Vindaloo is a dish prepared in the region of Goa, a former Portuguese colony in India on the west coast. It is known for being one of the spiciest Indian dishes and has a unique flavor profile with the addition of vinegar, not normally seen in this cuisine. In India the sign of good cooks is in their preparation of rice. Where most Asian cooked rice is sticky, Indian rice is judged by having each kernel independent of another, with no residual starch to hold it together. This is accomplished by extensive soaking and rinsing of raw rice, up to 24 hours, before cooking. The garnish may include a variety of vegetables and greens—or even pomegranate seeds as seen here.


  • For the chicken:
  • 2 medium onions, sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 3 whole Serrano peppers
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin (comino)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
  • 1/4 cup corn oil
  • 1 roasting chicken, about 4 pounds, cut up, skin removed
  • 8 ounces coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • For the turmeric rice:
  • 1 1/2 cups raw (uncooked) basmati rice, rinsed 4 times, soaked at least 4 hours in warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 (3-inch) pieces stick cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups green peas, freshly shucked or frozen (not canned)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds


Saute the onions in oil over low heat until golden and aromatic. Add the sliced garlic and cook 2 minutes.

Add the cooked onions and garlic, the Serrano peppers, ginger, turmeric, chili powder, cumin, and coriander to a food processor and pulse to form a smooth paste.

In a large pot, heat the corn oil over medium heat. Saute the chicken pieces, turning occasionally, until nicely browned on all sides.

Add the spice paste. Toss to coat and continue cooking for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, covering the pot after 5 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and tomato puree and simmer an additional 10 minutes over low heat.

Add the balsamic vinegar, garam masala, and salt. Toss to coat and turn off the heat. Allow to stand, covered, 2 minutes.

To cook the rice, mix the soaked and rinsed rice with 2 1/2 cups water in a heavy-bottomed pot, the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, turmeric, 1 tablespoon of clarified butter, and the salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower the heat to a simmer.

Cook without stirring for 7 to 8 minutes. Add the peas and continue to cook over low heat, until the water is absorbed, and the rice is cooked and fluffy.

In a small saute pan, heat up the remaining clarified butter. When smoking, add the mustard seeds and let them pop and sizzle. Pour this over the rice and fold in gently with a spatula. Serve immediately in timbales with the chicken Vindaloo.

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Submitted 9/20/13.
Source: Houston Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Bayou City's Iconic Restaurants by Arthur L. Meyer
Submitted By: b smith

Chicken Vindaloo with Turmeric Rice