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Chicken Vindaloo

Serves 4-6

Marinate chicken in an exotic curry sauce and poach for a colorful Indian dinner that works well as a make-ahead meal, too. Jasmine rice zested with lime and naan bread are perfect sides.


For the hot curry spice blend:

  • 1 tablespoon turmeric (a scant palmful)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin (2/3 palmful)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander (2/3 palmful)
  • 2 teaspoons hot paprika (2/3 palmful)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard (1/3 palmful)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (eyeball the amount in your palm)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Or, instead of mixing your own spice blend above, substitute 2 tablespoons curry powder combined with 1 tablespoon hot paprika

  • 2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 2-inch piece of ginger root, grated or minced
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (eyeball the amount in your palm)
  • 1 Fresno chili pepper or other moderate heat red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes (15 ounces)
  • 1 cup chicken stock

For garnishes:

  • Chopped toasted peanuts or sliced almonds
  • Finely chopped mint and cilantro
  • Lime wedges


  1. Combine spice blend or curry powder and paprika in a small bowl.
  2. Place the chicken in a shallow dish and mix with half of the spice blend, 2 cloves garlic, salt and pepper and lime juice. Cover and let stand for 45-60 minutes.
  3. When the chicken has finished marinating, heat oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, ginger, remaining garlic, bay leaves and chili pepper and season with salt and the remaining half of the spice blend.
  4. Cook, stirring frequently, for 7-8 minutes to soften. Add in the tomatoes and stock and bring to boil. Slide in the chicken and cover the pan partially with the lid or with foil to allow some steam to escape. Reduce the heat to a simmer and poach the chicken in the sauce for about 20 minutes. Serve with garnishes over rice.