Chicken Vindaloo
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Posted by Fikri Zubair

Vindaloo is a dish from Goa, and is influenced by the Portuguese. The name, vindaloo, is from the Portuguese for vinegar, vin, and from the Portuguese for garlic, alho.

- Whole red chillies. Note: I am not telling you how many chillies to use. This is up to you, but the dish is best when very spicy, so we are using about 10-12 Kashmiri chillies
- 8 cloves
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 inches of cinnamon stick
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 4 tsp white poppy seeds
- 3 inches of ginger, chopped. Note: I cheated because we were out of ginger, and I am eternally sorry.
- 6 plump garlic cloves, more if you have small cloves
- 1 tbsp tamarind puree
- 2-3 tomatoes Note: Tomatoes are optional, and not an authentic Goan ingredient in this dish. Try it both ways
- a bunch of coriander. Note: This is optional and I suggest making the dish with and without to see what you like best.
- 3 large onions
- 1 lb chicken breast or pork tenderloin
- Jaggery (Jaggery is the traditional unrefined sugar used in India)
- cider vinegar
- salt and pepper

Step 1:
In a clean coffee grinder, grind the chillies and the rest of the spices (except the poppy seeds) to powder. Transfer the ground spices to a suitable receptacle.
Then (and only then) grind the poppy seeds. The poppy seeds will release oil when processed and that would otherwise gob up your spice mixture.

Step 2:
now we need to puree the garlic and ginger with some cider vinegar. Roughly chop the garlic and ginger and blend with about 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar until you have a smooth paste

Step 3:
Mix the all the spices together with the garlic and vinegar puree and the tamarind.

Step 4:
chop your onions and fry in a couple of tablespoons of sunflower oil (or ghee if you are going for a full-on cardiac) until past translucent and starting to go brown, say 10-15 minutes or so. Then add the spice paste you have made and another tablespoon of oil.
Fry this mixture for at least another 5 minutes. It is important to fry dried spices for a while to maximize the flavor released from them and to aid with digestion later.

Step 5:
chop you tomatoes and finely chop the coriander (if you are using it). Don't be shy of the coriander stalks. This dish will cook for a while longer, and the coriander will break down somewhat to add a nice flavor to the sauce.
So fry this for another 5 minutes until the tomatoes are breaking down a bit.

Step 6:
Add the chicken to the dish and saute the mixture for another 5 minutes or so. Then add 1/4 pint of water and bring to the boil.
Now season the dish with a little salt and add about 3 teaspoons of jaggery (sugar). Stir this in and leave simmering on the hob for as long as you like. Just make sure the chicken is done.
I find that 30 mins-45 mins gives the best flavour for me.
Taste the sauce after about 20 minutes and adjust for salt, jaggery and maybe a wee bit more cider vinegar if you like your vindaloo a bit more piquant.

Step 7:
Finish the cooking cycle and serve with boiled rice and as much soured cream (or yogurt) as you need to quench the fires.

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