curry clearly unifies the physical and the spiritual in its combination of meat and spice. Base matter combined with divine fire, crossing the normally unbridgeable gap between humanity and the heavens.

Am I joking? Well, I really like curry.  photo troll001.png

The cucumbers and rice were provided by softlykarou. They turned out to be pretty useful.

And I especially liked this one. I was good enough that it broke a lot of the patterns I've somewhat fallen into in these posts, to the extent that they could be called patterns rather than just the fact that my tastes run a certain way. Spicy is good, vegetables are good--green leafy ones especially--the sauce makes or breaks the curry, and blandness is the greatest sin a curry can commit.

Come to think of it, korma pulao broke a couple of those too and until now, it was my favorite curry. Maybe all my cynicism about people's tastes ("People don't want the new thing, they want the same thing but better than the last guy who did it." -Me) isn't quite as warranted as I thought.

Would I Eat It Again?: I would eat it every day.
Do I Prefer It to the Usual Thai Curry?: I don't want to say an unqualified yes here, because the spice profile probably isn't something I'd always want, but I wouldn't mind making this a curry night staple.
What Would I Change?: Nothing. It was perfect as is.
Current Mood: hothot
Current Music: The Incomparable podcast
Wouldn't you like to knowlibby_may on January 20th, 2015 10:53 pm (UTC)
YAY! Glad it was tasty! You're inspiring me to try one of my cookbooks and give myself a challenge of making something weekly from it.
dorchadasdorchadas on January 22nd, 2015 12:27 am (UTC)
Yay! You should post about it too!  photo Emot-neckbeard.gif