Chicken Vindaloo

Adapted from Health (April 2002)

Vindaloo is an Indian curry dish that typically has a bit of heat. This version has a lot of spice, but not too much heat. You can control how hot it is by adding or subtracting chili paste. Don’t be intimidated by the number of spices. Once you’ve measured them out and made the marinade, the hardest part of the recipe is done. Serve it over brown rice with a side of kale.

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger (jarred is fine)
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste with garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 diced red bell pepper
  • 1 diced yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • In a zip top bag, combine chicken breast chunks with ginger, vinegar, coriander, cumin, cardamom, chili paste, cinnamon, cloves and garlic. Press all the air from the bag, then seal and refrigerate overnight.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and saute for 4 minutes. Add the chicken mixture and bell peppers and cook until chicken is no longer pink. Because the chicken has been sitting in spices, it will already look sort of brown and it may be difficult to determine when it’s done. Make sure the outside looks cooked before proceeding. Add broth and salt to the skillet and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 7 to 8 more minutes.
  • While chicken is simmering, combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl, stirring until cornstarch is dissolved. Add cornstarch mixture to the chicken mixture and allow to cook for another minute or two until sauce is thickened. Stir in cilantro and serve.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. The dish in my photo looks a little anemic because I couldn’t find the red bell pepper hiding in my crisper drawer. I used orange and yellow peppers here, but for the sake of color it’s really best to include the red. The flavors are the same but it’s a bit more visually appealing with the red, too. Keep in mind that the cilantro also adds the only green accent, so if you aren’t using it you might consider adding a green pepper, too, or throwing in a fistful of spinach at the end.
  • 2. The original recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of chili paste, which creates a moderate amount of spice for an adult but too much spice for a young child. I’ve cut it back here, but if you are concerned about young palates, try starting with 1/2 teaspoon and add 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt to the marinade.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

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