Egg Vindaloo with Green Beans & Cumin-Scented Rice

Egg Vindaloo with Green Beans and Cumin-Scented Rice

What’s your go-to order when you hit an Indian restaurant? For Bae and I, it always includes a vindaloo but we don’t have a strict allegiance to any particular type. Chicken, lamb, beef – bring it! But I have never in my life seen the likes of an Egg Vindaloo on an Indian restaurant’s menu. Perhaps, I have not been eating in the right places, because according to the Internet, egg vindaloo isn’t some new age vindaloo. It’s actually quite common in Goa, the homeland of vindaloo. And the second I knew of its existence, I knew I had to have it. Custardy egg yolks in a firey, vinegar-spiked sauce? There’s just nothing wrong with that. So, let’s dig into this Egg Vindaloo with Green Beans & Cumin-Scented Rice.

Ingredients - Egg Vindaloo with Green Beans and Cumin-Scented Rice

Okay, confession time: when I was growing up I hated Indian food. I was by no means a picky eater but Indian food was a bridge too far for me. My parents, who loved it then and still do, would reserve Indian food excursions for their wedding anniversaries because I couldn’t even stand the smell of the stuff in the house. This might be the childhood shortcoming I’m the most apologetic about. What tyranny! You can’t have the food you love, parents, because I, your precious, tender baby, am iffy about the smell. What a dumb kid! Let’s stop talking about her, she doesn’t know anything.

Chili Spice Paste - Egg Vindaloo with Green Beans and Cumin-Scented Rice

Needless to say, I eventually saw the light and realized that Indian food is something to be worshipped. But it took me until I was a teenager to get there. So many vindaloo-free years. So many missed samosa opportunities. What was I thinking? But don’t worry, I’m okay now. I’m more than making up for lost time. Indian food is at least a once a month occurrence in this household. Although, until recently, it mostly arrived in *chic* takeout containers and swaths of tin foil. But no more…or at least less more. I have decided to delve into the complex, diverse and storied world of Indian cuisine at full tilt.

Peeling Eggs - Egg Vindaloo with Green Beans and Cumin-Scented Rice

Today’s Egg Vindaloo is not the first Indian dish I’ve attempted. I’ve made pakora, a biryani, more than a few daals, and I’m sure you’ll recall a certain batch of Indian-leaning sliders. But to say I’m comfortable cooking Indian at this point would be a bald-faced lie. It amazes me how many common cooking practices in Indian cuisine are completely foreign to me.

Egg Vindaloo with Green Beans and Cumin-Scented Rice

For instance, when I was embarking on my first biryani, I clung to a particular recipe so hard that it felt like I was adrift in a sea and it was my life preserver. It’s been a long time since I needed a recipe like that. I nearly flipped my lid when it told me to throw in whole cloves and not in a sachet. All I could think about was how on earth I was going to remove them before serving and then I was terrified to learn I wasn’t supposed to. What the what?! But I trusted the recipe and by the time my biryani was done, the cloves had nearly disintegrated. The recipe knew what was up. I didn’t know better, I was being equal parts neurotic and clueless. It was a humbling experience.

Egg Vindaloo with Green Beans and Cumin-Scented Rice

This is the reason I love to cook. You’re always in the dark about something. Every time I dip my toe into different cuisine I am surprised, humbled and genuinely excited about what I learned. I find myself looking at familiar ingredients differently. Discovering techniques I never would’ve thought of in a million years. And ditto for all the flavor combinations my self-imposed education has opened me up to. For instance, while I was researching Egg Vindaloo, I learned a heck of a lot about Goa. And in particular, about the palm vinegar that gives vindaloo its distinctive flavor.

Egg Vindaloo with Green Beans and Cumin-Scented Rice

So, palm vinegar? Yeah, not exactly as common as the red wine stuff. In fact, palm vinegar was the Goan answer to red wine vinegar. Vindaloo is actually based on a Portuguese dish called Carne de Vinha D’altos, a pork dish consisting of, you guessed it, pork marinated in garlic and red wine vinegar. The recipe was devised as a way to partially preserve pork during sea voyages. The dish was introduced to Goa during the 15th century when Portuguese explorers arrived in Goa for the first time. Now, in order to make red wine vinegar, you need red wine but Goa wasn’t so much in the wine business. But they did have palm wine, so they fermented that and wound up with a truly distinct form of vinegar, which figures prominently throughout the country’s cuisine.

Egg Vindaloo with Green Beans and Cumin-Scented Rice

Vindaloo’s widespread popularity is due to the widespread popularity of Goan cooks during the British occupation of Goa (1797-1813). The Brits favored cooks from Goa because they did not object to working with beef, goat, pork or alcohol. Naturally, the British navy’s taste for Goan cuisine worked its way into British culture as a whole. And as a Canadian, I can attest to how much influence Britain had on North America during its formative years. This is why vindaloo is so widely consumed in the west.

