Vindaloo is a Portuguese-influenced Goan dish made by cooking meat with spices and vinegar. Learn to make Goan Chicken Vindaloo in a traditional way using my easy recipe (gluten-free).
If you like to explore a few more delicious chicken recipes, here are some for you – Bihari Chicken Curry, Coconut Curry Chicken, Chicken Masala, Chicken Chettinad, Malabar Chicken Curry, Kerala Style Chicken Stew, and Mangalorean Chicken Sukka.
What Is Vindaloo
Vindaloo is a spicy Indian curry from Goa influenced by Portuguese cuisine. When the Portuguese explorers came to India, they made a dish, “Carne de Vinha d’ Alhos,” which means a dish made of meat cooked with wine and garlic.
Goans modified the dish by adding Indian spices and cooking it in vinegar instead of wine. The fiery red and spicy vindaloo curry thus came into existence.
Vindaloo sauce is hot, spicy, and loaded with savory, lightly sweet, and tangy flavors. It is gluten-free and dairy-free.
This curry is very popular all around the world, and you will find most Indian restaurants have it on their menu.
It was originally made using pork, but now I have seen its versions with chicken, beef, lamb, mutton, fish, and even chickpeas, paneer, and tofu.
You can check my Lamb Vindaloo Recipe, Potato Vindaloo, and Shrimp Vindaloo Recipe here.
About Goan Chicken Vindaloo
Chicken Vindaloo is a variation of Goan vindaloo curry with chicken.
It is a delicious curry widely popular in Goan restaurants and local Konkan households. Just like other vindaloo curries, chicken vindaloo is spicy, tangy, and fiery red and tastes best with either steamed rice or poi (a traditional Goan bread).
It gets most of its flavor from the freshly prepared Vindaloo paste, which is a beautiful blend of fresh ginger, garlic, white vinegar, tamarind, and a few aromatic whole spices.
The tang in vindaloo curry comes from vinegar which, along with the spicy dried red chilies, is the star ingredient of this dish.
I like to make this dish in a pan over the stovetop but you can make it in an instant pot too.
My recipe is gluten-free and doesn’t require any marination. You easily doubled or triple it.
You will find all the ingredients to make this curry in Indian grocery stores near you.
Vindaloo Paste – An array of spices are used to make Vindaloo curry paste. You will need Kashmiri whole dry red chilies, whole coriander seeds, cumin seeds, green cardamoms (hari elaichi), black peppercorns (kali mirch), cloves (laung), cinnamon (dalchini), and brown mustard seeds.
Kashmiri dry red chilies add a beautiful red color to the chicken vindaloo curry without making it too spicy. You can use any variety of dry red chillies that are easily available.
You will also need fresh ginger, garlic, white vinegar, and tamarind paste. Vinegar and tamarind add a nice tangy flavor to this paste, which makes it different from other chicken curries.
Traditionally, toddy vinegar was used to make vindaloo curry but if you do not have access to it, use regular white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or wine vinegar, for the tanginess.
Chicken – For the best-tasting curry, use bone-in skinless chicken pieces. Bones add a lot of flavors to the chicken vindaloo curry making it irresistible. But if you are not a fan of bone-in chicken, you can use boneless chicken breasts or chicken thighs too.
For other non-veg versions, try the same recipe with mutton, fish, shrimp, or pork. Just keep in mind that for each of them, the cooking time will differ a bit. You can even make a vegetarian version with potatoes, tofu, cauliflower, or cottage cheese.
Tomato Puree – Tomatoes add a nice sweet tangy flavor.
I prefer using canned tomato puree as it is more concentrated in taste than homemade puree.
You can use tomato paste in place of tomato puree, just reduce the quantity a little as it is more intense in taste.
Oil – Use any cooking oil to make the vindaloo curry.
Others – You will also need a few more basic ingredients such as onions, turmeric powder, salt, and granulated sugar. You can skip sugar but it adds a little hint of sweetness and balance the flavors well.
You can replace granulated sugar with brown sugar, coconut sugar, or jaggery.
How To Make Goan Chicken Vindaloo
Make Vindaloo Paste
- 10-12 whole dry Kashmiri red chilies (stalk removed)
- 2 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
- 3-4 cloves
- 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick
- 2-3 whole green cardamoms
- 8-10 whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
to a skillet.
Dry roast on medium heat until fragrant and slightly browned (3-4 minutes). Keep stirring continuously while roasting.
Once the spices are roasted, remove the skillet from the heat and let the spices cool down completely.
Add the roasted spices to a high-speed blender along with a
- 1-inch piece of ginger (chopped)
- 8-10 cloves of garlic (peeled)
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1-½ tablespoon tamarind paste
- ½ cup of water
and blend to make a smooth paste.
