Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chicken Vindaloo

Chicken Vindaloo
with thanks to Krysta


1 1/2 tablespoons of mild curry powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
8 medium cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
3/4 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons neutral oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 cups crushed tomatoes
2/3 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


In a small bowl, combine the curry powder, cayenne, paprika, cumin, mustard, cardamom and black pepper.

Put the chicken in a medium nonreactive bowl, sprinkle with a little more than 1 tablespoon of the curry powder mixture, about half of the garlic, 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, and 3/4 teaspoon salt; toss to coat. Set aside at room temperature.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch deep skillet over high heat until shimmering.

Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until it softens and begins to brown around the edges, 4 to 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium high, add the ginger, the remaining garlic, and the remaining curry powder mixture and cook, stirring, until fragrant and well combined, about 45 seconds.

Add the tomatoes and mix to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with the spoon.

Stir in the chicken, the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, and the chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, cover partially, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the cilantro.


Krysta served this with jasmine rice "spiked with sesame and mustard seeds," so I decided to try that too and it was lovely. Those little seed bursts throughout were a great addition to the flavor and texture of the dish. I also added (but did not photograph) a huge shake of crushed dried chiles over my plate - the Thai market kind, not the kind used in Italian cooking - but that just speaks to my love of heat, particularly in Thai and Indian dishes. I left the dish as it was for Steve and it had a just right amount of spice for him, and probably for most people. It really was a good level, though if you want more, just replace the mild curry powder with hot in the spice blend.

This dish was tangy and complex and fantastic. I loved making an Indian curry dish with no cream. And I can't believe I waited so long to try this classic. It's our new weeknight Indian dish, for sure. And as with my tikka masala, I am itching to get to the leftovers for lunch. Love that.