Saturday, April 23, 2011

Weekend Recipe: Chicken Vindaloo

I know many of you have wonderfully elaborate family meals planned for this holiday weekend, but I hope you'll bookmark this recipe and return to it later. A number of years ago my husband and I went searching for a vindaloo paste recipe. After some trial and error, this is the recipe that we've used, a combination of a number of recipes we've tried in the past.

This is the recipe we've used to make chicken vindaloo, but you could easily substitute lamb or pork. It makes a hearty, delicious meal on a rainy day! And, you could easily make up the paste in advance to use later, cutting your preparation time down.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6)
  • 2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. cardamom seeds
  • 3-inch stick cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp. whole black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. whole fenugreek seeds
  • 5 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 10 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and cut into half-rings
  • 6 Tbsp. water
  • 1-inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 8-10 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. ground coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 lb. boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • ½ lb. new potatoes, peeled and quartered
  1. Grind cumin seeds, black pepper, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, black mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds together in a spice grinder. In a small bowl, combine ground spices, vinegar, salt, cayenne pepper and brown sugar. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Fry onions, stirring frequently, until they are a rich, dark brown. Remove onions with a slotted spoon and put them in a blender. Turn off the heat, but do not discard the oil. Add 3 Tbsp. water (or more if necessary) to the onions and blend until you have a smooth paste. Add this onion paste to the spices in the bowl. This mixture is the vindaloo paste.
  3. Put the ginger and garlic in a blender. Add 3 Tbsp. water and blend until you have a smooth paste.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in the saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the ginger-garlic paste. Stir until the paste browns slightly. Add the coriander and turmeric. Stir a few seconds. Add the chicken, a little at a time and brown lightly.
  5. Add the vindaloo paste, tomato sauce and potatoes to the chicken in the saucepan. Stir and bring to a slight boil.
  6. Cover the saucepan, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about an hour, or until potatoes are tender.
  7. Serve over rice.
  • Don't undercook the onions. They should be cooked until dark brown. If the onion paste turns out gray rather than brown, then the onions were not cooked enough.
  • This dish is spicy. It may not seem so at first, but the spices have a cumulative effect that builds up over the course of the meal.
  • This is a time intensive meal, with about 30 minutes of preparation and 2 to 3 hours of cooking, but it is well worth it.

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