Scrape the sides of the blender a few times while making the paste.
Vindaloo masala paste is ready. Set it aside.
Make Chicken Vindaloo Curry
Heat 6 tablespoon cooking oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, add 2 cups of chopped onions and fry till golden brown (10-12 minutes), stirring frequently.
Add 2 lb (1 kg) bone-in skinless rinsed chicken pieces (cut into 1 and ½ inch chunks) to the pot and cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes. Stir frequently while cooking.
Add 1 cup of canned tomato puree (or ½ cup tomato paste) and the vindaloo masala paste that we made earlier to the pot and mix well.
Now add 2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, and 1 cup water to the pot and stir gently.
Reduce the heat to low.
Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 45-50 minutes until the chicken is cooked well and the oil starts to separate on top of the pan. Stir a few times while cooking.
Add ½ teaspoon sugar and cook for another minute. Chicken vindaloo is ready to be served.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can make this curry in an instant pot as well. Dry roast the spices and make a vindaloo paste using spices, vinegar, and chilies.
Now press SAUTE on the instant pot. Add oil. When the oil is hot, add onions and fry until they turn golden brown. Add chicken and fry for 4-5 minutes.
Add the vindaloo masala paste, tomato puree, salt, turmeric, and water. Close the lid of the Instant Pot and press PRESSURE COOK. Set the timer for 5 minutes at high pressure.
Let the timer go off and the pressure release on its own for 15 minutes.
Release the remaining pressure and open the lid of the instant pot. Add sugar and mix well.
The curry when made in Goan homes is quite spicy and you can label it XX Hot. But you can definitely alter the spice level according to your taste buds and can make it mild too.
The number of chilies and the type I have used will give you a medium spicy curry.
If you want to make it even milder, remove the seeds from the chili.
It has no dairy in it. Most restaurants serve a very modified version of this dish which is far from the original recipe. And they might add cream to their dish. So if you have any allergies, do check with the chef before you order it.
Since no flour is added to the dish, there is no gluten in it, and is perfectly fine for gluten-intolerant people to have it.
But in a restaurant, make sure to ask if their version is gluten-free or not.
Traditionally, Goans use palm or coconut toddy vinegar, but if you cannot find it, you can use white vinegar, rice vinegar, or cider vinegar. To compensate for the hint of sweetness that palm vinegar provides, you can add in a little sugar just like I did.
Many Goan Hindus add coconut milk to their vindaloo curry to make it creamy and rich. You can try it too.
One serving of this curry has approximately 350 calories. You can reduce the portion size if you are watching your calories. You can even reduce the amount of oil that goes into making this curry.
Yes, you can prepare the vindaloo paste ahead of time and store it for about a month in the fridge. Store it properly in an air-tight container and use a clean and dry spoon to take out the paste every time you use it.
You can serve steamed basmati rice or jeera rice with chicken vindaloo.
In Goa, vindaloo curry is served with a special bread called Poi. You can also serve it with dinner rolls, pav, or white bread.
It tastes great with roti, tawa paratha, Kerala parotta, naan, or laccha paratha. Sometimes, I also like to serve it with dosa or appam, it tastes just delicious.
Chicken vindaloo will last for about 2-3 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container. Reheat it in a pan or microwave before serving.
If you feel it has thickened a bit after refrigerating, add in some hot water and adjust the consistency.
You can even freeze this vindaloo curry. Cool it completely and transfer it to a freezer-safe box and freeze it for up to a month.
Thaw it on the counter for 3-4 hours and then reheat it with little water until nice and warm before serving.
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Goan Chicken Vindaloo Recipe
For Vindaloo Paste
- 10-12 whole dry Kashmiri red chilies (or any other dry chilies. Remove the stalks.)
- 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
- 3-4 cloves (laung)
- 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick (dalchini)
- 2-3 whole green cardamoms (hari elaichi)
- 8-10 whole black peppercorns (kali mirch)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 8-10 cloves of garlic (peeled)
- 1 inch piece of ginger (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 and ½ tablespoons tamarind paste
For The Vindaloo Curry
- 6 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 2 pounds bone-in skinless chicken (cut into 1 and ½ inch chunks, rinsed)
- 1 cup canned tomato puree (or ½ cup tomato paste)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon white granulated sugar
Make Vindaloo Paste
- Add dry red chilies, coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon, green cardamoms, peppercorns, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds to a skillet.
- Dry roast on medium heat until fragrant and slightly browned (3-4 minutes). Keep stirring continuously while roasting.
- Once the spices are roasted, remove the skillet from the heat and let the spices cool down completely.
