I have had a crush on Indian food for some now. My crush started many years ago, but continues to this day, and on a recent visit to Casablanca in Milwaukee (granted it is Middle Eastern), really brought me back to why I love really nice, balanced, and sometimes intense flavors.
Now don’t get me wrong when I say this, but many Indian dishes do not photograph well, including this Chicken Vindaloo, but trust me, the flavor of this dish makes up for that. Vindaloo is not a very common Indian dish, however it is often found on many menus in Indian restaurants, and one dish that I really enjoy, due to the really great flavors, and the spiciness.
Upon a recent investigation of my pantry, I noticed a nice bag of basmati rice that I had and that triggered the thought of making my version of chicken vindaloo. Simple spices ground down, and cooked chicken, makes this dish zing with comfort. Simple and easy, you can bring an Indian dish to your table in no time, and it is great for leftovers as well.
Ingredients for ground spices:
- 12 small chili peppers (less for less heat) (I use tiny thai chilies), stems removed
- 6 whole cloves
- 6 inches of a whole cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
If you do not have a coffee grinder, you need one, and one especially for grinding spices. So with that said, get that coffee grinder out, place in the above ingredients, and grind it down until you have a nice blend of ground spices. Remove the spices and set aside in a small bowl.
- 8-10 cloves of garlic, rough chop
- 4 inches of fresh ginger, rough chop
- 12 oz crushed tomatoes
- 2 large onions, diced
- small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 chicken breasts, boiled, shredded, and chopped
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp cider vinegar, or white vinegar
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Basmati rice, cooked
Cook your rice, and keep warm.
Next is to get your blender out. Toss in the ginger, garlic, and vinegar. Blend this until you have a puree. Stick your nose around the top of the blender and smell this. Enough said. Let’s move on. Heat a large pot and add in the canola oil. Toss in the onions, and let them sweat for about 15 minutes. Now toss in the spice mix and mix it really well, incorporating it into the onions. Smell. Wow. Now toss in the garlic and ginger sauce. Mix up and cook for another 10 minutes or so. Doing this really gets the flavors going, trust me.
Next, add in your tomatoes, and fresh cilantro, cooking an additional five minutes. Next add in your sugar, cooked chicken, and add water just about a cup or so. Cover and cook on low for about 25 minutes.That’s it, you are done.
I like to plate by packing in rice into a cup or small bowl. Carefully turn it over on your plate, and remove the bowl. Tada. A nice bowl of rice. Spoon your vindaloo on top of the rice, and get your game on. Trust me on this one. It’s like a slow cooked Indian treat with just the right amount of heat, and perfect amount of spice to kick up the conversation at dinner. Enjoy this one.