Vindaloo is a Portuguese-influenced Goan dish made by cooking meat with spices and vinegar. Learn to make chicken vindaloo in a traditional way using my easy recipe.
If you like to explore a few more delicious chicken recipes, then here are some for you – 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 that is influenced by Portuguese cuisine. When the Portuguese came to India, they made a dish “Carne de Vinha d’ Alhos“, which literally means a dish made of meat cooked with wine and garlic.
Goans modified the dish by adding Indian spices to it and cooking it in vinegar instead of wine. The fiery red and spicy vindaloo curry thus came into existence.
Vindaloo curry is hot and spicy and is loaded with savory, lightly sweet, and tangy flavors. It is gluten-free and dairy-free.
It was originally made using pork but now I have seen its versions with chicken, beef, lamb, mutton, fish, and even chickpeas, paneer, and tofu.
In today’s post, I am sharing the chicken vindaloo recipe. You can keep the base curry the same and make it with your choice of meat. The only difference will be the time of cooking as different meats require different cooking times.
Chicken vindaloo is a delicious curry that is widely popular in Goan restaurants and local Konkan households. It is spicy, tangy, fiery red in color 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.
Vindaloo Paste – We will use an array of spices to make Vindaloo paste. You will need whole dry red chilies, whole coriander seeds, cumin seeds, green cardamoms, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, and mustard seeds.
I used Kashmiri dry red chilies, which add beautiful red color to the curry without making it too spicy. You can use any dry red chili pepper that is easily available to you.
Along with these spices, add in 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 is used to make this curry but if you do not have access to it, use regular white vinegar for the tanginess.
Chicken – For the best-tasting curry, use bone-in skinless chicken pieces. Bones add a lot of flavors to the curry making it irresistible. But if you are not a fan of bone-in chicken, you can use boneless chicken too.
For other non-veg versions, try the same recipe with mutton, fish, shrimps, or pork. Just keep in mind that in 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. 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 vegetable oil to make the vindaloo curry.
Others – Other than the above-mentioned ingredients, you will need a few more basic ingredients such as onions, turmeric powder, salt, and sugar. You can skip sugar but it adds a little hint of sweetness and balance the flavors well.
How To Make Chicken Vindaloo
Make Vindaloo Paste
Add 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, and 1 teaspoon mustard seeds to a skillet.
Dry roast on medium heat until fragrant and slightly browned (3-4 minutes). Keep stirring while roasting.
Once the spices are roasted, remove the skillet from heat and let them 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, and ½ cup of water and blend to make a smooth paste.
Keep scraping the sides of the blender a few times while making the paste.
Vindaloo masala paste is ready. Set it aside.
Make Vindaloo Curry
Heat 6 tablespoon vegetable 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). Keep stirring frequently.
Add 2 lb (1 kg) bone-in skinless washed chicken pieces (cut into 1 and ½ inch chunks) to the pot and fry on high heat for 3-4 minutes. Keep stirring frequently.
Add 1 cup canned tomato puree 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.
Cover the pot with a lid and cook on low heat for 45-50 minutes until the chicken is cooked well.
Add ½ teaspoon sugar and cook for another minute. Chicken vindaloo is ready to be served.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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 in 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.
Let the timer go off and the pressure release on its own for 15 minutes.
Release the remaining pressure and open the lid off the instant pot. Add sugar and mix well.
Traditionally, Goans use palm or coconut toddy vinegar, but if you cannot find the same 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.
In Goa, it is served with a special bread called Poi. You can also serve it with dinner rolls, pav, or white bread.
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 curry. Cool it completely and transfer it to a freezer-safe box and freeze for up to a month. Thaw it on the counter for 3-4 hours and then reheat with little water until nice and warm before serving.
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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
- 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
- 2-3 whole green cardamoms
- 8-10 whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon 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 Curry
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 2 pounds bone-in skinless chicken (cut into 1 and ½ inch chunks)
- 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 red chilies, coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick, green cardamoms, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds to a skillet.
- Dry roast on medium heat until fragrant and slightly browned (3-4 minutes). Keep stirring while roasting.
- Once the spices are roasted, remove the skillet from heat and let them 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.
- Keep scraping the sides of the blender a few times while making the paste.
- Vindaloo masala paste is ready. Set it aside.
Make Vindaloo Curry
- Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot, add onions and fry till golden brown (10-12 minutes). Keep stirring frequently.
- Add chicken pieces to the pot and fry on high heat for 3-4 minutes. Keep stirring frequently.
- 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.
- Cover the pot with a lid and cook on low heat for 45-50 minutes until the chicken is cooked well.
- Add sugar and cook for another minute. Chicken vindaloo is ready to be served.