As lovely as outdoor cooking is, everybody needs a night off now and then. With the bad weather giving an additional excuse to seek out some tasty vegan food, we headed into Luz to a place where we knew we could get a good meal. It is not always easy to find vegan food in restaurants in Portugal, but at Saffron Indian Restaurant we knew we would be well catered for and the owner understands the world vegan perfectly.
Where ever you are in the world you are guaranteed to be able to find something vegan to eat at an Indian restaurant, as long as you like curry, and we love curry. What we hadn't anticipated was the quality of the homemade samosas. As the owner said, "unlike in England, we can't just buy them in so we have to make them from scratch; pastry, filling, everything". We'd never even considered that Indian restaurants in the UK bought in things like samosas, but it could account for why they nearly all taste the same. Not these ones though; these were big fat parcels of joy, with melt in the mouth pastry containing whole ajwain seeds, and filled to the brim with delicately spiced onion, potato and peas. They came with tamarind chutney and another green chutney of mint, coriander and green chilli (to replace the yoghurt raita that they would normally come with). The rest of the meal was delicious too, with the more standard dishes of rice, sag aloo, baingan bharta and dhal, all hitting the spot nicely.
The stand out dish for us was the samosas though, so a few days later we headed back to pick up some more for picnic fodder before we headed inland to the Barragem da Bravura, a man-made lake in the foothills of the Serra de Espinhaco de Cao. We ate the samosas overlooking the water and this fuelled us up for a walk across the dam and into the hills.
As we write this we are once again in Luz and debating whether to go and order some more!