- Add the roasted spices to a high-speed blender along with ginger, garlic, white vinegar, tamarind paste, and ½ cup of water and blend to make a smooth paste.
- Scrape the sides of the blender a few times while making the paste.
- Vindaloo masala paste is ready. Set it aside.
Make Vindaloo Curry
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot, add onions and fry till golden brown (10-12 minutes), stirring frequently.
- Add chicken pieces to the pot and cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes. Stir frequently while cooking.
- Add tomato puree and the vindaloo masala paste that we made earlier to the pot and mix well.
- Now add salt, turmeric powder, and 1 cup water to the pot and stir gently.
- Reduce the heat to low.
- Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 45-50 minutes until the chicken is cooked well and the oil starts to separate on top of the pan. Stir a few times while cooking.
- Add sugar and cook for another minute. Chicken vindaloo is ready to be served.
Cathy | She Paused 4 Thought
Gorgeous! I can’t wait to try this.
Such a beautiful red the curry has Neha 🙂
I love your blog. Wonderful recipes there. If you could share some recipes which can be easily made in hostel and does not require a mixer to make pastes like cashewnut paste, I’d be very grateful.
Made this today and loved it. It turned out really good.
This dish looks amazing. I have all the ingredients to make this tomorrow except for the tamarind paste. Is there a substitute i can use?
You can use lemon juice instead. However for next time, do try to source tamarind paste as it gives a very peculiar flavour 🙂
Lovely dish, thanks for a great recipe 👍
Appreciate the Authenticity of taste you managed to render on the vindhalho.. Typically the kashmiri red chillies are soaked in vinegar for 30 mins or so before grinding. Prefer home made toddy vinegar / Homemade organic vinegar (made from sugarcane juice) for that extra pungent note.
OMG..I made this today and all I can say is thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us!!! I followed it to a T, other than I used all thighs. What a beautiful flavour, and I see myself using this for fish, shrimp or even a veggie dish. Once again thank you, definitely a keeper!!!!!!
Made this today and papa said,” restaurant jaisa bana hai ..!” And true it is. Such a flavorful and easy recipe.
Thank you very much.
This vindaloo was AMAZING – equal quality to the vindaloo I’ve had at the best Indian restaurants.
My only substitutions were to use boneless skinless chicken thighs and add some potatoes.
Thank you for making Indian food approachable for a non-Indian home cook. Can’t wait to try some of your other recipes!!
Much appreciated by all who had it
I made this yesterday! I couldn’t find the Kashmiri chilies at my local Indian grocery (so I used dried dundicuts that were a bit old, no heat) and I think I used too much tamarind concentrate (couldn’t find anything called paste, though I do know about mushing wet tamarind in hot water from Thai cooking), so I’ll try again and refine it a bit more. I used coconut oil instead of veg, and boneless skinless breasts cut in cubes and added only at the last 3 minutes to cook through, but otherwise followed your script exactly. It was a lot of fun to make, the house smells so wonderful, and really delicious when it was finished! Thank you for making Indian cooking accessible to the rest of us!
This recipe gets 10 stars!!!! I’ve tried many recipes to get the perfect vindaloo! This is the one!!!!!! It is DELICIOUS!! You won’t be disappointed ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Really good quick and simple recipe
I’ve been trying to recreate restaurant vindaloo for literal years – this is the closest I’ve come! Thanks a lot!
A few changes –
– Soak the chilis in vinegar for 30 mins as another poster suggested; add these straight to the blender
– Cook the onions to golden brown; add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute more; blend onions in addition to the other blender ingredients for a smoother consistency
– Sub chicken stock for water and reduce salt
– Sub ghee for oil
– Rub chicken in 1-2 cloves minced garlic, pinky of minced ginger, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chili powder; leave 20 minutes before cooking
Thanks again, fantastic!
Best vindaloo I ever had, and I like my Indians! Bit more awkward done the other recipes and some of the ingredients where a bit more unusual but it was worth the extra effort.
Amazing is the only word to describe it, I tried it and the results were finger licking good. Only thing I would suggest is to first grind the dry ingredients separately and then with the wet ingredients, as the grind is not very fine if ground together.
This takes me straight back to the Indian restaurant that I worked at years ago. The spice blend is on point and I love it!! I made a vegetarian, super mild version for a friend it was just as delicious as chicken and lamb. I pre cooked my veg and just cooked the paste, onion, tomato purée, salt and turmeric for 45 min and added the salt and cooked veg and a can of drained chicken peas. I let it sit and marry for and hour off the heat before serving. To make it ultra mild I subbed paprika for the chili’s. The 3 year old loved it!!
