I was cooking with some of the Goan community in Leeds and was interested to learn that vindaloo, a curry famous all over the UK, is actually from Goa but has European roots. That part of India was, for many hundreds of years, actually under Portuguese control. It was the Portuguese who introduced vinegar to Goa and put the ‘vin’ (vinegar) in vindaloo (‘loo’ was the garlic). With this recipe, you’re creating a wonderful standout vegetable curry but then adding a meat kicker for any non- veggies at the table. It’s a great one for a mixed dinner party – everyone’s happy.
Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Put all the paste ingredients except the coriander leaves into a liquidizer and whiz until smooth, then scrape the paste out into a bowl. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the liquidizer, season well, then blitz until smooth and put aside for later. In a large casserole-type pan, toss the cauliflower florets and red onions with half the curry paste. Add 600ml of water, and roast in the hot oven for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through. Meanwhile, cut the chicken into finger-sized strips, toss them in the bowl with the remaining curry paste, cover and pop into the fridge.
After 40 minutes, carefully move the hot pan from the oven to the hob. Drain and add the chickpeas,along with the stock and blitzed tomatoes and simmer on a medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the consistency you like. Meanwhile, preheat a large griddle pan over a high heat. Thread the chicken pieces on to 6 or 8 metal or wooden skewers. Drizzle with a little oil, season from a height, and cook on the screaming hot griddle for around 10 to 12 minutes, turning each one every now and again, until gnarly, sizzly and cooked through. Squeeze over some lemon juice and give the pan a good shake, scraping the bottom of the pan for around 30 seconds to get all the intense flavour. Transfer everything to a plate and set aside.
Go back to your curry and mash a few times to thicken up the sauce. Add the delicate veggies (peas, beans, corn and spinach) for the last 3 minutes of cooking, then have a taste and correct the seasoning.Marble through a few dollops of yoghurt, scatter over the reserved coriander leaves and chopped fresh chilli (leave the seeds in for extra heat), then take straight to the table. Serve with fluffy rice, the chicken skewers and anything else you fancy.