Vindaloo and Arsenal Sign a Lion

Funny story but I first learned how to make Vindaloo by making Chile Colorado. See, Chile Colorado is simply a blend of dried red peppers, garlic, and onions. You reconstitute the dried peppers and throw in some onions and garlic and blend that into a paste. That paste is cooked along with pork in a slow cooker and then shredded for the very best tamale filler (taco filler, burrito filler, or even just belly filler) you’ve ever had.

What’s amazing is that once you have the base, you can adjust this recipe to make nearly any type of chili paste you want. I’m serious here. You can make your own thai chili paste, Chile Colorado, vindaloo, adobo, or even just “peppered” beef.

Now, I’m being a bit glib with all this and I know that there are a lot of grandmas out there who will say “that’s not true Vindaloo” (or chile colorado, etc) but I have eaten and cooked along with many people from all over the world and the one thing I can say for absolute certainty is that no two moms make chili/curry the same.  That’s why I want to emphasize the technique and not exact ingredients. Plus, this post is an homage to the Fat Les song Vindaloo which is a sort of comedic song about British culture and we all know that despite the Brits love of curry they aren’t eating true Goan/Indian curries: they eat a British version.

And that’s OK! It’s not only OK, it’s exactly what I want you all to do! You make this chili the way that you want.

Ok, so the basic technique is this: go to the store and buy a bag of dried chilis. The smaller ones are hotter, the bigger ones are sweeter. Most people I know who make Chile Colorado use a blend of three peppers: some like California, New Mexico, Guajillo, ancho (fruity), and some like a lot of chiles de arbol (spicy!!)

To make Vindaloo I use kashmiri chilis if I can find them but otherwise I use any of the smaller, hotter chilis like arbol. All you do is take a pair of scissors, cut off the stem, and dump out the seeds. Then put those chilis in the bowl of your blender. Now, even here you can change things up. You want your chili to be ridiculously hot? Leave the seeds. You want it to be somewhat hot? Leave some seeds. The seeds are what make your chili truly spicy.

After you have the whole bag of chilis in there, put the kettle on (do you even?), and when that’s boiling, pour the boiling water over the chilis, just enough to cover.

Now add a head of peeled garlic and a enough shallots to make a large onion’s worth. You will also want a punch of salt and some peppercorns in there.

Let that steep for at least five minutes. That is your base!

For my signature vindaloo, I add a cinnamon stick, some cloves, a knob of ginger, cardamom seeds and coriander seeds (I’d guess a teaspoon each, these are whole seeds BTW). Many people add turmeric but I can’t stand the stuff. It tastes like an old sock and the only thing it adds to the curry is the ability to stain everything it touches. No thanks!

Before I blend everything up, I actually pour most of the water off into a side cup which I use for making the paste blend better. Then I put in a 1/4 cup each of apple cider vinegar and (again, this is where I’m weird) the same amount of tamarind paste. Tamarind paste is hard to find but they have it at my local ‘Hong Kong’ market. Then I turn on the blender and pulverize everything into a fine paste adding some of the reserved steeping liquid as needed.

I pour that over my pork and marinate, if I have time. If I want Vindaloo tonight, I pop it all in the pressure cooker and cook the meat for 30-45 minutes, until tender.

Serve with rice.

Anyway, France and Belgium here in a few minutes and the system has a slight edge (1.2%) to France. So, basically, too close to call. I think, however, that Belgium has the weakest defense of the final four contestants and the weakest defensive coach. So, I am going with France. Meh, super basic of me. I know.

And finally… Arsenal have signed Lucas Torreira! A fantastic addition to this Arsenal team and one which gives us depth of both bodies and character in midfield. Lucas is a great talent with more in his toolkit than just tackles and interceptions. He is a little lion with a wand for a foot and I can’t wait to watch him grow over the next four years. Very exciting.

I have lost track of how many column inches have been devoted to “how do we fit (insert player) into this team.” I think it’s great that people love to speculate.

I’m not even remotely worried about how Ozil fits, how Torreira fits, how Ramsey fits, etc. Unai Emery is an astute coach, he will fit the players where they will be most effective in both attack and defense against specific opponents. Sometimes that will mean a basic 442, sometimes a 433, sometimes a 451 (or 4141), or whatever. Emery’s entire job is to get the best out of this team and after reading that interview yesterday I fully believe in his abilities to do so.

Have a great day everyone!



  1. My two favorite hobbies are cooking and watching/reading about/talking about soccer, so today was a most satisfying post. Thank you!

    A couple of things:

    You really grind up a cinnamon stick? Don’t you end up with hard bits of bark in your teeth? Anyway, I would leave it whole, simmer it in the sauce, and then fish it out before the cooking process ends (say, after about 10-15 minutes), i.e., before the sauce gets overpowered with the flavor.

    Otherwise, this sounds like a fantastic and easy recipe, and you’re not at all weird for putting tamarind in it.

    1. Dry roast the whole spices for about a minute and then blend. They will become fine powder and get infused in the gravy/curry.

