Indian food is quickly becoming my favorite cuisine! I love bold flavors and spices that are used in the dishes; it’s all much less intimidating that I originally thought. As mentioned previously, Aarti Sequeira has been my Indian food muse so to speak, and I’ve been creating my spin on her recipes for a few months now.
While I do eat beef occasionally (a couple times a month), I tend to favor fish, seafood, chicken and turkey over red meat. Aarti’s recipe for Beef Vindaloo was easily adaptable to a chicken variety. I decreased the amount of meat by a 1/4 (saves $) and I bulked up the mixture with fresh vegetables to add some color. Apple cider vinegar really brightens up the dish while my addition of coconut milk helps balance the acidity, though this is optional. I opted to mince a serrano pepper for extra heat but feel free to leave sliced in half and remove after simmering.
Don’t be scared by the list of ingredients, the “wet masala” blend pulls together quickly and I whirled it all in a blender for easy prep. I used all pre-ground spices to help speed up the prep time too so I could get the (dinner) show on the road!
Aarti serves this dish with rice or chapatis – whole wheat griddle bread – but for gluten free, I served the curry mixture over a bowl of steamed rice (Chris’s pick). Cooked quinoa or millet would be delicious as well if you want to change things up!
We will be making this again and again – bright and beautiful flavors, packed with protein and veggies and yields a good amount so we can enjoy leftovers 🙂
Chicken Vindaloo with Vegetables (adapted from Aarti Party’s Goan Beef Curry)
For Wet Masala:
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 ground cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/8 ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste OR omit if you don’t want heat
6 garlic cloves
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled (if desired)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp coconut oil, grapeseed, canola or other neutral oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 serrano pepper or 1 jalapeno pepper, deveined and deseeded and either sliced in half (less heat) or minced (for more heat)
1 1/2 lbs chicken, cubed (or beef sirloin)
2 tomatoes, diced
1 zuchinni, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp honey or agave
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup coconut milk (I used full fat but light is fine), optional but if omitted add more water
salt and pepper to taste
cooked rice, quinoa, millet
1. For the wet masala: In a small food processor or blender, combine the wet masala ingredients (cumin, turmeric, cloves, black pepper, paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, garlic, ginger and vinegar) and process until smooth. Set aside
2. Place a large (preferably nonstick) pot over high heat and add the oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions and serrano pepper. Stirring frequently, saute the onions until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Don’t let them burn! Turn the heat down to medium-high if they’re starting to burn.
3. Add the ground wet masala, taking care because it will sizzle wildly and steam up your glasses, if you wear them. Stir quite vigorously and turn down the heat if it’s bubbling too furiously. Don’t wash the food processor bowl yet. Keep stirring, with short pauses, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the masala comes together as one mass, about 2 minutes. Also, you may see little droplets of oil on the perimeter of the masala. That’s a good sign!
4. Quickly add the meat and stir, coating the meat in the masala. Stir and cook about 5-7 minutes until the meat browns.
5. Remember that dirty food processor bowl? Fill it with 1/2 cup of hot water, swirl it around so it picks up any leftover masala, and pour that into the pot. Add chopped veggies (tomato, zucchini and bell pepper), honey/agave, coconut milk, salt and pepper, stir, bring the curry to a boil, and then turn it down to a simmer. Cover and cook 30 minutes.
6. For the less spicy version, remove the two halves of the serrano pepper (skip if you diced the pepper).
7. Taste, add salt and pepper if needed and served over cooked grains and enjoy!