Oh…Vindaloo…how I adore you

We’re headed out tonight for Indian food. Oh, I can not wait. The spicy aromas, the soft airy naan. I like Indian food as authentic as I can get it; having not been to India, my definition of “authentic” is fresh foods made insanely spicy and breads made in a tandoori (which I do not have).  My favorite thing in the world is when I walk into an Indian restaurant and I am the only white person there, “Ah! I am in the right place.” Love that. Looove it.

Once, I took my father to an Indian restaurant. As a midwesterner, he was reluctant. BUT, he got eased a bit when the curvy, delish belly dancers started making their way through the restaurant. Oh, that was a great night. I’ll tell that story another time.

If you can’t make it out to dinner with us tonight, I totally understand. Instead, I thought I’d toss out one of my favorite dishes, Chicken Vindaloo. This recipe is a take-off of one I found in Cooking Light; but I made it my own by adding a few things to just to give it depth and make it much, much spicier. If you aren’t a fan of spice, tone down the thai peppers, or use a milder pepper like jalapeno (I know, it isn’t a traditional Indian dish with Jalapeno, I know.)


Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup pork mixture and about 3/4 cup rice)


  • 2  (3 1/2-ounce) bags boil-in-bag brown rice
  • 2  teaspoons peanut oil (or canola oil)
  • 1 large sweet onion (Maui or Vidalia make good choices) or white onion is fine too
  • 2 chicken breasts, but into 1 inch strips
  • 1 1/4  teaspoons  garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1  teaspoon  mustard seeds
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 5  thai peppers (be sure to get as close to the stem as possible, that’s where the spice is!)
  • 1  tablespoon garlic
  • 1/4  cup chicken broth
  • 1  (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1  (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2  tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1  tablespoon red wine vinegar



1. Prepare rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; set aside.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Combine chicken and next 5 ingredients (through thai pepper); toss well; sauté for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic.

3. Add broth to pan, scraping bottom of pan to loosen browned bits, deglaze with red table wine.  Add tomatoes and tomato sauce; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro and vinegar. Serve over rice.

Recipe modified from original printed in Cooking Light November 2008

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