Chicken Vindaloo

I got many requests for this dish in last few days. Since I rarely cook chicken for us, I was waiting for a good time to cook it. Last weekend, I had invited my ex-colleague and friend Cindy and her husband for dinner. I knew she likes Indian food. I wanted to cook something different than what is available in Indian restaurants here. It took me a very long time to decide on the menu as I wanted something very flavorful but not very hot. I made few wrong choices that day, cooked few dishes that were very Indian and may not be liked by everyone, I learnt that, we can’t just reduce the chilies in any dish and expect it to work. Some dishes taste good only when made very hot(According to me, this is atleast true with most of the coconut based chicken dishes). But this dish soon became center of attraction. They both loved it and I became an instant fan too.

According to Wikipedia,

The term Vindaloo, derivative of the Portuguese “vinho de alho”, and also called Vindalho or Vindallo, refers to a popular Indian dish. It was first brought to Goa by the Portuguese and became a Goan meal often served during special occasions. The traditional Portuguese dish was made with pork preserved in red wine or red wine vinegar and stewed with garlic, but later received the Goan treatment of adding plentiful amounts of spice and dried chilis. Restaurants often serve this dish with chicken or lamb sometimes mixed with potatoes. Traditional vindaloos do not include potatoes, the discrepancy arising because the word “aloo” means “potato” in Hindi.

It took about 1hr for me to search this recipe. All the Vindaloo dishes from popular chefs in India, included potato (aloo) in it and I knew that was not the traditional way to do it. So I read at least 20 recipes before deciding how to make this dish. I simply loved the taste of this dish. I served it with parathas and yellow rice.

1/4 kg chicken
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 tea spn ginger paste
1/2 tea spn garlic paste
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
1/2 tea spn coriander seeds
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
1/4 tea spn fenugreek seeds
1 tea spn vinegar (I used distilled vinegar)
1 tea spn chili powder or 4-5 red chilies (increase the amount of chilies if required)
3-4 strands coriander leaves

Grind together ginger, garlic, mustard seeds, red chilies, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds to a smooth paste. Apply this paste and salt to the chicken.
Heat oil and fry onions on a low heat till the onions turn dark brown and crispy(It may help to deep fry the onions in oil to speed up the process). Take them out on a clean kitchen towel to remove all the extra oil. Grind to a paste along with vinegar. This is the dark paste that gives the color to the dish, I removed the onions a tad bit early, so they were not crisp and the color of the dish remained light. Add this to the chicken(Add a little water if gravy is too thick). Leave it aside for 30mins.
Heat a little oil in thick bottomed pan. Add the marinated chicken with all the marinade. Cook till chicken is tender and gravy is thickened. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 40mins(excluding marination time)

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