Route 79 : Goan Style Chicken (Vindaloo)

The effects of feeling hungry on the way home

September 9 2004

Goan Style Chicken (Vindaloo)

The "Vindaloo" style of cooking is of Goan origin - and is essentially a fiery-hot "sweet and sour" style curry. It can be cooked with any meat - and tonight I'm doing it with chicken. I've never cooked this before - so I had to do some research. This dish involves a few more spices than usual - but they are easily obtained from your local Asian shop. The combined aroma of freshly roasted cinamon, mustard seed and cloves is heavenly.

Juts a few of the spices used in this recipe

Here is a picture of the rest of the ingredients:

They are:

Spices for dry-roasting (use the wuantities shown in the first picture above):

Mustard Seeds
Cinammon (Dal-chini)

The rest of the spices:

Bay leaf
Cardamom pods
Ground coriander
Garam masala
Red chillie powder
Garlic & Ginger pulp chunks from your freezer
2"bullet" style chillie peppers - one red one green
A tub of tamarind sauce - which should be at least 60% tamarind (you can find these in the freezer section of the Asian store) - you will need a couple of generous scoops of this.
1 teaspoon of sugar


1 medium onion sliced into 5cm long pieces
3 chicken breast fillets (around 400 grams) (I normally use thighs - but couldn;t get hold of any tonight)
Some "silverskin" style pickled onions - pickled in white wine vinegar (not malt vinegar)
Half a tin of chopped tomatoes (for some reason I forgot to show this in the picture)
Some freshly chopped coriander leaf

Here goes:

First get a small frying pan heating on the hob - no oil. When the pan is hot - throw in the whole cloves, cinammon pieces and and mustard seeds. Dry roast them like this for a few mins - until they start to smell roasted - then pour the pieces into a small bowl and let them cool down. Then crush the roasted spices down - I use the base of a glass tumbler.

Meantime - get the onions frying in a little sunflower oil.

After a couple of mins - add the bay leaves and broken-up cardamom pods. Fry until the onions have browned. Then add the thawed garlic and ginger pulp - and stir fry for a few minutes more.

When the onions have thoroughly browned - add the rest of the dried ground spices - 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 2 teaspoons garam masala - all heaped spoons except the turmeric - which should be just above a level teaspoon. Stir fry the mixture for around 5 mins gently.

Then add the chopped chicken pieces. And continue to stir fry until the chicken is cooked all over the surface - and is thoroughly coated in the onion/spice mixture.

Then toss in the sliced bullet peppers - these are quite hot - but we want this dish to be quite fiery! Stir around for a few mins - and then add a couple of glasses of water. This is the point at which you bring it to the boil - and then lower the flame so that the pot simmers (with the lid on) for about 20 mins.

After about 20 mins of semi-agressive simmering - the chicken should be well cooked. Stir in a couple of large spoons of the tamarind sauce - and also a generous handful of the pickled onions - the onions are bursting with the juice of the white wine vinegar that was used to pickle them - and together with the tamrind sauce - will provide the "sour" edge. Immediately add a teaspoon of sugar and also the half-tin of chopped tomato and the coriander leaf. Let the pot simmer for 10 minutes more - and then let rest for 5 mins with the lid on.

It's done! Just serve up on a bed of freshly-cooked basmati rice! It sure was tasty - quite hot - but perfectly sweet/sour kind of hot. Delicious.

Goan style chicken curry (vindaloo)

Have you tried this? Even if you haven't - let me know what you think!
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