A few hours before I began cooking, I made an emergency switch-a-roo. The sweet dessert I originally planned to make for “V” clashed beautifully with the batch of chocolate cupcakes I baked the night before. Because a sugar high didn’t fit too well into my weekend plans, I opted for Plan B—or should I say Plan V?—vindaloo.
I did leave enough time for a dash to the store, so I only had one slight problem. I’ve never even dreamed of attempting to make any sort of Indian food.
Indian cuisine is full of big, bold flavors, and although I enjoy dining on traditional dishes in restaurants, I never quite had the confidence to buy Indian spices at the supermarket. Plus I always pictured the food preparation taking all day, from chopping and cooking to simmering and frying, and as much as I’d like to spend hours standing over my stove, I just don’t have that kind of time.
But I scoured the internet anyway, and I found a few reasonable chicken vindaloo recipes. I settled on Jules Clancy’s from her stonesoup blog, mainly because she claimed it only took 10 minutes to make.
My clock must be broken because it said that I used nearly an hour to prepare my dinner. Granted, I spent most of that time chopping chicken and whirling herbs and spices in a food processor, so I suppose I only did require 10 minutes for cooking… Technicalities.
I couldn’t resist embellishing Jules’ recipe by adding extra veggies—carrots, onions, and potatoes. So my vindaloo looked a lot chunkier than the ones typically ordered off of a traditional Indian menu, but since it still tasted delicious, I’m considering venturing a little farther into cooking more Indian cuisine.
A traditional vindaloo calls for a plethora of spices and chicken thigh meat, as well as marinating and simmering for hours. This version, once all the ingredients are chopped, minced, and whirled, comes together in a much shorter time. Serve over rice to sop up the vindaloo liquid.
1 very large chicken breast, thinly sliced against the grain of the meat
½ an onion, chopped
1-2 small yellow potatoes, chopped into ¼-inch dice
1 carrot, minced (or chopped in a food processor)
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
vindaloo paste (recipe follows)
½-1 c. hot water (optional)
- Add 1 tsp olive oil to a medium pan over medium heat, and cook onions until translucent, stirring constantly. Add potatoes to the pan. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until potatoes are tender, stirring often.
- Add 1-2 tsp olive oil to a second large pan, and sauté chicken over medium heat until all of the pieces are white and no longer pink. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Add carrots to the just-emptied pan and sauté over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, until heated through and beginning to turn tender. Add vindaloo paste and sauté for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, onions, and potato. Reduce heat until mixture is simmering. Let it thicken, then add chicken to the pan and stir until it’s coated. Add hot water as necessary to thin out sauce. Serve hot.
taken from Jules’ chicken vindaloo paste
I used a very small amount of oil and kept it as more of a spice and herb “crumble” instead of a paste, but feel free to add more oil until it reaches your desired consistency.
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 small piece of ginger, minced (about the size of half your thumb)
½ a bunch of cilantro
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and whirl until smooth. Add 1-3 tsp olive oil (or more) until it forms a paste.