Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Chicken Vindaloo

Chicken Vindaloo

Vindaloo curry is a staple on the menu of British Pubs and most Indian restaurants in England. Vindaloo is a hot and spicy curried dish available in various incarnations—pork, beef, chicken, lamb, (pork being the standard). The word vindaloo is a garbled pronunciation of the popular Portuguese dish carne de vinha d'alhos (meat marinated in wine-vinegar and garlic), which made its way to India (Goa) in the 15th century along with Portuguese explorers (source).

As the Portuguese—and their culinary contributions—were assimilated into the Goan culture, the Goan influence began to be evident in the vinha d’alho, with the addition of potent chilies and various spices, including ginger, coriander, and cumin. In the absence of the wine-vinegar, the more local ingredient - tangy tamarind, came to the rescue. The current version of the dish reflects its evolution, resulting in a fiery, tangy concoction containing some combination of garlic, chilies, coriander, cumin, onion, tomatoes, ginger, peppercorns and tamarind. Other ingredients that may typically be found in vindaloo masalas include tomatoes, cardamom, mustard seed, turmeric, paprika, cayenne, fenugreek seed, and cloves. Some recipes call for the addition of a small amount of brown sugar, for a touch of sweetness to counterbalance the tartness provided by the vinegar. (source)

Following recipe is my take on this delectable dish. You will need about 4-5 tablespoons for any dish you make for 4 people. If you prefer less spicy, reduce the amount to 3-4 tbsp in the dish.

Ingredients: (serves 4-5)
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
5 tbsp Vindaloo paste (Recipe)
3 tbsp oil
2 red onions
5 cloves garlic
Thumb size piece ginger
3-4 tomatoes
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander to garnish
  1. Cut chicken thighs into 2 by 2 inch pieces, sprinkle a little salt on them and add the vindaloo marinade. Mix using your hands so the vindaloo masala goes in every nook and cranny. Cover and refrigerate. Let the chicken marinate for a minimum of 4 hours.  
  2. Meanwhile prep your other ingredients. Chop the red onions fine, grate or crush the ginger and garlic, puree the tomatoes.
  3. Heat oil in a large pan and add the onions. Fry stirring often till they start to turn golden.
  4. Now add the crushed ginger and garlic and cook till the raw smell of garlic goes away. Add the crushed tomatoes. 
  5. Cook till the tomatoes are fried well and the mixture starts to leave oil at the sides. 
  6. Add the marinated chicken along with all the marinade and mix well. You can add some salt at this point, but bear in mind that the chicken already has some salt. 
  7. Continue to cook the chicken, stirring to sear all sides till the outside of all chicken pieces are no longer pink. 
  8. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cups of water and mix. Bring to boil and simmer covered for 5-7 minutes till the chicken cooks through. 
  9. Assess the quantity of water in the dish and adjust it as per your desired consistency. Boil off if too liquid, add some more if too dry.
  10. Remove from heat and sprinkle fresh corriander. Serve hot with white steamed rice for a deliciously satisfying meal.

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