    1. Rampant consumerism, I say!! If we needed blenders we would come equipped with them at birth dear boy.

  2. #TimeForTorreira

    And for the world cup! Can’t wait for today’s match. I’m going with a 1-1 draw with France to win in extra time.

  3. Turmeric is supposed to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer (As long as it is pure and not coloured/dyed to look fresh. That causes cancer) Turmeric in hot milk helps cure internal injuries which cause bruising or swelling. It is good for your skin. Turmeric is wonderful. Just saying. Granted, it stains and I can see why you wouldn’t like the taste. I hardly taste it as a separate thing when it’s there, but that’s because I’m used to it I guess.

    I’m going to need you to write book compiling all your recipes that you’ve put here over the years. Except for the one about boiling eggs. That was useless 😛

    Lucas Torreira and apparently this Guendouzi kid are done. Interesting that after Adli changed his mind, we signed a similar prospect (with similar hair)

    Ronaldo to Juventus also done. Huge for Juve. The second season of their Netflix series will have a new plot!

    1. That same store has turmeric root for sale. I guess you could put that in the blender. If you really want turmeric.

        1. Ohhhhh… you could even have a little sidebar on the match/topic that inspired it. Call it “The Gooner’s 7amcookbook”!

      1. One year in Ellensburg WA and I couldn’t bear driving to Seattle to get some of this stuff. My supply from old Delhi ran out 4 months in. Headed to Kansas now, let’s see what Wichita has done on the Indian groceries and spices.
        (Indians from India love guns. I learned this in Oregon and Montana. Single shooters for me, none of those spray bullets guns).

  4. Since you like recipes that have red chillies as the main ingredient you should try the laal maans recipe from Rajasthan. Laal maans translates to Red Meat. The red here referring to the chillies. The meat used is usually mutton. 🙂

  5. Good recipe though one of the great things about Vindaloo or indeed any spicy dish is the heat. Leave those seeds in dude unless you’re cooking for dietary needs or kids. My kids were upset at Wife-of -1-Nil when she removed the seeds that one time back when. Not cool. But in an Indian family, that’s what we do. Until the ulcers set in.
    France 3-2 Belgium. No seeds.

  6. BTW, I am officially a Wild Boars fan. A bit of good news today, much needed, as always. Wife of 1 Nil is making her excellent Pad Thai tonight in their honor. I am shopping for Thai Basil as I type.

  7. I was totally off on the Ronaldo deal. I guess Juve found a way.

    I would bet now that Hazard is the one to go to Madrid. Chelsea is unsettled, he’s flirted with it before. I can’t see PSG letting Neymar go already and Mbappe has made his transfer fee impossible with his World Cup.

    Anyway, the merry-go-round has started.

    Arseblog and Gunnerblog did a thing on their last podcast – what three players would we want to sell, now that in-coming is reportedly done.

    I would argue for

    1- Ospina. His time is done with us.
    2 – Welbeck. Surely we aren’t going to offer him a new deal, so why not sell him.
    3 – Ozil. This is fantasy, but 350k a week is too much salary for a player that I just don’t see as being that keen on a high-pressing defensive game. (This assumes we’re keeping Ramsey).

  8. Is it just me or have the free kicks and corners been generally sh1t this world cup? Ronaldo’s against Spain remains on a pedestal.

  9. A tight game but so far Belgium looking more likely. France’s reluctance to commit players forward was brilliantly anticipated by Martinez in his decision to play Fellaini as an auxillary #9. When Belgium have possession, Fellaini is causing havoc in the box and allowing Hazard and KdB time on the ball.

    On the other side, Mbappe’s runs appear the only thing likely to unsettle Belgium, but they have coped well with him thus far by limiting transition opportunities centrally by limiting riskier passes to the flanks. That’s straight out of the Guardiola handbook of excellent football.

    1. Giroud looks like a fish out of water with this lightning in a bottle French attack. Stick Aubameyang up there and France probably already scored in this game. It speaks of Deschamps’ lack of imagination to play him in this game when he knew France wasn’t trying to possess the ball.

        1. He’s been better than Lukaku, so far. The actual Belgian #9 hasn’t had much going for him despite his team being generally pretty good. But Lukaku generally looks like he belongs in the Belgian tactical setup.

          1. Lukaku is twice the player Girous is. He’s grown up a lot this world cup, but he can get even better.

    2. Fellaini has taken up an utterly bizarre position on the left wing in the past 10 minutes. Any goodwill I’ve had to Martinez will be gone if this continues.

  10. Love Olivier Giroud, and will continue to so so long after he has left Arsenal… but he stopped being worth his place in the France starting XI a long time ago. Physical and tough, but slow and one-dimensional. Must be frustrating to Mbappe.

    Up to halftime, having one of those game he used to have for Arsenal. All ineffective shrugging. Id take him off, and give them some pace and mobility up front.

