The Vegetarian Substitutions For Traditional Vindaloo

The curry house staple vindaloo is one that is rarely missing from any given Indian restaurant menu, but it's also seldom made vegetarian. It's a culturally significant dish that is traditionally served with meat, whether it be chicken, pork, or beef, however, the Goan curry can be made vegetarian fairly easily. All you need are two of what is arguably a vegetarian's most reliable substitutes — potatoes and cauliflower. With that, you could also throw in one of Nigella Lawson's favorite cauliflower curry ingredients, which is a banana peel. 

One common misconception about making a meat-centric dish vegetarian is that there will be a loss of flavor, but no need to worry, the heart of a vindaloo is all in sauce, not the meat. In fact, you may find that the potatoes and cauliflower soak up the flavor of the sauce even more than meat would. With this easy substitution, you can anticipate all the same warmth, spice, and comfort you'd get in any other bowl.

Potato and cauliflower vindaloo

When preparing vegetarian vindaloo at home, all the steps that go into preparing a regular vindaloo can be followed — minus the meat, of course. Simply boil your potatoes and cauliflower while you're reducing the curry sauce in a separate pan. After about 30 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and your potatoes are soft enough, you can throw the vegetables into the pan with the curry and let them cook together for about 10 minutes. Just be sure to stir the curry gently, as you don't want the vegetables to break into pieces.

Serve your vegetarian vindaloo as you would serve any other vindaloo, preferably alongside a serving of warm Jasmine rice. But, if you're one of its cult followers, a bowl of calrose rice would also work well. From there, you can chop up some fresh cilantro and use it as a garnish or blend up your own chutney to dollop on top. If you're particularly hungry, you can throw some vegetarian samosas in the oven, which would also pair fabulously with homemade chutney or even some garlic naan bread that would soak up all your curry flavors flawlessly.