VINDALOO

December 10, 2011 § 3 Comments

JSP, Esq. pointed out that I have been neglecting food posts herein, so here’s something for you foodies.

My friends, I offer you Vindaloo for your cooking and dining pleasure. “Vindaloo?” you ask. Yes, Vindaloo, I answer. It’s an exotic melange of Indian flavors, aromas and subleties that will intrigue your palate and comfort you in cold weather without leaving you stuffed and bloated. It’s fairly easy to make, and will reward you with a deeply satisfying meal.

Vindaloo is actually India’s version of a Portuguese recipe that found its way into Indian cuisine through Goa, Portugal’s former colony on India’s west coast. The Indians added potatoes, which enrich the recipe. Goan Vindaloo is fiery pepper-hot. Mine is tamed down for Mississippi tastes, but you have the option of adding heat. My recipe also has an option for broccoli or peas to increase its nutritional value. This version calls for chicken, but Indians also use pork, beef or even lamb. I imagine venison or duck or other game would work as well. You could substitute eggplant for the meat for a vegetarian version. I encourage you to give this a try. You’ll enjoy it. And don’t be discouraged by the long list of ingredients. This is actually a simple dish. Most of the ingredients are seasonings that, in combination, add layers of interesting, delicious flavors.

Before you dismiss this dish as too exotic, I ask you to leave your comfort zone for a bit and try it. After all, you enjoy gumbos and other savory, spicy fare. Indian cuisine only differs by the kinds of spices used. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how flavorful and enjoyable Vindaloo is. And maybe it will open your mind to try some other Indian dishes.

VINDALOO

3           Cups chopped onions

1 1/2    Cups chopped tomatoes, seeded, or grape tomatoes

2 1/2    Tbsp. distilled white vinegar

1            Garlic clove, chopped or minced

1            Tsp. minced, peeled fresh ginger

1            Tsp. tomato paste

1            Garam Masala (store bought or simple recipe below)

1             Tsp. ground turmeric

1/2        Tsp. paprika

1/2        Tsp. ground cumin

1/2        Tsp. ground coriander

1/4        Tsp. cayenne pepper, plus more if desired

3            Tbsp. vegetable oil

               Salt and black pepper

6            Boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1            Pound new potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 1/2    Cups chicken stock or water

1            Cup broccoli florets or sweet peas (optional)

Combine the onions, tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, garam masala, turmeric, paprika, cumin and cayenne, and blend in a food processor until the mixture is the consistency of a paste.

Season the chicken with salt and black pepper to taste.

Heat 2 Tbsp. of the oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat and brown the chicken. Remove chicken and set it aside.

Add remaining Tbsp. of oil and paste from the food processor to the pot and cook until the mixture turns golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Add chicken and potatoes and sauté 5 minutes.

Add broth and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium low.

Add broccoli or peas, if desired.

Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Uncover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, around 5-10 minutes more. Season with salt and black pepper.

For a hotter dish, add more cayenne.

Serve over jasmine or white rice or roti (unleavened Indian flat bread, simple recipes available on the internet). Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, if desired.

__________________________________

Garam Masala.  Mix 3/4 Tsp. ground cumin, 3/4 Tsp. ground coriander, 1/2 Tsp. ground pepper, 1/2 Tsp. ground cardamom, 1/4 Tsp. ground cloves, and 1/2 Tsp. ground cinnamon.

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