Chicken Vindaloo Vesuvius

By • September 8, 2013 • 42 Comments

523 Save


Author Notes: As a kid, being able to handle spicy food was a badge of honor that I wore with much pride! Even now, I have this (entirely silly) sense of pride when I order things "Thai hot" or "5 stars", smugly telling the hesitant server that I can handle the heat! Given my love of all things spicy, it should come as no surprise that I am absolutely obsessed with vindaloo, the classic Indian dish known for its spicy kick. The internet had loads of recipes to get me started; Madhur Jaffrey also had a fantastic recipe that I loved. I made it with pork, chicken, even with tofu! I loved them all!

This Vindaloo Vesuvius is the result of all the tweaking I have made to suit the dish to my taste. I knew I wanted a mellower vinegar for the marinade, so I went with the rice vinegar. Since I like things extra spicy, I also added heat through a bunch of different means: cayenne, black pepper, Serranos, spicy mustard, and all the warming spices. However, this dish also needed a little taming and that’s why I decided to add the cashew cream, so that the vindaloo would have a lingering heat, as well as a smooth, rich finish. Enjoy!
Madhuja

Food52 Review: I have tried many Indian curry recipes and have inevitably felt that they fell short of my restaurant-quality expectations. This recipe was a much-welcomed exception. The spiciness builds with each bite, but is mellowed out by the cashew cream. That cashew cream -- oh my. Such fantastic flavor. Bottom line: this is one I'll be making on a regular basis. Amazing. LoganEatsFood

Serves 4 to 5

  • 1 1/2 pound chicken drumsticks, skin off
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 3 Serrano chiles, roughly chopped up
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup cashews, soaked in water for 2 to 3 hours
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Vegetable oil, for sauteing
  • Kosher salt
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  1. Add the vinegar, garlic, ginger, all the spices, mustard, and chopped Serranos to a food processor and purée until very smooth. Make a couple of incisions on each drumstick, just so that the marinade can get deep into the meat. Rub the paste all over the meat. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. This would also be a great time to start soaking the cashews!
  2. Add vegetable oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they start to get brown at the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the chicken and all the marinade and sauté, stirring frequently for about 2 to 4 minutes, until the spices are intensely aromatic. You may need to add a splash of water if you see the paste sticking to the bottom of the pan -- don't let those spices burn!
  3. Add the chicken stock and gently simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. Keep the lid off and stir every few minutes.
  4. While the chicken is simmering, make the cashew cream. Add the cashews, heavy cream, and a splash of water to a blender and purée into a smooth mixture.
  5. Add the cashew cream to the pot once the meat is very tender. Keep simmering for another couple of minutes, until the sauce has the desired consistency (I like mine quite thick). Check for salt. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately with steamed rice. Enjoy!

Comments (42) Questions (0)

Default-small
Default-small
Default-small

10 days ago kangoid

I like Vindaloo for all the same reasons as the author and tried this recipe the other night. Wow! This is the best Vindaloo I've ever had, moving to #1 ahead of a Vindaloo I had at an Indian restaurant at Piccadilly Circus in London. It is everything a Vindaloo should be. It is packed with heat, but each and every addition of heat also comes with tremendous flavor, giving the dish an incredible depth. The spicy brown mustard is genius. I literally could not eat this fast enough it was so flavorful. This, and Vij Family's Chicken Curry are the two best curries I've ever had, and I can't believe I can make such quality at home. This is the first recipe I've tried from this site and, if it's any indication, I will be making many more.

I think the next time I make this I will use ghee instead of vegetable oil to go for even more richness. For some reason, I also detected a hint of lemon at the end which is odd since there's not a gram of lemon in the recipe. It makes me consider adding lemongrass to the paste. Delicious!

Spiceroute

9 days ago Madhuja

Thank you so much for the lovely comment! I am so glad you enjoyed it! :)

Default-small

26 days ago Helene

This is definitely a restaurant worthy recipe and I'll be making it again. My boyfriend & I like heat but we would suggest using only 2 serrano chilis to bring the level down a bit. I don't know how anyone could even decipher the flavor of mustard when there are so many other dominate flavors in this dish.

Spiceroute

26 days ago Madhuja

Thank you for trying my recipe, Helene! You are right, the dish should not taste overwhelmingly of mustard, but all the flavors should be harmonious. Mustard is just one of the various sources of heat in this dish. Hope this helps! :)

Default-small

28 days ago barcelona

Looks great! However, so much vinegar? Is the final dish sour/vinegary?

Spiceroute

28 days ago Madhuja

Not at all! The long simmer makes sure that the taste mellows out. Besides, the rice vinegar is sweeter than others, so the final dish doesn't taste vinegary at all!:)

Photo_on_2013-11-16_at_13.18__3

28 days ago Shalini

This looks so good. Love the idea of smoked paprika and prepared mustard. Now to combat my laziness in order to make it...pronto!

Spiceroute

28 days ago Madhuja

This is the perfect thing to make when you are feeling a bit lazy - the marinade does all the work!:)

My-haircut

2 months ago indieculinary

Saved! I am always on the lookout for a killer Vindaloo.

