Chicken Vindaloo









Chicken Vindaloo – aka Chicken Vinegar Curry

If you want an easy, yet delicious Indian dish nothing is easier and better than Chicken Vindaloo. Feel to free to modify the recipe as you see fit, as vindaloo comes with as many recipes as people who have made it. I tend to prefer a recipe that favors towards more vinegar, higher marinating times, hotter chili spices, and less cumin seeds; however, I will give you an easy to make vindaloo with additional hints.

The basic recipe calls for:

  • 3 pounds roasting chicken
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder or to taste
  • 1tablespoon chopped ginger
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ medium onion diced
Those are the basic ingredients.
Some things to consider before I present the rest of the recipe:

Add bay leaves to the saucepan when you begin cooking to add even more flavor. Discard bay leaves before serving.

A little turmeric powder cannot hurt, especially if you lack ground cardamom. Nothing replaces the flavor of cardamom, even if you have cardamom consider adding a little turmeric. And a little means a little, the stuff is powerful. Add to the marinade.

Adding coriander seeds in the marinade is always an option I have never tried.

Fresh lemon juice in the marinade may be something you want to add. Like the vinegar the acidity helps pickle the chicken.

Onions in the marinade can be good. They won’t cook as much as the sautéed onions.

One to two large tomatoes cut into large pieces/chunks and added to the saucepan with the chicken is not a bad thing.

Hints and Tips:

Some people like to use only chicken breast for health reasons. That is fine, but consider buying chicken breast on the bone and saving the bones to put into the pot with no meat on them. Bones add a lot of flavor to the food. I use both boneless chicken breast and bone-in chicken thighs when making chicken dishes. There is something about bone marrow that adds flavor, ever wonder why your dog is chewing on that bone. Also works for fish. Make soup using the fish bones to mildly add the flavor of the fish.

When using a mix of chicken parts, start cooking the thighs and legs earlier than the breasts. They take longer to cook than the breast meat.

I don’t have a coffee grinder, and also lack a spice mill. If you have either of these, follow the directions accordingly, otherwise you can use a blender like I do.

I prefer to lighten up on the cumin seeds since I don’t want an overwhelming cumin taste.

I prefer to use a little more red wine vinegar for more kick.

I use an extra-hot red pepper spice rather than a chili powder for more heat.

My preference is you can never get enough garlic or ginger in Indian food. I adjust accordingly.

Preparation and Cooking:

If you have a coffee grinder or spice mill put the cumin seeds, mustards seeds, chopped ginger, and chopped garlic into the grinder or spice mill. Pulverize! In a measuring cup add the pulverized spices, chili powder, and ground spices and finally the red wine vinegar. Mix together with a spoon. This is your basic marinade, adjust as desired.

If you just have a blender, put the red wine vinegar, cumin seeds, mustards seeds, chopped ginger, and chopped garlic into the blender and use a high speed so the mixture is finely ground. In a measuring cup add the chili powder, and ground spices and finally the mixture from the blender. Mix together with a spoon. This is your basic marinade, adjust as desired.

Pour the marinade on the chicken parts in a non-reactive container and refrigerate for several hours.

Heat the oil in a stainless steel saucepan. Sauté the onions. With a slotted spoon, spoon out the thighs and legs and place them into the saucepan and allow them to begin cook cooking. Then add the chicken breast and the marinade. On low heat bring to simmering point, add salt and pepper to taste and simmer covered until chicken is cooked. Add additional ingredients as desired.

Sudden Death Publications (c) 2003