My Mumbai-an friend Rawat is head chef at the highly acclaimed Sea Spice Indian restaurant that has recently opened in Aldeburgh. It’s a great place, and we often provide some carefully chosen meat for the menu.
Rawat has come up with a new ‘special’ for Autumn that I’m very excited about - East Suffolk Muntjac Vindaloo. This curry (‘from the hills’ says Rawat) is one of my favourites – provided it’s not too hot – and I love the idea of pairing it with something as seasonal and local as muntjac. It seems like an inspired meeting of cultures.
I asked Rawat to give me the recipe. And he very kindly obliged. However, he was wonderfully blasé about quantities so I’ve had to do some research to pin down the amounts needed. Unlike me, when it comes to curry cooking, he does it by instinct. I notice that there are huge variations in ingredients for vindaloo, so don’t worry if you can’t get all of these spices exactly - just add what you can.
Rawat’s Muntjac Vindaloo (serves 6)
- 1.3 kilo diced muntjac (or venison)
- 125 ml sunflower oil
- 4 chopped onions
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1-2 whole red chillies
- 1-2 star anise (optional)
- 5 cardamom pods
- 2 teaspoons green peppercorns
- Long thumb fresh ginger, peels and chopped
- 3 tbsp tamarind paste (optional)
- 100ml red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp garam masala paste
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
Pre-heat oven 180ºC. Marinade venison in vinegar, 2 tbsp oil and generous sprinkling of salt for at least two hours.
Gently brown chopped onions in 2 tbsp of oil.
Put remaining ingredients into a food processor and puree to a thick paste.
Stir paste into fried onions. Add 2 more tbsp oil and cook for approx. 5 mins. Place mix in a casserole dish.
Drain the venison, pouring marinade into the casserole dish with 500ml water.
Fry venison in batches until browned, then add to casserole dish. Add salt, cover, and cook for 45 mins. Serve with rice and naan bread.