Quick facts:

  • Vindaloo is an Indian curry dish which is popular in Goa, India.
  • It is a derivative of  vinh d’alho, a stew brought to the region by Portuguese colonists.
  • Usually associated with being a fiery and spicy dish

There are many recipes for Vindaloo but I am going to link Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe here.

Madhur Jaffrey is an Indian actress who also just happens to be a world renowned authority on Indian cooking.  I regard Ms Jaffrey, aside from my mother, as my strongest influence in Indian cooking.

I left home early to finish high school and attend college in N America.  My mom would try to squeeze in cooking lessons during the  summers when I was home from college but cooking was not really a priority for me then.

I met my husband in college in Oregon and got married soon after college graduation and settled here in the US.

My mom passed away a year after I got married and even though I had taken notes on her recipes, they did not make much sense-mostly because I took such awful notes and hardly spent anytime in the kitchen.

Then, I discovered Madhur Jaffrey and I appreciate her so much as a cookbook author because she does such an excellent job of explaining the fundamentals of Indian cooking.

Thanks to Ms Jaffrey and her excellent explanations, I was able to decipher my notes and reproduce a lot of my mother’s recipes and for that, I will be eternally grateful.

If you have an interest in Indian cooking then I highly recommend what was for me the Bible to Indian cooking, Ms Jaffrey’s: “An Invitation to Indian Cooking”.

Aside from the fantastic recipes, it is also a marvelous read.  Ms Jaffrey explains a lot of the history behind Indian cooking and dishes and you can really feel the great love for her country and it’s exquisite cuisine through her writings.

My other favorite of her books is : “Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick and Easy Indian Cooking” which gives you great short cuts without compromising flavors.

Do you have a favorite cookbook author?  Who were your greatest cooking influence?


20 comments to Vindaloo

  • Raquel  says:

    YUM! I need to get my hands on one of those books. My husband and I adore Indian food but we’ve only ever made Baingan bharta before. I’d LOVE to make paneer at home like you did, as well as more elaborate curry dishes. They’re going on my Amazon wish list!

    • Lila  says:

      Most definitely put these cookbooks on your wish list. You won’t regret it. Thanks as always for dropping by Raquel. :)

  • jenny@atasteoftravel  says:

    Vindaloo and Madhur Jaffrey…what a fabulous combination. I do agree with you about her books…they’re always a great read and the recipes always work!

    • Lila  says:

      Glad there is another Madhur Jaffrey fan out there. Her recipes are always fantastic. Thanks for dropping by. :)

  • Nana Prah  says:

    Your wedding was gorgeous. If you hadn’t been introduced to Madhur Jaffrey I wonder if I would be commenting on your blog now? I don’t recall seeing a curry dish that wasn’t green or yellow in color.

    • Lila  says:

      Thank You. I don’t think I would’ve been quite as keen on cooking if I had not discovered Madhur Jaffrey. I am most grateful for the chance to recreate my mom’s recipes. A lot of curries are red too and all the colors are due to the colorful spices. Yellow is from turmeric or saffron, red is from chili powder or red chilies and green is primarily from green chilies.

    • BuzzingBee  says:

      Most of the gravies (‘curry’ is such a misused word) in North and West India are red or orange, as they’re heavily tomato-based and sometimes include cream or yoghurt. The few green gravies are usually considered as a side-dish.

      • Lila  says:

        I think Nana might be referring to Thai curries too-of which green curry is common. The green in Thai curries come from green chilis. Thanks for the info on Indian curries.:)

  • Calli  says:

    I love Vindaloo but we haven’t tackled much Indian cooking in our own kitchen – we often go out to enjoy it. I will definitely have to check out this cookbook and try my hand at some of these delicious sounding dishes!

    • Lila  says:

      Calli, Most definitely try out the cookbooks. They are fantastic. Always a pleasure to hear from you. :)

  • Rhonda Albom  says:

    I could smell the spices from that photo. My hubby loves vidaloo, it is way to spicy for me. We have the Madhur Jaffrey cookbook (two versions).

    • Lila  says:

      Glad there is another Madhur Jaffrey fan. You can always vary the amount of chili when you make vindaloo or ask the restaurant to tone down the spiciness. Thank you for stopping by Rhonda. :)

  • Corinne  says:

    Lila, I love spicy food, but I don’t like it when it burns my lips off. Therefore, I’ve been scared to try Vindaloo…I think it might be too spicy for me.

    • Lila  says:

      You can vary the amount of chili powder or fresh chilies that are used in almost all recipes, so you can still get the taste of vindaloo but without the fieriness. Also a lot of restaurants will vary the spiciness to suit your taste so don’t give up. It really is delicious and a nice twist on the traditional curry. :)

    • BuzzingBee  says:

      The spice level is really variable. The real trick is getting the sour factor right. Good vindaloo is spicy-sour, with the acid moderating the spice factor.

      I notice Jaffrey uses cider vinegar, which is not native to India. Try using tamarind if you can source it, or for a truly authentic version, a local Indian fruit called kokum ( The difference is mindblowing.

      • Lila  says:

        One of the main reasons I like Madhur Jaffrey’s cookbooks is because they are catered for the western kitchen. Even though Asian grocery stores are becoming more common and you can order spices online-I think a lot of the unique ingredients in Indian cooking dissuade people from making Indian food at home. So I like Ms Jaffrey’s modifications where she uses items you can buy at your neighborhood grocery store. Once people try and enjoy Indian cooking-they will be more apt to seek out and get the unique spices.

  • BuzzingBee  says:

    Jaffrey’s recipes are a good entry-point to Indian cooking, and very classic. However, I now find them a tad too laborious.

    One of my favourite Indian cookbooks is Tarla Dalal’s Complete Gujarati Cookbook, simply because it’s a good reference for the kind of stuff fewer people make anymore.

  • Lila  says:

    I recommended “An Intro to Indian Cooking” because of the fantastic way Ms Jaffrey explains the fundamentals of Indian cooking. Once you understand the basics, you can create shortcuts and experiment more confidently and successfully. I will have to add Dalal’s cookbook to my kitchen library-it sounds like a good book. Thanks for the recommendation and as always for dropping by. :)

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