Chicken Vindaloo is a Goan curry preparation that hits all the right notes! Its spicy, tangy and has just the hint of sugar to balance things out.An easy, slow cooked dish that is perfect for weeknights on the couch, plate in hand , enjoying this dish with some rotis or rice.
My fondest memories of Goa involve its gorgeous sandy beaches, the profusion of greenery, the people ..followed by the food. Alright..The food comes second. Beaches still rule my wild soul.
Goan food is a cuisine unto itself. This is probably the onli regional cuisine of India that is derived from the perfect amalgamation of two cultures..a desi Mangalorean touch with the videshi Portuguese! Of course its got konkani (western India) influences too. But the trademark of the dish, that is the vindalho is portuguese in its origins.
The word , contrary to popular belief doesn’t mean “aloo” or potatoes. The name “vindaloo” is derived from the Portuguese dish carne de vinha d’alhos, a dish of meat (usually pork) marinated in wine and garlic. The Portuguese dish was modified by the substitution of vinegar (usually palm vinegar) for the red wine and the addition of red Kashmiri chili peppers with additional spices to evolve into vindaloo. Nowadays, the Anglo-Indian version of a vindaloo is marinated in vinegar, sugar, fresh ginger, and spices overnight, then cooked with the addition of further spices.
I love the fiery color of this curry, almost as much as its tanginess. Unlike the stuff you get in restaurants, this vindaloo isn’t too spicy, atleast not so much so that you will need to sip on cold water after every bite!! Its a rather perfectly balanced chicken curry where the meat is marinated for a couple of hours in a special masala rendering it extremely flavorful. The gravy is then slow cooked till thick and delicious. Usually served with Indian flatbreads like roti(whole wheat tortillas) or naan, its equally delicious eaten with steamed rice.
Since I am new to konkani cuisine , having only recently started dabbling in it, I simply chose to be safe for my first time with the famous vindaloo. I chose the celebrity Indian chef , cook book author Anjum Anand’s fail proof recipe. I had watched her cook her insanely famous pork vindaloo on her show Indian Food made easy, and ever since that day I had meant to try this. As luck would have it , it was a rainy Sunday and i finally decided to gun it, with chicken instead of the pork. I have tried to stay as true to her recipe as I could, but being a rather instinctive cook, I did end up making few changes. I will share both in the recipe. You may choose to follow either.
My version , apart from using chicken, also had potatoes in it. I know its against the rules here, but when you have a kid who loves potatoes in his curry gravy, blogger or not, you are bound to give it to the kid. Umbilical cord calling. Can’t help. So please don’t start a protest about it not being authentic etc etc. As mentioned earlier, this is a celebrity chef’s recipe to which I made a few changes acc to my taste. No where am I stating that this is the authentic version.
If you have been afraid of trying this in restaurants for fear of its famous spice level, i suggest you try my version. Its hot alright..but my version has a gentle heat to it, one that adds flavor instead of just bringing a burning sensation to your mouth. I use only kashmiri lal mirch or red chillies. As a result, my gravy is a beautiful color without getting all the heat from the chillie. Kashmiri red chillies (powder version also) is easily available in all Indian grocery stores. I added a tbsp of tamarind to give it a deeper color and make things tangier..and a touch of brown sugar.
This absolutely gorgeous dish, with spice and tang doing the perfect tango. Served hot on a cold rainy night, this dish is just as perfect for a hand held, dinner on couch kind of night, as it is at parties with posh guests!
And since its weekend, how can I not bring this to my favorite parties!! I am sharing this my friends at Angie’s super fun Fiesta Friday, and also taking this to the party with Michelle and Jenny’s Foodie FriDIY. Obviously sharing this my party bunch at #Saucy Saturdays(i am the host)! Don’t forget to join us in the fun and share upto 3 delicious links.
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 5 black peppercorns, left whole
- 2 green cardamom pods, seeds only
- 2 cloves
- 1cm/½in piece cinnamon
- 1cm/½in piece ginger, peeled and chopped
- 7 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
- 3 kashmiri red chillies
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- pinch salt
- 1 tbsp brown sugar (my addition)
- 1 tbsp Tamarind paste (my addition)
- kasmiri red chilie powder - 2 tsp
- 500 gms chicken, washed and dried.
- vegetable oil
- Ghee or clarified butter - 3-4 tbsp
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- ¾ tsp mustard seeds
- Fresh cilantro - for garnish
- Start by grinding the spices into a fine powder. Grind the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cardamom seeds, cloves and cinnamon together.
- Make a paste of ginger, garlic, chillies and white wine vinegar by blending them.
- Mix the ground spice mixture with the paste until well combined and season with a pinch of salt. Rub the mixture all over the chicken, cover and marinate for atleast 4 hrs.
- For making the curry:
- Heat two tablespoons of the oil and 2 tbsp of ghee in a non-stick pan. When the oil is hot, add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown.
- Add the marinated chicken pieces and fry for 6-7 minutes, turning once, until golden-brown on all sides. Add the sugar and tamarind paste now. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the chicken is tender.
- If it starts sicking, add a bit of hot water to it. Add some more water till the gravy is of a consistency you desire.
- Heat the remaining teaspoon of oil in a separate pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds start to pop, add it over the vindaloo. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve !!
Recipe loosely adapted from Anjum Anand’s Pork Vindaloo.