The Islamic world has opened its eyes to cultural food exchange. Pakistanis can now master a tasty Harira soup while Moroccans are learning how to make a decent curry!
A close friend of mine is Moroccan, and she's always telling me about her husband's love for curry, the hotter, the better, apparently. It's because of this that we've nicknamed him Mr. Curry.
The chicken vindaloo recipe below is sweetly dedicated to his wife and my food friend, whose family have always embraced me as a new Muslim. They have been my leaders and light about Muslim life and culture and for that, I can't thank them enough, which is why I'm trying to show my appreciation by sharing this recipe.
The increasingly famous dish Vindaloo or 'vindalu' is an incredibly hot cuisine, originally from Goa. Even the title of the recipe has a beautiful story behind it. Portuguese were in India and 'Carne De Vinha D'alhos' translates to meat with wine and garlic. After some creativity from Goan Indians, the dish merged into a curry. They decide to use vinegar instead of wine and of course added a generous amount of aromatic south Asian spices for a bit of zing. Vindaloo is also a rare curry that is made without tomatoes and was originally made by marinating the seafood or meat. This way it can be prepared in the morning or at night quickly. Like everyone, I like to add my touch to a dish so in this recipe I've added extra chilli, haldi turmetic, and ginger. These are all great ingredients to help fight a cold and ease blocked sinuses. Please pay attention to the notes below regarding pregnancy and vindaloo.
The magic ingredients:
Chicken: Approximately 1.5 kilos, cut into curry sized pieces. If you're feeling lazy, the butcher will do this for you.
Mustard seeds 5ml/1 tsp.
Garlic: 3 cloves.
Onions: 3 large
Cardamom pods: 7 of the green ones.
Chillies: 10 green fresh ones.
Danyia: 1 cup pre-chopped.
Vinegar: 25ml/2 tbsp.
Salt: 1 tsp.
Tumeric haldi: 15ml/3 tbsp
Cinnamon stick: 1
Bay leave: 3
Chili powder: (extra hot) 1 tbsp
Firstly, wash the chicken in a bowl of water with 1 tbsp of salt and lemon juice. Ensure that you leave the chicken to soak for at least 15-20 minutes before rinsing and draining.
Then grind the cloves, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon stick and mustard seeds together. I recommend doing this by using mortar and pestle, either a wooden stone brass one or use a coffee grinder.
Chop two onions and some garlic. They should be grinded or chopped into a paste like texture; a mini chopper is an excellent choice to get the job done easily.
Next slice the remaining onion. Place the chicken into a large bowl then add the onion and garlic paste along with all of the blended spices including cinnamon, vinegar, coriander/danyia and mustard.
Use a large spoon to mix the chicken and other ingredients together. Ensure that all of the mixtures is covered in marinade. Cover the mixture and allow it to marinade for 4 hours or overnight.
When the mixture has thoroughly marinated, take a large saucepan and heat the ghee. Add the remaining onions and cook on medium heat. Stir occasionally until the onions turn golden. Add the chicken, stir for 10 minutes.
Next, reduce the heat and cover the saucepan using a lid, allow it to simmer for 45 minutes. Ensure that the lid fits snuggly so that the juices and evaporating fluids remain inside as this makes the 'gravy' as well as preventing the curry from tasting dry.
Finish off the dish by serving it with a variety of salads and boiled rice. Bob's your uncle!