Spiceroute

2 months ago Madhuja

Enjoy! :)

Default-small

4 months ago shawn condon

What do you mean when you refer to: Spicy Brown Mustard. Dijon? Dry Mustard? I also have a Deli Style Spicy Brown Mustard. Of the three, which would be best?

Spiceroute

4 months ago Madhuja

I would go with the Deli Style Spicy Brown Mustard! :)

Default-small

4 months ago Cate

Hi Madhuja! I prepared this dish last night and it was well received. For me, however, the prepared mustard seemed to predominate even though I used less than the called for amount. Brilliant combination of spices otherwise and I know I'll make this again although I think I'll substitute a small measurement of whole mustard seed instead. Will let you know!

Spiceroute

4 months ago Madhuja

Hi Cate! Thanks for trying my recipe! So sorry that the mustard was a little overpowering for you - maybe different brands have varying levels of pungency? I hope you like it better with the mustard seeds! :)

Default-small

4 months ago Cate

No apologies, Madhuja!! Everyone loved it! Finding your recipes and others on Foods52 has been wonderful inspiration!

Spiceroute

4 months ago Madhuja

I am so glad to hear that! Being a part of Food52 has been a lot of fun for me too! :)

Default-small

5 months ago Megha

Hi-- I am DEFINITELY getting around to making this amazing looking recipe this weekend :) 2 more questions for you if you don't mind answering
1. In terms of the mustard, do you think a Dijon mustard would be okay?
2. Do you think I can use whole milk instead of heavy cream?

Thank you!

Spiceroute

5 months ago Madhuja

I think Dijon mustard would work just fine, Megha! I would not use milk as the recipe calls for quite a bit of vinegar, which might curdle the milk. Let me know how it turned out! :)

Default-small

6 months ago Trena

I loved this! I made this for lunch today and had a sinking suspicion that it would be delicious, so I doubled the recipe,good thing I did.

Spiceroute

6 months ago Madhuja

Thanks for trying the recipe, Trena! I am SO glad you liked it! :)

Default-small

6 months ago 20ozMocha

This was incredible. But next time, I have to double the cashew cream- very little of it survived till it was time to add it to the chicken... (hangs head in shame)

Spiceroute

6 months ago Madhuja

I am so glad you liked it! :)

Default-small

7 months ago ktjk

This looks awesome. Have you ever tried this with a coconut milk or other dairy-free alternative?

Spiceroute

7 months ago Madhuja

I have made vindaloo with coconut milk and it was great! :)

Default-small

7 months ago Megha

This looks fantastic, looking forward to trying ti this weekend! Do you think it would be okay if I soaked the cashews overnight?

Spiceroute

7 months ago Madhuja

Sure! Hope you enjoy it! :)

Moi_1

7 months ago QueenSashy

I made it, I loved it, I will cherish it forever!

Spiceroute

7 months ago Madhuja

Oh, I am so happy to hear that! Thank you!:) (Sorry for the late reply - I am traveling, with very sporadic internet access!)

Default-small

7 months ago simran

Great recipe!
What are some suggestions for dishes that go with it besides rice and bread, thanks!

Spiceroute

7 months ago Madhuja

I would probably keep the side dishes really simple - may be a salad or roasted vegetables? You do need something to sop up the sauce with, so I would highly recommend having it with something that can do that. Hope this helps! :)

Open-uri20130929-14650-xpefp3

7 months ago Katherine Steiger

Ingredient question: What is ginger paste?

Spiceroute

7 months ago Madhuja

You can make the paste by peeling and then grating ginger. You can also buy it in a jar at Indian grocery stores. Hope this helps! :)

Photo_(14)

7 months ago foxeslovelemons

I love how many difference sources of heat this has, and the mustard kick! Congrats on the CP!

Spiceroute

7 months ago Madhuja

Thank you so much!

Moi_1

7 months ago QueenSashy

Madhuja, this is a fantastic recipe, I must cook it immediately!

Spiceroute

7 months ago Madhuja

Thank you, QueenSashy! I would be so happy if you tried it! :)

397212_10101514662356398_1850800444_n

7 months ago Loves Food Loves to Eat

Can't wait to try this!

Spiceroute

7 months ago Madhuja

Thank you so much! Hope you enjoy it! :)

Default-small

7 months ago lynx60489

This sounds like an awesome recipe! I can't wait to try it and post back. Any recommendations on how to temper the spices a bit other than the cashew cream? Should I just take out one Serrano or decrease the spices in proportion?

Spiceroute

7 months ago Madhuja

Sure, you can take out one Serrano! If you want less heat, you could also decrease the cayenne to 1 tsp. It won't quite be the exploding "Vesuvius", but it should still pack some heat! Hope you enjoy it!:)

036

8 months ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

The sounds amazing - a must try! I love how you build the spice up, then mellow it out with the cream and cashew.

Spiceroute

8 months ago Madhuja

Thanks, Abbie! I tried the sauce before I added the cashew cream and it was HOT!!!!