I'm from Louisiana, and it's not too often that we have stew or gumbo weather. But so delicious and aromatic are these dishes that sometimes you've just gotta turn down your air conditioner and curl up under a blanket as you enjoy the scent of your simmering dinner and later the hearty taste! Sacrifices must be made for proper sensory overload.
To start with, I chopped up one onion (or rather Andy chopped it) and combined it in the food processor with curry powder, chili powder, turmeric, ground mustard, minced garlic, ground ginger, cumin, white wine vinegar, and ground cloves and blended the ingredients until they were smooth.
Full disclosure: I forgot to chop up the chicken thighs before I coated them all with the spice mixture. So that had to happen post-coating and was rather messy and not at all noble. Chop up the chicken first! 1/2- to 1-inch pieces should do the trick. THEN throw them in a bowl and coat with your spice mixture. Now to return to the first-person narrative...
Andy chopped up the remaining onion. Then we heated up two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high. I added the onions and sauteed them until they were golden (about 5-7 minutes.) Then I added in the chicken (and all of the spice mixture) and stirred it in with the onions for about 3 minutes.
Next came the can of diced tomatoes (including all the liquid) and a cinnamon stick. Once the sauce came to a boil, I covered the pot, reduced the heat to low, and let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring on occasion.
After that, I removed the lid and added a tablespoon of yellow mustard seeds. I raised the heat to medium and let it simmer for another 8-10 minutes so the sauce would thicken.
Meanwhile I boiled up a pot of orzo on which to serve the stew. Basmati rice would be really delicious too.
Before serving, I fished out the cinnamon stick and seasoned the stew with salt and pepper. Then I stirred in my cilantro, ladled the vindaloo over bowls of orzo and curled up on the couch in front of a movie. Three cheers for makeshift stew weather!
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground mustard
6 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 tsp cumin
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 onions, chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 3/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 cinnamon stick
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Orzo or basmati rice or whatever you choose to serve it on!