• Dr. Mohan Dewan assisted by Adv. Shubham Borkar

When it comes to food, the name of a dish holds meaning beyond just identification. The name of a dish can give insight into the history behind it, the ingredients used, or even the cultural significance it holds. In this series of blogs, we will explore the history behind famous Indian dishes.

From Portugal to Goa or Indo - Portuguese?

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Vindaloo is a popular Indian dish that has gained worldwide recognition for its fiery spiciness and unique flavour. While it is often associated with Indian cuisine, the origins of vindaloo are actually quite complex and can be traced back to various regions and cultures.

The word "vindaloo" is derived from the Portuguese dish "vinha d'alhos," which is a dish of meat marinated in wine vinegar and garlic. This dish was brought to India by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, and it eventually evolved into the spicy curry that we know today. 

In its early form, vindaloo was a simple dish made with pork, vinegar, and garlic, and it was typically served in the state of Goa, which was a Portuguese colony at the time. Over time, the dish evolved to include a range of spices and ingredients that were commonly used in Indian cooking, such as cumin, coriander, ginger, and chili peppers.

One theory about the evolution of vindaloo is that it was originally a dish made by Portuguese sailors who needed a way to preserve pork during long sea voyages. They would marinate the meat in vinegar and garlic, which helped to preserve it, and then add spices and chilies to give it flavour.

Another theory is that the dish was created by the Goan Catholic community, who were influenced by both Portuguese and Indian cuisine. The Goan Catholics were known for their love of pork and spicy food, and they may have adapted the Portuguese vinha d'alhos recipe to include local spices and ingredients, creating the unique vindaloo dish.

Regardless of its origins, vindaloo has become a beloved dish in Indian cuisine, and it is now commonly made with a range of meats, including chicken, lamb, and beef. The dish is known for its fiery spiciness, which comes from the use of dried red chilies, as well as its tangy flavour, which comes from the use of vinegar.

Vindaloo is typically made by marinating the meat in a mixture of vinegar, spices, and garlic for several hours or overnight, which helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavour. The meat is then cooked with onions, tomatoes, and more spices, creating a rich and flavourful curry.

While vindaloo has its roots in Portuguese cuisine, it has become an integral part of Indian cuisine and is enjoyed by people all over the world. Whether you prefer it hot and spicy or mild and flavourful, there's no denying the appeal of this delicious and unique dish.



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