Another amazing Indian food here, this time made in a slow cooker. I have to tell you that I think a slow cooker (or crock pot or whatever you want to call it) is an essential kitchen item, and I have just posted this in my Kitchen Essentials section.
Vindaloo, whether it be with lamb, pork, chicken or beef, is one of the hottest dishes in all of Indian cooking. Not only does this recipe call for cayenne pepper, but it also calls for six Chipotle chili peppers. These are essentially Jalapenos that have been smoked. This dish is not for the weak willed, but it is so delicious. It should be served over Basmati rice.
For those who may not have an adventurous palate where “heat” is concerned, I am also providing a recipe at the end for a yogurt sauce that can be used to “cool” the dish when serving. The combination of the rice and the yogurt sauce should make it tolerable for even the weakest palate.
1 boneless leg of lamb, 4-5 lbs, trimmed of fat and cut in bite-sized pieces
3 medium red potatoes, washed and cut in bite-sized pieces
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 large Vidalia onions, chopped and divided
1.5 cups of frozen petite peas, defrosted
10 garlic cloves, crushed
6 Chipotle chili peppers, reconstituted and scraped (see Directions)
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp cardamom
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Kosher salt
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
1 tbsp cornstarch plus 1 tbsp water
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, peeled, trimmed and seeds removed
Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper (to taste; for the yogurt-cucumber sauce)
The first order of business is to prepare the Chipotle chili peppers. Reconstitute the peppers by soaking them in boiling water for 30 minutes. Once they have cooled, cut them open and scrape the chili meat from the skin and set aside.
In a food processor, take half the onion, the garlic, the Chipotle chili peppers, the cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, cayenne, cumin, paprika, ginger paste and two tablespoons of the olive oil and pureé into a paste. Put it into a bowl and add the lamb pieces. Stir to coat the lamb thoroughly and place in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day heat the balance of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the marinated lamb. You may need to do this in batches, but you do not need to cook the lamb through. Place in a slow cooker along with the beef broth, the salt, the sugar, the tomatoes, the potatoes, and the bay leaves. Cook on low for about 6-8 hours. About 30 minutes before the vindaloo is done, add the peas, then mix the tablespoon of cornstarch and the tablespoon of water and add it to the slow cooker. Stir thoroughly. The cornstarch-water mix will help to thicken the stew.
Serve over Basmati rice and garnish with cilantro.
Turning Down the Heat
Yogurt is a great way to temper the heat of this dish. Take the cup of plain Greek yogurt and the cucumber and put it in a food processor. Pureé until smooth and add salt and pepper to taste. Put in bowl and refrigerate until you serve the Lamb Vindaloo.