A Chicken Curry That Doesn’t Hold Back

Credit…Christopher Testani for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Good morning. I am all about Naz Deravian’s new recipe for chicken vindaloo, a Goan dish with Portuguese influences that is generally billed as one of the spiciest curries served at Indian restaurants in the west. (The name is adopted from the Portuguese dish carne de vinha d’alhos, in which meat, usually pork, is prepared in a vinegar and garlic marinade.)

Made with whole, dried Kashmiri red chiles (available at South Asian markets and online), it’s a taste of the Indian diaspora: a ticket to a West London curry house, best redeemed with beer. And I want to make it right away, today!

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Chicken Vindaloo

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As for the rest of the week. …


Ali Slagle’s streamlined recipe for vegetarian bean and cheese enchiladas makes for a lovely weeknight meal, especially if you follow the lead of some of our readers and, instead of rolling the tortillas, stack them, New Mexico style.


I like making the marinade for Alexa Weibel’s adaptation of David Shim’s recipe for galbi and tteok skewers before work, so that the beef has time to tenderize over the course of the day. Then it’s an easy business to grill it with rice cakes for dinner — or an easier business still to broil everything in the oven. Have I cooked the dish in a skillet set over high heat, so that the meat crisps and I get a nice golden crust on the tteok? I have.


Moo goo gai pan is a staple of the Chinese American takeout repertoire, but Vivian Chan’s new recipe brings it home forever, with instructions that yield a dish far superior to most of the versions that come to you in a rusting Kia or aboard an electric bike.


I love Melissa Clark’s recipe for cauliflower shawarma with spicy tahini, especially alongside a mound of chopped cucumber, tomatoes and olives, with plenty of hot sauce. Spoon all that into a warm pita and discover the pleasures of a meatless street-meat dinner.


And then you can head into the weekend with the chef JJ Johnson’s lovely seafood gumbo, a curtain raiser for a holiday season that is picking up steam. It’s incredible: scallops, crab, lobster and shrimp in a stew that draws from Gullah Geechee cuisine, Native American flavors and the traditions of Louisiana cooking to deliver a dinner of remarkable intensity. Spooned over a bowl of rice, it’s a taste of celebration for no particular reason beyond the desire to experience the delicious, to celebrate your own private holiday in the middle of December.

Thousands and thousands more recipes are stacked like cordwood in the digital barn that is New York Times Cooking. I’ll answer a question I hear about them often: Yes, you need a subscription to read them. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. So, please, if you haven’t taken one out yet, would you consider doing so today? There’s even a sale on — 50 percent off your first year. Thanks.

Do reach out for help if you find yourself crossways with our technology. Write [email protected] and someone will get back to you. Or you can write to me if you’d like to register a complaint or offer a compliment. I’m at [email protected]. I cannot respond to every letter. There are a lot of them. But I read every one I receive.

Now, it’s nothing to do with persimmons or clotted cream, but Esquire asked a bunch of authors to write, on napkins, short fiction about holiday office parties. The results are fascinating, and if they’re sometimes difficult to read, that’s kind of the point. They’re written on actual napkins.

Confessions of a serial sticker-slapper, from Keith Plocek in The New York Times Magazine.

Here’s “To Our Indolent Cancer,” a new poem by Greg Delanty in The New York Review of Books.

We’d all like more energy as we go about our days, I think? My colleagues on the Well desk have crafted a six-day challenge to help raise yours, starting on Jan. 1.

Finally, Lindsay Zoladz took to her Times newsletter, “The Amplifier,” to offer a 124-song look at the best music of 2023, more than eight hours of listening pleasure. Set that to shuffle and see what you think. I’ll be back next week.

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