We had houseguests this past weekend, and knowing that one of them (along with my husband) is a big fan of spicy Indian food, I suggested vindaloo. With both men enthusiastically on board with that, it came time to decide on what kind of protein to include – our houseguest was having a craving for paneer, while my husband couldn’t decide at all – so we ended up with a mix of paneer, beef, and pork.
Our other houseguest (the wife of the aforementioned spicy Indian food lover) is his polar opposite foodwise – when trying to decide on a menu for this weekend, he advised me “even Taco Bell meat is too spicy for her” – while I lucked out on the Puerto Rican food on Saturday, even the smell of the vindaloo cooking was almost too much for her. Ooops, sorry guys… Originally I had planned on joining her in the “it’s far too spicy for me” camp (and eating Saturday’s leftovers), but surprisingly enough, after one taste, I loved it! Couldn’t get enough, actually. Yes, it was hot. Much hotter than I usually eat my food – but it was a good kind of hot; not the kind that smacks you in the face and obliterates your taste buds – it was the kind of hot that is mixed with flavor and slowly builds to a crescendo on your tongue.
But then again, I’ve never had a bad experience with Penzey’s spices. I’m going out later for another bag of Penzey’s Vindaloo seasoning. Yes, it’s that good. I’m ready for another batch, this time with the full amount of potatoes (we halved it last time to displace some of the paneer), double the amount of paneer, and chicken and pork instead of beef and pork. And who needs rice? This was good, even without it. The recipe below is for exactly how we made it, and it’s based on the instructions on the package, which I’ll include as well.
Penzey’s Vindaloo Seasoning package instructions: Mix 2-5 TB spices in 2-5 TB water. Heat 5 TB oil in a frying pan, brown 4 cubed peeled potatoes and set aside. Brown 1 1/2 lbs. pork or beef cubes, and remove to soup pot. Brown 1 large minced onion. Add vindaloo paste to onion, stir, add 1 cup water, 6 TB vinegar and 1 tsp salt. Pour liquid over meat, cover and cook 30 min over low heat. Add potato, turn heat to medium, cook 20-30 min until potatoes are done.
10 TB Penzey’s Vindaloo Seasoning
2 cups plus 10 TB water
10 TB oil
4 cubed peeled potatoes
1 1/2 lbs. beef cubes
1 1/2 lbs. pork cubes
1 extra large onion, minced
3/4 c. vinegar
2 tsp. salt
14 oz. paneer, cubed
Mix 10 TB spices in 10 TB water to make paste. Heat 10 TB oil in frying pan, and brown potatoes and set aside. Brown beef and pork cubes, and remove to soup pot. Brown onion, and then add vindaloo paste to onion, stir, and add 2 cups water, vinegar, and salt. Pour liquid over meat, cover and cook 1 1/2 hours over low heat. Add potato, turn heat to medium, and cook 20 minutes. Add paneer, and cook an additional 20 minutes until potatoes are done. Serve with basmati rice.