  11. Umtiti reprising the Steve Bould header at the near post, proving that there is nothing new under the sun.

    Giroud with a nice swivel and shot to set up that corner as well. Credit where credit is due!

  12. Mbappe keeps laying caviar on for Giroud… amazing. He’s not just about speed. What a player!

  13. France took complete control in the 2nd half by pushing higher and pressing Belgium’s slow midfield, forcing error after error. Martinez counters by bringing on Mertens as a shuttler down the right and suddenly Belgium getting chances down his flank. Your move again, Deschamps.

    1. France go through deserving the win after the halftime adjustment by Deschamps and it wasn’t as close as the scoreline in my opinion. I’m just happy I get to watch Mbappe in one more game after this. I think he is the best player in the world right now.

  14. Seri to Fulham.
    We announced Torreira. Finally.
    Man City get Mahrez 60 mil. Time to see if he can recreate his performances from Leicester’s title-winning season.
    We announce Guendouzi. One for the future.
    We sign Sam Greenwood. One for the next decade.
    It’s all good.

  15. The team that blended its tactics and skills the best won today.
    Martinez showed his desperation when he moved the dangerous Hazard to midfield and put Fellaini out wide. Hazard had to go against Kante, Giroud, Pogba, and Greizmann in the middle as oppose to Pavard and Mbappe.
    Mertens was a good Belgium move but Umtiti and Varane were excellent in defending Lukaku.
    I hope Matuidi can recover from his Concussion FIFA by Sunday because he is will be the X-factor against whoever wins tomorrow.
    Watching these WC games has elevated my appreciation of tactics and formations.

  16. I wish Eduardo was still with the Croatian NT so that I could root for that team.
    Unless Welbeck plays, there is no one to root for on England.
    I will be rooting for France because they are playing with the best blend of attack and defensive football. France is also not afraid to play through the midfield. Are you listening England? This why I think England will lose because they will concede the midfield to Croatia.

  17. The Battle of Hastings, the Battle of Waterloo and all the wars in hundreds of years inbetween. It will be an epic England v France.

  18. Mancity just signed mahrez. . I always knew pep was a mediocre coach who fancies spending money to buy everything ..over 500million in less than 4 years? That’s absurd!!
    We just announced guen!! Now arsenal are doing business in a very smart and romantic way! Emery completely bloods this team with friendlies against psg and atletico..
    Don’t blame me please..I’m just happy!

  19. Arsenal thought of the day:

    This raft of signings, especially in midfield, is a damning indictment of Emery’s perception of the options he had in this squad, or perhaps of the perceptions of the brain trust now running the transfer biz. They also dealt pretty ruthlessly with players who were probably not going to make a difference, like Cazorla and Wilshere, who were both beloved sons and would probably still be at the club if Wenger was in charge. Arsenal are being dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 2010’s!

    World Cup musings:
    Croatia should be pretty well equipped to deal with England’s offensive threats from wide areas and on set pieces given their size and a wealth of industrious wide men. They are also equipped to exploit England centrally with Modric and Rakitic matched up against the far less sophisticated tandem of Henderson and Dele. I fear for Croatia the longer this match goes on because England already had the physical edge and you have to wonder about the durability of some of Croatia’s key players, like Mandzukic. But if they can take the lead and play keep ball, this could be a relatively easy win for them. I do not see England’s plan B.

    For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, 538’s “50 Years of World Cup Dopplegangers” is really fun. Luka Modric at this tournament is apparently playing like ’94 Wilm Jonk and ’06 Zinedine Zidane. Long live the Croatian Zizou!

    1. Hey Doc,

      Interesting ideas there. I hope you’re right about Croatia, but I have a feeling this is England’s year. They’ll blood and thunder and set piece them to death. I just think Croatia won’t have enough in the tank after two 120-minute games in the tournament, the last one only a few days ago.

      As for your thoughts on Emery’s perception of our midfield, I’m not sure it was quite that bad. He clearly puts a lot of stock in Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, and, I believe, Ramsey. However, yes, he obviously looked around and didn’t see a defensive midfielder anywhere among them, which is why he’s gone after Torreira and Guendouzi (who apparently can play both DM and box-to-box). Cazorla’s career is finished at the top, so that was a no-brainer, and finally, finally we got a manager who saw that Wilshere was not good enough to be an automatic starter at a club with top four ambitions.

      You’re right, it does feel we have a coach who wants to bring the team into the modern game, but my guess is he’s fairly happy with the personnel he inherited (note that the club isn’t, to my knowledge, pursuing an attacking player, they’re keeping Cech, they’ve extended Chambers’ contract, and are seemingly ok with Mustafi). On the other hand, you can’t overhaul a team drastically in the same year you get a new coach. Too much instability is costly.

      1. I forgot about Elneny. The long-term deal he signed in March was a sign of the confidence that the IRS have in him, as a squad player at the very least. Not sure what Emery thinks of him, but midfield has been a big problem for years now, and so I’m certain that Elneny — along with all the rest of our midfielders — came up during the interview process as Emery outlined his vision.

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