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I’ve been thinking recently of spicy foods — and eating them too. One such dish that has a fascinating history and provenance is vindaloo, the spicy Indian dish.
Vindaloo likely gets its name from the Portuguese words for wine and garlic and the associated culinary phrase — “vin d’alho“– from which vindaloo seems to have evolved and is easily recogizable.
Regardless, the myth is a good one, especially when you consider the navigators and explorers who visited the subcontinent centuries ago and brought to the Goa region of India piri-piri peppers from Mozambique.
A dish that is found in the central and southwestern regions of the country, vindaloo is among its hottest curry dishes. The blending of roasted spices includes mustard seeds, cumin, ginger, peppercorns, fenugreek and others. Tamarind is sometimes used as well, but it is, of course, the red-hot chile peppers that give the dish its Scoville heat register.
That all said, here are a few vindaloo dishes you might want to seek out this weekend.[Please check with individual venues for hours of operation and availability of dishes. Inclusion here is not an endorsement of the restaurant; this is merely informational (so, please, no wagering ;o) ).]
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Grain of Salt Fine Indian Cuisine, Cambridge
Vindaloo of chicken, goat, lamb or beef, cooked in a hot tangy sauce with potatoes, red chilies and vinegar.
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Koh-I-Noor Restaurant, Waterloo
Vindaloo dishes with chicken, lamb, beef, shrimp (very hot): a curry prepared with extra chiles, tomatoes and other spices.
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Tandoori Xpress, Kitchener
A popular spot for take-away at Fischer-Hallman Road and Ottawa Street South — including for beef vindaloo.
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The Bollywood Bistro Fine Indian Cuisine, Guelph
Chicken vindaloo is spicy curry with chunks of tender chicken and potato.