Fiery Chicken Vindaloo

Classic vindaloo from the Goa region of India is an amazing combination of spice, garlic and vinegar – traditionally served with pork it can be spiced up or down to your taste. If your taste is daring, then you should try this very spicy version that I concocted today. I was very much in the mood for something that was going to wake up my taste buds after a few days of, dare I say, bland American food. This curry certainly did the trick.

2 medium onions (roughly chopped)
4 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
3 fresh hot Indian green chillies

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods (lightly bruised)
20 fresh curry leaves

Curry powder:
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons hot chilli powder
2 teaspoons kashmiri chilli powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt

1 large tomato (chopped)
1kg chicken thighs (whole)
5 tablespoons cider vinegar

In a blender, blend the onion, garlic, ginger and fresh chillies into a puree with a little water.

Heat the coconut and vegetable oils in a large heavy based pan over a medium/high heat until hot. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cinnamon, cardamom and curry leaves and sizzle until the mustard seeds start to pop. Add the onion puree and stir well – cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring regularly until the paste is thick and lightly browned. Add the curry powder ingredients and stir for 30 seconds before adding the tomato and 1 cup water. Let this come to a boil and stir for 3-4 minutes until the tomato begins to break down.

Add the chicken and stir for 5 minutes before adding 500ml water. Stir well, and bring to a simmer. Pour in the cider vinegar and partially cover the pan. Reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and adjust salt and/or vinegar levels to your taste.

Serve with lots of fluffy basmati rice to soak up all the delicious spicy sauce. I always like to serve my vindaloos with a bottle of beer too – as it helps counteract the spice rather well.


Lee’s Tip:

To make the curry go a little further, add 6-7 small salad potatoes cut in half after 25 minutes of cooking. Or to make it a little greener – throw in a cup of frozen peas right at the end and simmer for 1-2 minutes.

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