Halved the recipe, used boneless chicken thighs and forgot to dry roast the spices. Still turned out amazing! Cant wait to try it again with the dry roast. Thank you so much for this recipe.
It is perfect! I didn’t use a blender but a mortar. That’s also good for your muscles 🙂 Also you can still find a tiny piece of cinamon here or there, which I really love as a little surprise.
THANK YOU very much! I can’t keep tasting now since I have made it for visitors… there will be nothing left…. 😉
NB I have added a little fenugreek too
Thank you for sharing your recipe ???? stunning flavour.
Oh wow – this was so good. I was a little apprehensive as I didn’t have all the ingedients to hand so made some substitutions. I didn’t have tamarind so used amchoor instead and I used a carton (500g) of passata in place of the tomato purée so didn’t add the cup of water. Anyway – the result was truly delicious – thank you so much. I’ll risk a few extra chillies next time. I’ve also just seen the suggestion of adding fenugreek in an earlier feedback – think I’ll give that a go too…
What can I substitute for the chillies? I don’t have Indian grocers nearby. There’s really asian tiny red peppers 🌶 or red pepper flakes.
Also if I’m allergic to cinnamon can I substitute?
You can skip adding cinnamon and for the red chillies, use any pepper that you have.
I am wanting to make this for some friends in the next week or so. My question is, would the flavour be better if chicken was marinated for a few hours before cooking?
No Jenny, you really don’t have to marinate the chicken.
It was a lovely vindaloo curry, so good I have made it twice in one week !
The only element I changed was I fried the chicken separately to the onion so that I got all of the chicken sealed and slightly caramelised.
Fantastic. Added 1/2 can of coconut milk.
Made it as written with a few small changes, 4 TBSP of oil instead of 6 (6 seemed excessive and it worked out fine to lessen it), swapped in a TBSP of lemon juice because I was out of frozen tamarind paste and didn’t feel like dealing with the hassle of making fresh paste, and subbed in cubed, boneless, skinless chicken breast. We seared the large chix breast cubes for 3 minutes, added the rest of the ingredients, mixed, brought to a boil, lowered to simmer, and cooked covered for about 7 minutes at which point we started testing the chix cubes with a quick-read meat thermometer. Turned out great! I used a 1/2 cup of tomato paste instead of the puree and think that’s probably the best choice. Very thick and flavorful gravy. 12 kashmiri chilies resulted in a slightly above medium heat level. Overall this was really close to what they make at our favorite local Indian place, though I’m guessing they also add plenty of ghee as well. One word of advice about making the paste – grind your spices first, and when grinding them, I’d recommend breaking up the chilies a bit before tossing them in the grinder. You’ll undoubtedly have to do it in a few batches. Personal preference, but next time I’ll probably go with malt vinegar and up the ginger just a bit. Thanks for the great recipe!
very good vindaloo, great instructions and result very authentic
I couldn’t find tamarind paste so I bought some Goya frozen tamarind pulp. Any idea how to convert the recipe to use Goya brand pulp instead of paste? It’s only tamarind and water, no sugar or other added ingredients.
Hi Wayne, it should be similar to the tamarind paste as tamarind paste also tamarind and water. I suggest, adding a little first, taste, and then adding more if needed.
I made this tonight. I didn’t have any mustard seed so I skipped it. I had to make a few adjustments, converting from whole coriander to ground and from dried Kashmiri chilis to Kashmiri chili powder. I substituted minced garlic from a jar for the garlic cloves and ginger paste from a tube for the piece of ginger. I guessed at the conversion for frozen tamarind pulp instead of tamarind paste, but it still turned out fantastic. I might add a cubed potato next time I make it because most versions of vindaloo that I’ve eaten have had potatoes in the recipe.
I used my Instant Pot but I didn’t use pressure, instead setting it to “Slow Cook” mode for 50 minutes at 185F. I might try using pressure next time for a shorter time such as 10-25 minutes but I’ll probably have to use more water.
I made this again with the same substitutions as I did before, but I used pressure in my Instant Pot. I cooked it on high pressure for 5 minutes, then I let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then did a quick pressure release. I then stirred in the sugar and let it sit until my rice was ready.
I only had a pound of chicken so I added a can of chickpeas – it was delicious!! I plan on trying your other recipes! I used white vinegar but next time, I will try using cider vinegar. I read it’s less acidic comapred to white and it will be better for my husband’s stomach. I’m glad to have found your page! 🙂
Great recipe thank you so much I feel so proud of myself because it taste so good! I substituted peach preserves like a jelly jam because I didn’t have Tamarand and I think it was a great substitute also substituted cumin and to replace the coriander thank you so much again
the best ever
Delicious! I made this last night and loved it. Loved the leftovers even more this morning. Will definitely make it again.