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chicken vindaloo

Goa has a unique and harmonious blending of east and west which reflects in its culture, monuments, churches and in its cuisine as well.
Chicken vindaloo (or vindalho, the Portuguese version) was introduced to India by the early Portuguese settlers in Goa and slowly it incorporates the hot and spicy flavour of India.

One of the misconception about this dish is that it uses “potato” (comes from “aloo” in “vindaloo” which means potato in hindi) in it and unfortunately it transformed into something else. Vindalho in Portuguese means wine and garlic whereby the pork meat is usually pickled in garlic and wine so that it last long and when it transported to India through the Portuguese mariners, it lost in translation.

Pork does not goes well with Indian (as far as I know, correct me If am wrong), so chicken vindaloo evolves in an abridged version. Actual ingredients got condensed, altered to suit local palate and influenced by Konkani cuisine. So some recipes uses coconut and feni, some do not and some replaces the wine vinegar with tamarind even. Many variations exist but not authentic.

Though this recipe of chicken vindalho can not claim to be authentic, but I happen to dine at one of my Goan friend who lives in Mumbai, and the pork vindalho that I had there was simply out of this world. In this recipe I only replace the pork with chicken, and rest of the ingredient are same, but I will admit that I can not recreate that magical taste, may be it depends upon the marination time. Yes, this dish requires lots of marination time and has a clingy gravy, not pouring consistency. So try this, you will love it, and do experiments with varying marination time.

chicken vindalho

Goan chicken vindaloo

Chicken : 500gm
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 – 3 tbsp
Cloves: 3-4
Cinnamon: 1″
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Coriander seeds: 1 tsp
Garlic cloves: 3-4
Ginger (chopped): 1tsp
Whole red chilies: 2-3
Black peppercorns: 1 tsp
Coriander leaves (for garnishing): 1tsp
Red or white wine vinegar: 2-3 tbsp
Oil: 2-3 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method to Prepare:

Marination : Wash the chicken and squeeze out the excess water. Dry roast the cloves, cinnamon, black peppercorns, red chillies, cumin and coriander seeds, cloves of garlic and grind them together in a mixer along with chopped ginger, salt, 2 tbsp of wine vinegar and 1 tbsp of oil. While grinding, add the oil little by little in successive rotations. This combination of spices will form the marinades.
Marinate the chicken for 4-20 hours ! Marination is an extremely important part of this recipe as it will tenderize and flavour the chicken. I marinate for 6 hour and refrigerate (not in freezer) the chicken. Refrigeration quickens the process of marination.

Cooking : Heat some oil in a pan and saute the ginger-garlic paste. Drop the chicken in pan along with the marinades and seared on high flame for few minutes, till the chickens got the burnt look. Start cooking on slow flame and add the wine vinegar slowly few drops at time. Adjust the salt, keep on stirring, if requires add little water and cook on slow heat till done.

Garnish with a twig of cilantro and serve hot the chicken vindalho with rice or flat bread.


  • Reply
    February 10, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    vindaloo means garlic and wine !! Wow I never knew that !

  • Reply
    February 15, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Vindaloo vindaloo… so cute! I am saying that all evening tonight.
    A cool dish though, must try that out sometime.

    • Reply
      February 15, 2011 at 5:43 pm

      yeah pickled meat has some distinct flavour, its curried version is little boring, makes no difference from the rest.

      @varsha, even I wasnt aware about it, this small trivia fetched from wiki and that makes the reading intersting.

  • Reply
    February 16, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Love this dish of your … super !! I am saving it dear .. will definitely make it this week and let you know 🙂

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