I once met an Indian man who told me with great sweeping arm gestures about the history and meaning of the Vindaloo curry. Aloo, meaning potato in Hindi! Historians, however, attribute the dish to Portuguese ship merchants’ influences in the south of India – vinho, meaning wine, and alho, meaning garlic. I will steer through safe waters and name this dish according to both sources – India for its potatoes and Portugal for its circumnavigator.
Make a runny paste from spice, garlic, ginger, coconut milk and 75ml of water in a blender or mortar and pestle. Place marinade in bowl with lamb and marinade for 2-3 hours in fridge.
Heat oil in heavy based pan. With thongs, remove lamb pieces from sauce and fry off. Add onion and fry for a few minutes. Add remaining sauce and bring to a rapid simmer, allowing to bubble for 30-40 minutes or until meat is tender. Add water if necessary throughout cooking.
Serve on steamed rice.
If using chicken, lift the meat out when cooked and simmer the sauce for remaining time, then re-place chicken and heat through before serving.