I first ate Goan Chicken Vindaloo in Goa, India. I was so excited to try the dish from the source. As a Brit, I'd long since given up ordering it from restaurants due to the sheer amount of horrendously over-spiced let downs I'd had in the past. My version is spicy, but it's also not over spiced - it's one of my 10 Best Chicken Curry Recipes. Discover why...
Not too hot to handle.
Any good Indian chef has told me the same thing. Vindaloo is hot, but not ridiculously hot. The spice is cooked into the curry to create a balanced, complex level of heat. A good Indian chef friend of mine, complained that a lot of lazy chefs add chilli powder at the end to meet the customer's spice limits. "This would never happen in India!" he exclaimed. "You get what you get and you can spice it further with fresh chilli."
With that said, my Vindaloo is hot, but completely manageable. You can strip back the chilli content if you like obviously. If you ARE looking for a spice challenge, why not try the mighty Balti Lamb Phal - a deliciously challenging curry to cook AND eat!
The Chicken Vindaloo is a distinctive sour curry.
Vindaloo has a distinctive and wonderfully pronounced sourness. This comes from the use of vinegar which is added near the end of cooking to keep its sharpness. Back in Goa, the pork Vindaloo I ate used copious amounts of coconut vinegar. It was incredibly sour - but utterly delicious! My version uses less vinegar and I substitue coconut vinegar with apple cider vinegar, but still retains the sourness. Again, you can dial this up or down as you like. The vibrant red colour for the vindaloo is thanks to in part, the wonderfully mild but richly coloured Kashmiri chilli powder - the most prized chilli powder in India.
In summary, Vindaloo is a triumph! One of the tastiest curries from the South India and a national treasure. If you're looking for a curry to remember that's easy to cook at home, the vindaloo is most definitely on the hot list!