Spicy chicken curry

Nearly every Indian restaurant serves something that it calls Chicken Vindaloo, but the dish varies greatly from place to place. This recipe is a modification of a vindaloo recipe that appears in Madhur Jaffrey's
Indian (Barron's 1983). I've attempted to approximate the Chicken Vindaloo served at The Tandoor Palace on Second Avenue in New York.


(serves 4-6)


  1. Grind cumin seeds, black pepper, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, black mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds together in a spice grinder. In a small bowl, combine ground spices, vinegar, salt, cayenne pepper and brown sugar. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Fry onions, stirring frequently, until they are a rich, dark brown. Remove onions with a slotted spoon and put them in a blender. Turn off the heat, but do not discard the oil. Add 3 Tbsp water (or more if necessary) to the onions and blend until you have a smooth paste. Add this onion paste to the spices in the bowl. This mixture is the

  • Put the ginger and garlic in a blender. Add 3 Tbsp water and blend until you have a smooth paste.
  • Heat the remaining oil in the saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the ginger!garlic paste. Stir until the paste browns slightly. Add the coriander and turmeric. Stir a few seconds. Add the chicken, a little at a time, and brown lightly.
  • Add the vindaloo paste, tomato sauce and potatoes to the chicken in the saucepan. Stir and bring to a slight boil.
  • Cover the saucepan, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about an hour, or until potatoes are tender.
  • Serve over rice.


    Don't undercook the onions. They should be cooked until dark brown. If the onion paste turns out gray rather than brown, then the onions were not cooked enough.

    This dish is very, very hot. It may not seem so at first, but the spices have a cumulative effect that builds up over the course of the meal.


    Difficulty: moderate.
    Time: 30 minutes preparation, 2 to 3 hours cooking.
    Precision: approximate measurement OK.


    Jim Mattson 
    University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, Calif., USA 
    Recipe last modified: 29 Oct 87

    Original header

    Path: decwrl!recipes
    From: (Jim Mattson)
    Newsgroups: alt.gourmand
    Subject: RECIPE: Chicken vindaloo
    Message-ID: <14384@decwrl.DEC.COM>
    Date: 5 Aug 88 07:09:55 GMT
    Sender: recipes@decwrl.DEC.COM
    Distribution: alt
    Organization: Univ. of California, San Diego, Calif., USA
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