Dr Tommy Thompson's beef rib vindaloo

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Dr Tommy Thompson's beef rib vindaloo

Main Serves 2 4h 15 min
Dr Thompson says 'Don't be afraid to go heavy on the garlic - vindaloo comes from 'vin', vinegar, and 'alho' for garlic (not aloo for potato like all the takeaways fob you off with!) To give it extra intensity you can toast the whole spices first, and even roast the garlic.' A slow cooker would be perfect for this dish as you could leave it to tick away all afternoon. A low oven (130°C/Gas ½) would work well too if you find it hard to keep your hob on a low, slow simmer.


  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 onions
  • 2cm fresh ginger
  • 2 fresh green chillies
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 dried chillies
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • ½ inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 sheath mace
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 500g beef ribs
  • oil or ghee
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp tamarind
  • 2-3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 4h
  • Step 1

    Peel the garlic, onions and the ginger, deseed the green chillies. Blend them all into a paste with a dash of water to loosen.
  • Step 2

    Grind all the dry spices together.
  • Step 3

    Fry the ribs in oil (or ghee if you can get it) until starting to brown. Add the onion paste and cook until most of the water has evaporated and it begins to brown. Add the spice mix and fry for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato purée, tamarind paste and the vinegar, cover with water.
  • Step 4

    Cook until ribs are tender, about 4 hours, keeping topped up with water until the ribs are nearly done, then let it cook down to a thick sauce. Adjust the seasoning and add sugar if necessary to take the sour edge off and leave a kind of hot and slightly sour garlicky sauce.

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