Chicken Vindaloo (Traditional)
Vindaloo is a dish from Goa, and is influenced by the Portugese (who actually introduced the chilli to Goa). The name, vindaloo, is from the Portugese for vinegar, vin, and from the Portugese for garlic, alho, we get aloo.
This may be a bit of a shock to some UK goons, who may have been told that the aloo is something to do with potatoes. Indeed potato is an ingredient of this dish if you were to buy it from most UK curry houses. However, the name and the original dish have nothing to do with potatoes!
A couple of points to note: this recipe is actually best if you subsitute pork tenderloin for chicken; omit the tomatoes if you want the truly authentic version. That being said, the chicken version is still very, very yummy.
- Whole red chillies. Note: I am not telling you how many chillies to use. This is up to you, but the dish is best when very spicy, so we are using about 10-12 Kashmiri chillies
- 8 cloves
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 inches of cinnamon stick
- 6 green caramon pods
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 4 tsp white poppy seeds
- 3 inches of ginger, chopped. Note: I cheated because we were out of ginger, and I am eternally sorry.
- 6 plump garlic cloves, more if you have small cloves
- 1 tblsp tamarind puree
- 2-3 tomatoes Note: Tomatoes are optional, and not an authentic Goan ingedient in this dish. Try it both ways :)
- a bunch of coriander. Note: This is optional and I suggest making the dish with and without to see what you like best.
- 3 large onions
- 1lb chicken breast or pork tenderloin
- cider vinegar
- salt and pepper
In a clean coffee grinder, grind the chillies and the rest of the spices (except the poppy seeds) to powder. Transfer the ground spices to a suitable recepticle. Then (and only then) grind the poppy seeds. The poppy seeds will release oil when processed and that would otherwise gob up your spice mixture.
In the picture below you can see the ground chillies, ground spices and the ground poppy seeds (top left).
Ok, now we need to puree the garlic and ginger with some cider vinegar. Roughly chop the garlic and ginger and blend with about 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar until you have a smooth paste like the one below.
Mix the all the spices together with the garlic and vinegar puree and the tamarind. Please ignore the chopped coriander in this picture - I know you all know what it looks like ;)
Ok, chop your onions and fry in a couple of tablespoons of sunflower oil (or ghee if you are going for a full-on cardiac) until past translucent and starting to go brown, say 10-15 mins or so. Then add the spice paste you have made and another tablespoon of oil.
Fry this mixture for at least another 5 mins. It is important to fry dried spices for a while to maximise the flavour released from them and to aid with digestion later.
Now chop you tomatoes and finely chop the coriander (if you are using it). Don't be shy of the coriander stalks. This dish will cook for a while longer, and the corinader will break down somewhat to add a nice flavour to the sauce.
So fry this for another 5 minutes until the tomatoes are breaking down a bit.
Add the chicken to the dish and saute the mixture for another 5 mins or so. Then add 1/4 pint of water and bring to the boil.
Now season the dish with a little salt and add about 3 teaspoons of jaggery. Stir this in and leave simmering on the hob for as long as you like. Just make sure the chicken is done. I find that 30 mins-45 mins gives the best flavour for me.
Taste the sauce after about 20 minutes and adjust for salt, jaggery and maybe a wee bit more cider vinegar if you like your vindaloo a bit more piquant.
Finish the cooking cycle and serve with boiled rice and as much soured cream (or yoghurt) as you need to quench the fires.
As ever, you must drink copious amounts of wine with this dish (or beer if you made it really hot). I recommed an unoaked Chardonnay for this badger.
The combination of oil and vinegar in this dish makes it a good one for making a lot of and keeping in the fridge for a few days (if your botty can stand the repeated harsh treatment). That is to say that oil and vinegar act as a preservative. The flavours will really pierce the meat after being left overnight in the fridge, and it does actually taste even better the next day. Just don't go to work after having it for breakfast!