Egg Vindaloo with Green Beans and Cumin-Scented Rice

Now, the vindaloo we eat is often bastardized. Most of the English-speaking world take the word “vindaloo” as shorthand for the hottest curry on the menu. But when it comes to a traditional vindaloo that’s not necessarily the case. Yes, vindaloo is always made with chilies but it is the distinct flavor of the vinegar that is the dish’s true calling card.

Egg Vindaloo with Green Beans and Cumin-Scented Rice

But having said that, I was unable to track down the all-important palm vinegar. I used apple cider vinegar in its stead because of its inherent sweetness, which is a large part of palm vinegar’s flavor profile. I’m sure it is not the same but, having no idea what I was missing, I thought the Egg Vindaloo tasted ridiculously good. But if you do know where in the GTA I can get palm vinegar. Please, feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Egg Vindaloo with Green Beans and Cumin-Scented Rice

So, that’s everything you need to know about this sunny, showstopping, blissfully vegetarian Egg Vindaloo. It’s a quick cook and its hearty as all heck. Just what you need for these endless, dark early winter nights.

Egg Vindaloo with Green Beans and Cumin-Scented Rice

Enjoy!

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Egg Vindaloo with Green Beans & Cumin-Scented Rice

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 55 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 4 dried kashmiri chiles
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar divided
  • 2 teaspoons demerara sugar
  • 5 clove garlic peeled
  • 1 1-inch knob ginger, peeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 sweet onion halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups green beans halved
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • Fresh mint leaves

Cumin-Scented Rice

  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh mint leaves

Instructions
 

For the Vindaloo

  • Place the chiles in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over top. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  • While the chiles are soaking, combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Remove the stems from the soaked chiles and transfer them to a food processor. Add the garlic, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the cinnamon, the cumin and the turmeric. Blitz until a thick paste forms. Add a little of the chile soaking liquid if the paste is too thick or too choppy. Transfer the paste to a bowl and set aside.
  • Place a small saucepan of water over high heat. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to an energetic simmer. Add the baking soda and, using a spoon, lowered each egg into the simmering water. Cook the eggs for 7 minutes, then transfer to an ice bath. Let sit for 10 minutes. Peel the eggs and set aside.
  • Heat the ghee or vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok until shimmering. Add the eggs and fry until light golden on each side, roughly 2 minutes a side. Remove the eggs from the wok and cut them in half. Arrange the eggs cut side up on a large platter and set aside.
  • Add the onions and half of the remaining salt. Reduce the heat and slowly cook the onions until light golden in color and very soft. This should take about 15 minutes.
  • Add the red pepper flakes and the reserved chile paste to the onions and saute until very fragrant and bubbly. About 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar/sugar mixture and the remaining chile soaking liquid.
  • Add the green beans and the last of the salt and cook for 3 minutes or until just tender. Take the wok off of the heat.
  • Spoon the curry overtop of the sliced eggs. Dress the platter with yogurt, pomegranate arils and fresh mint leaves. Serve immediately with Cumin-scented Rice.

For the Rice

  • In a large saucepan melt the butter or ghee until frothy. Add the cumin seeds and saute until fragrant. Stir in the rice and toast until you start to hear it crackle. Pour the water over top and add the salt. Cover and cook the rice for 15 minutes or until tender.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork and transfer to a serving vessel. Dress the rice with fresh mint leaves and serve immediately alongside Egg Vindaloo.

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4 Comments

  1. I love vindaloo and have been starting too cook Indian food myself. I find that it is mostly the ingredient list that is intimidating but prepping everything first (and pairing up things that go into the pot together) helps a lot. I look forward to trying this recipe.

    RE: palm vinegar. If you have a Filipino market in your town or a more general Asian market that has a Filipino section, check there. Palm and/or coconut vinegar is commonly used in Filipino cuisine. My city has a fairly low Filipino population but we have a very well stocked international market and one Filipino market where I can get palm vinegar.

    1. Oh my goodness, KW! You are a life-saver! There is a Filipino market just up the street from me. Now, I just have to wait for it to open for the day. 😂

      If you do give the vindaloo a go, please let me know how it turns out. 😊

      1. My husband is Filipino, that’s the only real reason I knew that tidbit of info. I am a basic Midwestern US girl (northern European mutt) and never had Filipino food until I met him. Hope your search was more successful this go-around.

        1. It was, thank you! I now have a bottle to call my own. I’m also Northern European mutt but I definitely benefit from living in a seriously multi-cultural city. Otherwise, it would be biscuits or bust.😂