Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Spicy Chicken Vindalho (Serves 4)

I would like to apologize for not posting in a long while, as I have been trying to recover from an herniated disc which hasn’t let me in a position to cook. As a temporary solution I now sit on a chair and cook, as I can’t stay from cooking and don’t want to trouble my wife too much :-)

I got the recipe for this dish while looking on Google, and came upon this Goan food blog called http://www.goanfoodrecipes.com.

I used to have a lot of Goan food (very spicy and flavorful with common items being fish, coconut, rice) while in India, and this site appealed to me with its traditional Goan food recipes. So I was curios to take a recipe from here and try it out over the weekend. 
Vindalho or Vindaloo is usually made with pork and malt vinegar. But chicken can also substituted for the pork. I had to make some adjustments to the recipe in terms of the amount of vinegar, and also the oil needed. I also used rice vinegar instead of the malt vinegar. The result nevertheless was outstanding. 

The author was right when he mentioned that this dish reminds you of pickle. Yes, the vinegar and the simple spices make that happen. Let's go straight to the recipe. It is so simple, you can make it even if you are totally wasted! :-) well, almost.

2 lb mixed chicken breast and thighs (boneless)
2 big onions (2 medium sized onions if you are in the US)
2 tbsp paprika powder
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 inch piece ginger cut small
5 cloves garlic cut small
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
8-10 black peppercorns
4-5 cloves
2 inch piece of cinnamon bark
4 tbsp oil
salt to taste

Cut the chicken in to one inch chunky pieces and set aside in a large bowl. Add salt to the chicken and mix well.

In a small bowl add the different chilli powders, 3/8 cup vinegar and mix well. Pour this mixture in a blender. Add the ginger root and garlic (both cut into small pieces), cumin seeds, turmeric powder, and blend everything till it forms a fine paste.

Pour this paste into the chicken pieces and mix everything really well. Refrigerate this overnight preferably, or at least one hour like I did.

Cut the onions into chunks and blend them in the grinder as well. 

In a large pan on medium heat, add the oil. As the oil gets hot, add the chicken and the blended onions, mix well and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water, 1/8 cup of vinegar, peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon, and let the chicken cook on a low flame for at least an hour until the it is well done. Add more water based on the consistency you need, although I would suggest to keep it on the drier side.

Store in the refrigerator overnight to let the all the flavors mingle together and let the meat absorb the spices. Serve hot with rice, or chapati/fresh Italian bread.


Health Rating: Medium

Substitute Ingredient/s: For vegetarians you can substitute the chicken with chunky starchy vegetables such as potatoes. Adding carrots and celery to the potatoes would give it the flavor of a nice stew.

Also note that you will get a fantastic red color if you use authentic red chillies from Kashmir that the original recipe calls for. They aren’t that spicy, by the way.

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