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Second to Naan

We are a nation of curry lovers, why not create that authentic taste at home with this spicy banquet?

by Russell Stretch


Balti Chicken Vindaloo

This was the first curry I cooked and the beauty of this is, once you have these spices on your shelf, you can turn your hand to most curry recipes. Don’t be scared by the ‘Vindaloo’ in the title, it isn’t scarily spicy (unless you want it to be) it’s merely referring to the fact that vinegar is added to the spices, to enhance their flavours. Also, this is technically a ‘dry’ curry as this recipe stands, but if you want a sauce, just add tinned tomatoes or coconut milk (or both) at the end, and leave it to simmer for 30 minutes. Serves 4, cooking time 30-40 minutes (plus overnight marinating)


  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted peanuts
  • 6 tablespoons vinegar (any type is fine)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 thumb sized knob of fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons mild chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4-5 skinless chicken breast fillets (trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Small handful of fresh curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds



Dry roast (in a small frying pan) the coriander, cumin, fenugreek, mustard seeds, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, coconut & peanuts until toasty and aromatic (keep an eye on the coconut as that will tend to brown first). Crush or grind the mixture and combine with the vinegar, garlic, ginger, turmeric, chilli powder, salt and a splash of oil. Place the chicken in a non metallic dish (or a ziploc bag works too) and pour over the marinade. Stir and leave overnight to marinade.Heat some vegetable oil in a large frying pan or wok and add the curry leaves and cumin seeds. Cook for about 10-15 seconds (or until the seeds start to ‘pop’ and add the marinated chicken (and the marinade), fry for about 15 minutes, turning the chicken regularly. Cover and continue cooking for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and tender. If you fancy a sauce, now’s the time to follow the tip above. Done.