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My mate who I am staying with at the moment likes her hot curries. Me, I'm a bit more wussy than that and tend to go for calmer options. On this occasion we bought this she was going mad for it and so I took a deep breath and we got it for tea!
You can buy this in a glass jar or a tin (Both are same sizes). Ours came in a can. Whether you buy the jar or can though both appear the same really in colourscheme and information given.
The can is 283g in size with a pink and purple label around it. On the front of that there is a picture of a tasty looking curry and I'm told that it is Pataks 'Original' Vindaloo 'A spicy, concentrated sauce, with crushed chilli and spices' and that it serves 4 people. On the back of the can other information given includes being told how to use the sauce, ingredients and allergy advice is listed, a nutritional chart is shown and contact details for AB Foods are listed (the manufacturer of Patak products). Nice enough can that is informative enough, the only thing I can complain about is that it has no ring-pull to the top of it for ease of opening which I would have appreciated.
Using this is very simple indeed. All you do is fry off your ingredients first and then add a 400g can of tomatoes and then add this to it too and let it come to the boil and then simmer it all in a saucepan for about 20 minutes.
I personally used only vegetables in our curry as my mate is a Vegetarian. I boiled up some potatoes, carrots and cauliflower and things like that and fried off some onions and then added the tomatoes and sauce and mixed it all together to simmer.
The sauce is a rich orangy colour and fairly thick though it tipped out of the can with complete ease. It smelt highly of tomatoes, coriander and cumin and when simmered thickened up and coated my vegetables nicely.
When I put our curries on the plate you could see no layers of oil and the sauce wasn't like water and you see flecks of green herbs running throughout it and it looked very tasty indeed actually.
This of course contains a lot of dried and crushed chillis. I was actually thinking as I was about to take my first forkful that it would blow my head clean off and it didn't. Sure it had a kick and was slightly hot but I felt that hotness was calmed down by the tomato flavouring that this contained.
Rich and packed with flavour, I found this comfortably warm and spicy, tangy and rich and we loved this and had no burning bums after consuming it I'm happy to report!
Nutritional Information Per100g
Energy: 123 Kcal
of which sugars: 5.2g
of which saturates: 0.7g
Available in all good supermarkets etc and expect to pay around £1.67 a can or jar and both are the same size though I bought this can is Asda just the other day whilst it on offer for a pound!
Vindaloo used to be my favourite curry (until I discovered phaal), I may be wrong but I'm fairly sure it has it came from Goa which in around the sixteenth century was colonized by the portuguese, apparently the recently arrived portugeuse brought with them a dish called "Carne de Vinha d'Alhos", a dish comprising of pork preserved in wine. Over the years the dish was changed and adapted until many years later we have the humble Vindaloo, TA DA!!!
Now the history lessons over, what is Pataks version of the porto-Indian classic like, does it stand up to the mighty take away. The answer in my opinion is no. Vindaloo is a tomato based sauce made with vinegar and I'm afraid Pataks have gone a bit mad with the old vinegar, making the sauce a little on the sharp side.
The smell is horrible when the can is opened, but that disappears after the sauce is cooked (this isn't peculiar to the Vindaloo as I've had it with the madras as well).
Don't get me wrong, I always love a curry in all shapes and sizes but Pataks doesn't do anything to stand out. In classic fashion the sauce has been toned down dramatically so as to appeal as wide a demographic as possible which I suppose is fair enough. Just don't expect to get your socks blown off by this one.
It's hard to get too excited about it as it is rather bland (apart from the vinegar sharpness) it's very mild not only on flavour but heat as well. If you're in a rush and have to buy a pre packaged sauce then this ones as good or bad as the next, nothing to differentiate it from other supermarket sauces. If you want the real deal then I'd say route out that menu and get a takeaway in. Or if you're feeling adventurous and have a couple of hours spare, you could try and make your own.
Here is a recipe I found on the internet (I didn't write the directions myself but did read through them and I think they'll make a good curry)
2 tsp cumin seeds, whole
1 tsp peppercorns, black
1 tsp cardamom seeds
1 cinnamon (3 in stick)
1 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds, whole
1 tsp fenugreek seeds, whole
5 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp brown sugar, light
10 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large yellow onions, peeled and cut into, half-rings
6 tbsp water
1 ginger, fresh (1-inch cube), peeled, and coarsely chopp
10 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely, chopped (or less)
1 tbsp coriander seeds, ground
1/2 tsp turmeric, ground
2 lb chicken breast (boneless), cut into, bite-sized pieces
8 oz tomato sauce
1/2 lb new potatoes, peeled and quartered
Grind cumin seeds, black pepper, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, black
mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds together in a spice grinder. In a
small bowl, combine ground spices, vinegar, salt, cayenne pepper and
brown sugar. Set aside.
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Fry onions, stirring
frequently, until they are a rich, dark brown. Remove onions with a
slotted spoon and put them in a blender. Turn off the heat, but do
not discard the oil. Add about 3 T water (or more if necessary) to
the onions and blend until you have a smooth paste. Add this onion
paste to the spices in the bowl. This mixture is the vindaloo paste.
Put the ginger and garlic in a blender. Add about 3 T water and blend
until you have a smooth paste.
Heat the remaining oil in the saucepan over medium heat. When hot,
add the ginger, garlic paste. Stir until the paste browns slightly.
Add the coriander and turmeric. Stir a few seconds. Add the chicken,
a little at a time, and brown lightly.
Add the vindaloo paste, tomato sauce and potatoes to the chicken in
the saucepan. Stir and bring to a slight boil. Cover the saucepan,
reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour, or until potatoes
are tender. Serve over rice.
Heat up your plate with spicy tomato, hot chilli and cumin.