Vindaloo implies garlic and vinegar rather than the hottest dish in the restaurant. But it may be hot too.
This is another recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Easy, a lovely, tempting book. Even here, though, you have to accept that the recipes will not always work precisely as described. I’ve included my comments below. Serves 4.
4tbsp olive or rapeseed oil (I used sunflower)
1/2tsp brown mustard seeds
1/4tsp fenugreek seeds
1tsp black peppercorns
15-20 fresh curry leaves or 10 fresh basil leaves, torn (I used dried curry leaves, which I’m not convinced taste of anything at all)
8 chicken thighs
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
250ml cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 1/4tsp salt
1 1/2tsp ground cumin
1tbsp ground coriander (I used cumin and coriander seeds, which I toasted and then ground in a mortar)
Cayenne pepper to taste
1tbsp sweet red paprika
Put the oil in a large saute pan or wide frying pan – wide enough to hold the chicken in a single layer (it will need to be at least 28cms). Set over a medium heat. When hot, put in the mustard seeds. As soon as they pop, put in the fenugreek seeds and peppercorns. A few seconds later, put in the curry leaves, chicken, and all the remaining ingredients. Stir and bring to the boil (though you may find that the vinegar froths up immediately, before settling down).
Cover, lower the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. (I put my dish in the oven for an hour – I like my chicken tender.)
Remove the cover, turn the heat to high and cook, stirring and turning, until all the liquid evaporates and the chicken browns on all sides.
The previous paragraph suggests that you're frying the chicken at the end. I found, however, that the evaporation process left me with a sticky sauce, which would have burned if I’d continued to cook it too vigorously. No matter: the dish was delicious.