Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chicken Vindaloo

Happy New Year! For the first recipe of 2011, I have chosen a favorite Indian preparation of mine, vindaloo -- specifically, chicken and shrimp vindaloo. The origins of vindaloo come from east India (and further back, Portugal). In a restaurant, one would typically encounter vindaloo with beef, chicken, shrimp or vegetables ... here, I combine chicken and shrimp for a little variety. And, I had shrimp that needed to be used. Necessity so often creates our dishes.

This recipe is actually quite easy -- the spice list looks a bit long, but most of it is all pinches and dashes if you're halfway accustomed to cooking. If there is a spice you are particularly fond of, exaggerate it. Put on some tunes, pour a vodka and get to work ...


  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 3/4 cups chopped tomatoes (about 2 medium)
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon (more if you like it hot) cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 dozen (approx) regular shrimp, tailless, peeled and de-veined
  • 2 small russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (I say small because so many vegetables are grown so BIG right now ...)
  • 1 cups (more if needed) low-salt chicken broth or water
As I do from time to time, this recipe is an adaptation ... here, the recipe is taken from the vindaloo dish served in the Ambassador Dining Room in Baltimore, MD.

I recommend having all ingredients at or near room temperature prior to beginning. Then, prepare and blend first 11 ingredients and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a food processor until paste forms.

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add paste from processor and cook until slightly golden, stirring occasionally, 5-7 minutes.

Add chicken, shrimp and potatoes; sauté 8-12 minutes. Add broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, 15-20 minutes. Uncover and simmer until chicken and shrimp are cooked through, 5 or so minutes longer. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a nice, cold white wine, a light-bodied beer or a cold tea. Enjoy! This dish makes great lunch leftovers.

Tonight's music: Dave Brubeck, Legacy of a Legend.

Technology Tip: are you into Internet audio? And, have you ever had the need to record audio from a web page? Well, over the past several years several apps have come and gone that enable users to internally record audio happening in their web browser ... for the savvy audio person, there is Soundflower:

Manufactured by Cycling 74, this app enables users to perform inter-application audio routing. At the time of this writing, it is only available for Mac OS X ... though the company manufactures their flagship product, Max/MSP/Jitter, for both major platforms. Perhaps some pressure would get a Soundflower version for Windows?