Vindaloo

We covered India in class today.  The format has changed a bit from last week because the purchasing department screwed up and procured items for the way things used to be.

That means that today’s black box exam was postponed.  What a shame.  I’m a little wary of recreating any foreign cuisine with just an ingredient list, but will get to do so next week two days in a row.  I can hardly wait.

Because of this screwup there is an abundance of menus (four to be exact) and the chef didn’t want much replication.  As a result all the good ones were taken before I was able to make my choice.

Lamb vindaloo normally isn’t my cup of tea, and I admit I wasn’t all that excited about making it.  Afterall my main memory is from 11 years ago when my then roommate at Oxford – though seriously warned by our hosts and by the waiter – ordered a vindaloo dish in Bradford, home of really great Indian cooking in England.  I looked on in a mixture of amusement and horror as he had tears streaming down his face while there was no sign of a waiter in site to refill his water.  I think he was maybe being filmed for the staff’s general amusement, to be watched repeatedly.  Hell, maybe they even increased the heat just for being an American.

Forced to admit defeat he would later have to pay a similar price a few hours later when it came out the other end.  Poor bastard.

So there I was today, fearing the moment when I would have to taste it.  After steeling myself I took the tiniest amount in.  And guess what?  It wasn’t too bad.  There was definitely some heat, but nothing that wouldn’t allow me to taste ever again.

In addition I made some coconut rice which Joe added mango to as an accompaniment to the lamb – a nice combination of heat and sweetness.  I also made some naan from the worst recipe on the planet – it called for equal parts flour and milk, not good when you’re trying to make a flat bread.  I just kept adding more flour to the mixture until it was a workable consistency.  Surprisingly it ended up tasting pretty good, good enough to even present with my final plate.

You know you’ve done well when you receive a hug from the chef.  I knew it was good, afterall, I made it.  I just wasn’t expecting that sort of reaction.

I’d post the recipe but have at the moment misplaced my recipe pack.  When I find it, or get a new one tomorrow – I’ll make sure to post it.  I’ll even include the rough ratios for the coconut/mango rice.  I’ll leave the naan recipe off though.

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