The sweet, acidic flavor of the pickled mustard seeds help with the spice in this easy chicken vindaloo with pickled mustard seeds recipe.Jump to Recipe
Pickled mustard seeds, also known as Poor Man’s Caviar, are so easy to prepare and keep for quite awhile. I recommend preparing the mustard seeds the night before so you can add them to this chicken vindaloo while they are cold. However, you can prepare them in tandem with the vindaloo and serve them still warm over the chicken. It’s so delicious and easy to prepare.
For this easy vindaloo, I load up on spices like:
- Cayenne powder
I add a lot of spice with minced Bird’s eye chili peppers, but you can omit or reduce if you want to lower the heat on this dish. I love a good, fiery vindaloo recipe and this one really hit the spot for me.
For this chicken vindaloo, I used 2 large chicken breasts and 6 chicken thighs to get a mix of white and dark meat. You can use all breast or all thigh depending on your preference.
I definitely recommend not skipping the pickled mustard seeds. You will have some left over which you can use on charcuterie boards or on avocado toast. They are so delicious and keep for several months in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
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Easy Chicken Vindaloo with Pickled Mustard Seeds
- Wide pot
Pickled Mustard Seeds
- ½ cup yellow mustard seeds
- ½ cup distilled white vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar more or less to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Water as needed
Easy Chicken Vindaloo:
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cubed
- 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil for frying, plus more, if needed
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 yellow onions peeled and sliced
- 8 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 3-6 Thai chili peppers trimmed and minced (use fewer if a less spicy vindaloo is desired)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tablespoons turmeric
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons cayenne powder more or less, if needed
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 lemon juiced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cooked rice
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Lemon wedges
Prepare the Pickled Mustard Seeds:
- Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and turn the heat to high. Once the liquid is boiling, add the mustard seeds. Boil for 1 minute and then reduce heat to very low and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the mustard seeds are softened. Add more water as the mustard seeds cook, if needed. The final product should be a somewhat-sticky mixture and most, if not all, the liquid should be absorbed and the seeds should be softened.
Fry the Chicken:
- Pat the chicken dry and season all over with salt and pepper. Heat the cooking oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken in batches and cook for 3-5 minutes per side until browned all over. The chicken doesn't need to be cooked through. Transfer to a plate, leaving any fond from the chicken in the pot.
- Melt the butter into the pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, for 6-7 minutes until softened.
- Reduce heat to low and add the garlic, chili peppers, cinnamon sticks, and all of the remaining spices. Add the browned chicken and toss to coat.
- Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Reduce heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until the chicken is very tender. Add more liquid, as necessary, if the chicken sticks to the pot or the liquid absorbs too quickly. Occasionally taste the sauce and season it according to your preferences.
- Divide cooked rice between bowls and pour the vindaloo on top. Garnish with cilantro leaves and a lemon wedge. Add a teaspoon or two of the pickled mustard seeds to each dish. Enjoy!