Ellen makes Meat Vindaloo
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"Hi! My name is Ellen and I have been invited to my very fist Indian potluck! I have decided to make meat Vindaloo."
"Yikes! Is this dish even Indian? I don’t want to bring something Portuguese to an Indian potluck. "
"My cookbook says the most common ingredients in Vindaloo are beef, vinegar, garlic, chili peppers and black peppers!"
Ellen does not know what ingredients to put in Vindaloo so she heads to the library to do some research. She has been told that different recipes can use different ingredients. Ellen is looking to create the most authentically Indian dish that she can.
"I wonder how all of these new ingredients became apart of Indian cuisine? I thought people who practiced Hinduism did not eat beef. "
Ellen finds a book called "Cooks and Culture". Ellen’s research shows her that meat vindaloo originates from the region of Goa in India during the time of Portuguese colonization. Vindaloo, she learns, is an adaption of the Portuguese dish 'carne de vinho e albos'.
"Most recipes call for these 5 ingredients but some ask for slightly different things. I think I will mix it up!"
She decides the best way to determine if Vindaloo is actually Indian is to look at the origins of the ingredients. The beef, vinegar and chili peppers were brought by the Portuguese but the garlic and black peppers were already in India. “I guess it is a mix of both!” she thinks.
Beef is used in Indian cooking as a product of the Inquisition in the 1560’s when the Portuguese forced mass conversion to Christianity. The Portuguese also controlled the spice trade and brought the Chili Peppers.
Ellen decides to substitute the beef with lamb, a common decision, so anyone at the party who practices Hinduism can eat her dish. She also decides to serve the vindaloo on potatoes (traditionally from Europe), instead of rice. Potatoes are her friend Alison's favourite!
The fusion of both cultures was a product of colonization. Religion, class and eating habits also transformed as the two cultures interacted with each other.
"I now realize meat vindaloo is a hybrid of Indo-Portuguese culture and not an authentically Indian dish but I hope my friends still like it. Boy, does it smell good!"
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