Vindaloo is one of my favorite dishes in the world! This spicy Indian curry can be made vegetarian or with meat and is packed with spices. For those new to Indian cooking, I simplified the spice list, choosing five you might already have on hand.
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 shallots (about 3/4 cup), chopped
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
1 cup water
1 28-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 bell peppers, diced
2 teaspoons ginger, grated
1 serrano chili pepper, diced (don’t remove seeds if you want some additional heat)
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 cups water
1 1/2 cup dried lentils, rinsed
Be sure to chop your cauliflower and sweet potatoes into same-size cubes so they’ll cook evenly.
Shop at a local co-op or spice shop where you can buy small portions of spices instead of large bottles that might lose their flavor hanging out too long in your cabinets. Once opened, spices should be used within 6 months for peak flavor.
Want to get the most flavor from your spices? Buy them whole and grind at home, in a blender or coffee grinder (buy one for spices only).
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat, then add the oil. Add the shallots to the hot oil and saute for three minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the spices to the pan, stir, cook for one minute. Add 1 cup water to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, peppers, ginger, serrano, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes to the pan, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the vinegar and water, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the lentils and cook another 15 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
Serve warm over brown rice or quinoa.