Difficulty: Easy

Inactive prep time: 24 hours

Active prep time: 15 minutes

This is a simple version of what can be a complex paste/sauce, while retaining great and complex flavors. In fact, the only thing I used that wasn’t in my normal cadre of ingredients was tumeric. I used serrano and habanero peppers because they are common and easy to find in my local supermarket. Trying harder to find peppers will alter the flavor, and be a fun way to play with this recipe to find combinations you like best. Feel free to make this hotter, I’ve had some great Vindaloo which really brought out the endorphins. As described here, the dish will be “hot”. If you can’t handle that much heat, add a single seeded Jalapeno to retain a little bite.


  • 2 Serrano peppers
  • 1 Habanero pepper (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground tumeric
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 pound shrimp/lamb/chicken/tofu
  • 4 tablespoons butter (optional)


  1. Combine deseeded chilis, ginger, onion, garlic, cumin, tumeric, oil, and vinegar, and puree until smooth (I leave my serranos whole, including seeds for some extra kick).
  2. Cut meat/tofu into 1″ cubes, if using shrimp, leave whole (but peeled)
  3.  and cover meat/tofu in a plastic bag, marinate for 24 hours in refrigerator.
  4. Saute meat and marinade (optionally in butter) until done.
  5. Serve over Basmati rice


  • I made this with shrimp for my first try, shrimp doesn’t absorb much marinde. If you’re going to use shrimp, you can likely get away with an hour of marinating.
  • Tumeric stains. It stains instantly and permanently. If you have formica counters, poly or wood cutting boards or surfaces, and you drip any of this sauce on them, they will stain. Instantly. Take care, don’t make/eat this wearing your best white clothes.