Saturday, June 12, 2010

Vindaloo paste

My blog has been a little quiet recently. There are various reasons, including an oven which tripped the electrics as soon as it was switched on, a set of gas rings which cooked in slow motion, way too much work and a large dose of emotional trauma. However, one of the few new things I have made was this vindaloo paste, pinched and adapted from Rick Stein's Taste of the Sea. You can use it as a cooking ingredient in curries or as a spicy condiment.

3 bags dried finger chillies
3 onions
3 inch cube ginger
6 cloves garlic
3 teaspoons cumin
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons tamarind pulp
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 teaspoons sugar

Remove the stalks and seeds from the chillies, and peel and roughly chop the onion, ginger and garlic. Put all of the ingredients in a food processor and whizz thoroughly at high speed until you have a smooth paste. Stored in sealed jars this should keep for several months.

Hot fingers
When preparing this, I made the mistake of not wearing gloves. I was pretty careful when chopping the chillies, but when deseeding them I hit upon the bright idea of popping them into a bowl of warm water, to get rid of any particularly stubborn seeds. It worked a treat, but about half an hour after I had finished the last two joints of the fingers of both my hands started to itch furiously. I went for a swim, which provided temporary relief, but the itching kicked in again as soon as I came out of the pool. That evening I was out for a drink with friends, and it was only on the way home that I realised the itching had finally stopped.