Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Goan Chicken Vindaloo with Cashew

I haven't cooked hot and spicy food in such a long time that I had forgotten how much I love eating it. After watching an episode of Indian Food Made Easy, I was inspired to make Chicken Vindaloo. It is slightly different from the way I used to cook it, with the addition of a few extra spices. The toasted cashew nuts gives it a nice touch and makes this dish even tastier.

Here is the recipe, adapted from Indian Food Made Easy:


1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
5 black peppercorns, left whole
2 green cardamom pods, seeds only
2 cloves
1cm/½in piece cinnamon
1cm/½in piece ginger, peeled and chopped
7 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
3 fresh red chillies or more (I used dried chillies)
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
Pinch of salt
500g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 1 inch cubes
65ml/2½fl oz vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
¾ tsp mustard seeds
Handful cashew nuts


1. Using a spice grinder, grind the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cardamom seeds, cloves and cinnamon to a fine powder.
2. In a food processor, blend the ginger, garlic, chillies and white wine vinegar to a paste.
3. Mix the ground spice mixture with the paste until well combined and season with a pinch of salt. Rub the mixture all over the meat using your fingers, then set the meat aside, covered, to marinate for 1½-2 hours.
4. Heat four tablespoons of the oil in a non-stick pan. When the oil is hot, add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown.
5. Add the marinated chicken pieces and fry for 6-7 minutes, turning once, until golden-brown on all sides. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add small splashes of boiling water to the pan as necessary if the juices in the pan dry out. Add as little water as possible as the resulting sauce should be quite thick. Check for seasoning and add a little sugar or extra vinegar if preferred.
6. Heat the remaining teaspoon of oil in a separate pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. (CAUTION: the mustard seeds will start to pop. Keep the pan well away from your face and eyes.)
7. Once the mustard seeds start to pop, add the cashew nuts and fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are golden-brown.
8. Pour the fried cashew nuts and mustard seeds over the vindaloo and serve with basmati rice.