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jamie oliver

Freezer-Friendly Vindaloo


This post is part of Zoë Desborough’s September Recipe RoundUp. Follow her on PumpUp (@zoedesborough), check out her blog, and the rest of her recipes

I love making this recipe (and a few other Indian recipes) since it makes such a big batch, super flavorful, and easy and quick options for those days you just don’t have time to cook. It is one of the hottest dishes you can order in a traditional Indian restaurant, so beware! This recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution cookbook. I highly recommend investing in his cookbooks! And if you don’t want to purchase them, go check out his website!

It’s definitely not a recipe you can whip up in 30 minutes, but it is an absolute crowd pleaser!

First step is to make your curry paste (SO MUCH BETTER THAN STORE BOUGHT)

Ingredients for the paste


-        2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

-        Thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

-        2-3 dashes of dried chili flakes (you can use Sriracha, hot sauce, or 4 dried chili peppers)

-        1 tbsp. turmeric

-        1/3 tsp. sea salt

-        3 tbsp. canola oil (peanut oil is an ok substitute)

-        2 tbsp. tomato paste

-        2 fresh chilies, roughly chopped (I omitted them…. You’ll understand why when we get to step 2)

-        Small bunch of cilantro, washed

-        1 tsp. coriander seeds

-        2 tsp. fennel seeds

-        1.tsp fenugreek seeds

-        4 whole cloves

-        1 tsp. black pepper corns

Ok, so this is actually the most complicated part of the recipe. You will need to pull out a food processor/blender and stick all the ingredients in EXCEPT the coriander, fennel and fenugreek seeds, cloves and black peppercorns… You’re going to want to toast these in a pan for a few minutes on medium heat until they start to brown and smell good…. Add them to the food processor once they have been toasted. Blend everything and set aside in a glass bowl.

Why glass bowl? Unless you want your plastic containers/utensils to be stained with turmeric (you should see the amount of yellow items I now own), you’re going to want to be quick about it! Yeah, you don’t want to reheat this in plastic containers because the color will leech into the plastic…hello orange or yellow tinted Tupperwares…



Ok! So hard part is done! You now have a delicious and spicy paste. Now for the main part…

Ingredients for the main dish

-        2 medium onions, finely chopped/sliced (1 ½ is ok)

-        4 cloves of garlic, minced

-        Thumb size piece of ginger, minced

-        1-2 fresh chilies, minced (REMOVE THE SEEDS IF YOU WANT TO TAKE SOME OF THE HEAT OUT)

-        Fresh cilantro STALKS… yes stalks…. Keep the leaves for garnishes

-        4 ripe tomatoes, quartered

-        Choice of the following

  • chicken thighs, whole or chopped
  • pork shoulder, diced
  • lamb, leg part
  • beef, any cheap cut… stewing beef would be good
  • Tofu, dice it!

-        1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

-        1 tbsp. honey

-        Vindaloo paste

-        Glug of olive oil

-        Pat of butter… think of it as the size of a marble


In a large pot (you’ll want the biggest one you have) on medium heat, add the butter and oil, then the onions, garlic, ginger, cilantro stalks, chilies and sauté for 10 minutes until translucent and fragrant. Turn the heat down if it starts sticking at the bottom… You really just want this to be super fragrant and almost watery. If you’re wondering why oil and butter, it’s because the oil will prevent the butter from burning.

Once that has been sautéed for 10 minutes, add your meat/meat alternative and cook until there is no visible pink, then add your balsamic vinegar and cook for 1 minute. Add Vindaloo paste, honey and tomatoes and stir to combine. Before putting a lid on it, add 1 1/3 cup of water to the pot.

Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer for 45 to an hour. Stir it from time to time so nothing sticks and burns to the bottom, and add a bit of water if it’s starting to look dry.

In the meantime, you’re going to want to clean and wash your dishes, set the table, and put a pot of rice on to boil. You’re going to want to serve this dish with something that can easily absorb the heat, so I definitely suggest basmati rice, quinoa if you want to change things up. Since we’re doing this gluten free, I won’t suggest that you serve this with the traditional Naan bread, unless you can find some gluten free Naan bread! I tend to avoid any baked goods because of my other allergies (eggs, nuts)… If you can’t find Naan, Greek style pita or just plain old pita bread is fine.

Oh. Your dish should be done by now! Serve your Vindaloo over rice/quinoa or next to your Naan/bread. I highly recommend having a tiny bowl of plain yogurt nearby, a little dollop will help reduce the spiciness. Garnish with the reserved cilantro leaves!


About Zoë: 

I’m 23, Canadian and bilingual (those who want the recipes in French can always comment on my profile for me to translate the recipes). I started my fitness journey in January 2012 when I challenged myself to get back into shape by setting myself a goal, accomplishing a triathlon that August…which I completed! Since then, I have been determined to become a better me. I have completed a duathlon and four 5km races since then, and dropped around 30lbs. I’ve always had a great passion for food and fitness, and my dream is to one day have my own real cookbook. Living with life threatening allergies isn’t always easy, especially when you’re trying to get healthy and all you see in books and magazines are things that can potentially kill you.