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Vindaloo: A Fiery Favorite from Iberia to India
A staple of Indian cuisine, vindaloo mixes authentic spices with intense heat. Dig into Groupon’s guide to learn more about the dish, including its surprising origins.
Normally, garlic and vinegar alone would be too pungent to make a decent sauce, but Indian cuisine is all about the spices. Vindaloo, in particular, blends the aforementioned ingredients with red chili peppers and variations of local spices—such as tamarind, ginger, cumin, and mustard seeds—resulting in a paste that’s both aromatic and intensely spicy. Typically thinner than most Indian curries, vindaloo nevertheless provides a fiery counterpoint to most vegetables and meats, especially pork.
One ingredient, however, remains conspicuously absent—“aloo” means “potato” in Hindi, yet few vindaloos call for any aloo at all. That’s because the name is actually a rough translation of Portuguese. Sailors came to India with barrels of pork preserved in wine, vinegar, and garlic, or “vinha de alhos,” and the locals soon added their own spin of spices and vowels to make the dish their own.