Vindaloo in our A-Z - Cooking Index
Vindaloo is an Indian curry dish that in some quarters has become famed for its extreme spiciness.
However the original vindaloo was not a particularly spicy curry and it is only in the context of British restaurants that it has come to be used as a shorthand for "the second hottest curry on the menu" (just below a phal in terms of chilli heat).
Vindaloo comes originally from Goa, where it was introduced by the Portugese as a pork, garlic and wine dish (Vinho d'Alho literally meaning vinho - wine - and alho - garlic. The local chefs added spices and chillis - particularly the Kashmiri chilli - and created a new Indian dish which swiftly became popular throughout the country. Vinegar is often used in the dish too, often as a substitute for wine.
Although vindaloo is tradtionally only a pork dish, it has become widely prepared using chicken or other poultry or lamb. Restaurants often make the mistake of adding potatoes, think that the 'aloo' at the end of the name must refer to potatoes (aloo in Hindi) rather than garlic.
Indian restaurants in Britain (which are almost entirely Bangladeshi run) feature vindaloo dishes prominently and groups of British youth offer spend a night out in the local town drinking copious amounts of beer, followed by a vindaloo at the local Indian restaurant. The choice of the dish is usually not related to the taste of the dish but a macho competitive male desire to prove that they can eat a very hot and spicy curry.