I love Indian food, and there are a few dishes I like to cook. They're not necessarily authentic; or they're fairly authentic, just done to my preferences. This is my first time making vindaloo. It's traditionally spicy, but I wasn't in the mood for searing heat, so I just chopped up hot chiles to add at the end if I felt like it. You could also add them to the onion-based sauce mixture if you want heat to permeate the dish. I just stuck with some Indian chile powder (similar to cayenne) in the sauce blend.
The sauce itself is made mostly of onions sauteed with spices. It also gets a nice hit of vinegar for a little sourness. Potatoes also figure in and help make this version so hearty and comforting--yet still nice and healthy. Serve it over basmati rice. I finally figured out how to cook it perfectly, which is easier said than done (at least for me). Of course naan is never a bad idea either.
What's your favorite Indian dish, and do you make it at home?
Chicken adapted from Allrecipes.com
This dish tastes authentic, but lacks the rich, heavy quality so often found in restaurant cooking. It's flavorful and hearty, and is worth the effort to put together (You'll need at least 1 hour to marinate). I finally stumbled upon the perfect method for cooking basmati rice (it was years of trial and error), so I've included that in the recipe. The side dish is just frozen green beans steamed in the microwave then seared in a skillet with about half a can of diced tomatoes and a bunch of the spices used in the vindaloo.
Serves 4 to 5
5 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil, divided
3 large white onions, chopped
2-inch piece ginger, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Indian chile powder or cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste
Water for blending and simmering
3 (6 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
3/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/4 cup water and more as needed
1 cup Basmati rice
Lime wedges, for serving
Thinly sliced Serrano or other hot chile, for serving
1. Heat 2 tbsp of the ghee in a Dutch oven or large pot on medium high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a blender. Add vinegar, coriander, cumin, garam masala, black pepper, turmeric, chile powder and 1/4 tsp of the salt, or salt to taste. Puree; if too thick to blend, slowly add water 1 tbsp at a time until you have a thick sauce.
2. Put chicken pieces in a large bowl. Add sauce and stir well. Refrigerate for 3 hours or as long as overnight; or rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
3. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and cook until tender but not falling apart, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse and wipe out the saucepan.
4. Heat 1 tbsp of the ghee in the same medium saucepan on medium heat. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently until opaque and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups water and a scant 1/4 tsp of the salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until rice is tender and water is absorbed, 15 to 17 minutes. Keep the pan covered and set aside to rest for 10 minutes or more.
5. Heat 1 tbsp of the ghee in a large skillet on medium-high heat and add mustard seeds. When seeds start to pop, add the potatoes. Season lightly with salt and cook just until browned on most sides. Transfer to a bowl.
6. Heat remaining 1 tbsp of ghee in the Dutch oven (no need to clean it) on medium heat. Add the chicken with its sauce plus 1/2 cup of water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in potatoes and simmer just until heated through. Season with salt to taste. Add additional water if you want a thinner sauce. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with rice and lime wedges. Pass the chiles (or additional chile powder) at the table for people who want to add more heat.