Chicken Vindaloo

For the Spice Paste Mixture:
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 cardamon pods
4 cloves
2.5cm (1 inch) cinnamon stick
6 black peppercorns
1 green chili (medium heat) – chopped leaving the seeds in
2.5cm (1 inch) of fresh root ginger – chopped
4 garlic cloves – peeled
3 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 skinless chicken breast fillets – cut into cubes
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves – finely chopped
2 largish onions – chopped
1 red chili pepper medium heat – de-seeded and finely chopped
2 tsp of ground turmeric
2 tsp of chili powder
1 tbsp of tomato puree
1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp of white wine vinegar
freshly ground salt and black pepper to taste
a few freshly chopped coriander leaves

Grind the cumin seeds, cardamon pods, cloves, cinnamon stick and the peppercorns with a spice grinder/mortar & pestle. You want a nice fine powder so it will take a few bashings too to get there! The only big bits left at this stage should be the cardamon pod shells/skins or whatever they’re called.
Now blend the powder with the other paste ingredients in a food processor. So in the processor you will have the spice powder the green chili, ginger, garlic,and the lemon juice. Make this into a fine paste.
When all that’s done put the mixture into a small bowl and add the chicken giving it a good stir to coat the chicken pieces well.
Cover with cling film and set aside in the refrigerator for a good 2 hours – better still overnight.

When you are ready to cook, heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic – saute for 1 minute.
Add the onions and the de-seeded chopped red chili.
Cook, stirring now and again until the onions are nice and golden but not burnt.
Add the turmeric, chili powder, tomato puree, tin of tomatoes and the white wine vinegar – **take care not to add anymore than the 2 tbsp or the dish will be horrid.
Give it all a really good stir.
Now you can add the marinated chicken (I like to remove any of those horrid large bits of cardamom if you spy them).
Cook this for about 10 minutes giving it a stir now and again.

Now bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer until the meat has cooked through and the sauce has thickened – About 40 minutes.
Check on it now and again as you may need to add a little water if it’s getting too thick.

Once you get it cooking and are at this stage, you’ll know if it gets too thick.
Make sure the chicken is cooked through and serve with rice and the coriander leaves if you feel like you need to

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