Tonight's cooking experiment was seeing what happened when I stripped down the vindaloo from Saturday. I cooked a half pound of chicken thigh in a slosh of canola oil, and threw in about 8oz of crushed tomato, and added some miscellaneous spices and additives without paying a lot of attention to what I was doing. Salt, pepper, cumin, curry powder, some vinegar. Came out perfectly edible and not entirely untasty with rice. But really I think it was too oily and too blandly tomatoey. Separately, basmati rice is not my favorite. Doing some wikipedia research, I think I've determined that squishy over-cooked medium-grain rice is what I'm after. Anyway, I suppose the onions and garlic in the vindaloo --- which I completely omitted here --- really did a lot to establish its flavor. Also perhaps the step of tossing the chicken with spices before starting to cook it?