22 July 2011

Chicken vindaloo

lauki, a type of calabash

OK we all know vindaloo is not just some ridiculous curry for pissed people that's hot as hell but not as interesting right? It's a child of Portuguese and Indian parents, like kedgeree a legacy of colonial expansion and consequent culinary syncretism. It's the vinegar that does it. I'm not much of a whizz with Indian food so I got Madhur Jaffrey's Curry Easy as a starting point and modified the recipe in it called 'chicken with vindaloo spices'. I think lots of vindaloos have a serious marinade, whereas this was perhaps more of a weeknight approximation. It was delicious - the vinegar gives a slightly sour, savoury note that goes very well with spices and garlic.

I put in some lauki which is very nice - slightly like the courgette which it resembles but with a crunchier texture post-cooking. Very absorbent for taking up the spices.

  • chicken
  • vegetables
  • garlic
  • vinegar (I used Turkish apple vinegar and it was fine)
  • brown mustard seeds, plenty of black peppercorns, curry leaves

Heat some oil and, giving each ingredient a minute to fry with a gentle stir add the mustard seeds, then black peppercorns, then curry leaves, then chicken, then loads of garlic, a decent amount of white wine or cider vinegar, a pinch of salt, some ground cumin and coriander and some chilli powder or flakes for heat. Cook for twenty minutes and should be done!

We had with rice and some green lentils boiled with turmeric and finished with green chilli and cumin seeds fried in ghee.


  1. lose the chicken
    then we'll see

  2. I love homemade vindaloo. I make mine with pork from an Anjum Anand recipe. It's so delicious. It's a shame it's got such a bad reputation here.

  3. Thanks for the comments - yeah it was pretty delicious and very quick. I might try a few more recipes and get a preferred mix going on.