Goan Chicken Vindaloo Curry

4.54 from 141 votes

Vindaloo is a Portuguese-influenced Goan curry dish made by cooking meat with spices and vinegar. Learn to make Authentic Goan Chicken Vindaloo Curry in a traditional way using my easy recipe (gluten-free).

Goan chicken vindaloo served in a bowl.
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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,” 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, savory, lightly sweet, and tangy. It is gluten-free and dairy-free.

This curry is very popular worldwide, and you will find that 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It was originally made using pork, but now I have seen its versions with chicken, beef, lamb, mutton, fish, chickpeas, paneer, and tofu.

You can check my Lamb Vindaloo, Aloo Vindaloo, and Goan Shrimp Vindaloo here.

About Goan Chicken Vindaloo

Chicken Vindaloo is a variation of Goan vindaloo curry with chicken.

It is a delicious curry popular among Goan restaurants and local Konkan households. Like other vindaloo curries, chicken vindaloo is spicy, tangy, and fiery red and tastes best with steamed rice or poi (a traditional Goan bread).

It gets most of its flavor from the freshly prepared Vindaloo paste, a beautiful blend of fresh ginger, garlic, white vinegar, tamarind, and a few aromatic whole spices.

The tang in chicken 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 also make it in an instant pot.

My recipe is gluten-free and doesn’t require any marination. You can easily double or triple it.

If you like to explore a few more delicious chicken recipes, here are some for you

Ingredients

Chicken vindaloo paste ingredients.
Chicken vindaloo curry ingredients.

You will find all the ingredients to make this curry in Indian grocery stores near you.

Vindaloo Paste – Various 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 very 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. Some people use Feni (fermented toddy vinegar) in their recipe.

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.

Try the same recipe with mutton, fish, shrimp, or pork for other non-veg versions. Just keep in mind that the cooking time will differ a bit for each of them. You can even make a vegetarian version with potatoes, tofu, cauliflower, or cottage cheese.

Tomato Puree – It gives a nice, sweet, tangy flavor.

I prefer 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 sweetness and balances the flavors well.

You can replace granulated white sugar with brown sugar, coconut sugar, or jaggery.

This curry is cooked in water, but to enhance the taste further, replace water with chicken broth (chicken stock).

How To Make Goan Chicken Vindaloo Curry

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
  • 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.

Roasted ingredients to make vindaloo paste.

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. 

Roasted ingredients added to a blender along with the remaining paste ingredients.

Scrape the sides of the blender a few times while making the paste.

Vindaloo masala paste is ready. Set it aside.

Ready vindaloo paste.

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 cook till golden brown (10-12 minutes), stirring frequently.

Onions added to hot oil.

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.

Chicken added to the pan.

Add 1 cup of canned tomato puree (or ½ cup tomato paste) and the vindaloo masala paste we made earlier to the pot and mix well.

Tomato puree and vindaloo paste added to the pan.

Now add

  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 cup water

to the pot and stir gently.

Salt, turmeric powder and water added to the pan.

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 separates on top of the pan. Stir a few times while cooking.

Pan covered with a lid.

Add ½ teaspoon sugar and cook for another minute. Chicken vindaloo is ready to be served.

Ready chicken vindaloo.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make chicken vindaloo in an instant pot?

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.

How hot is vindaloo curry?

When made in Goan homes, the curry is quite spicy, and you can label it XX Hot. But you can alter the spice level according to your taste buds and make it mild, too.
The number of chilies and the type I have used will give you a medium spicy curry.

Remove the seeds from the chili if you want to make it even milder.

Does chicken vindaloo have dairy?

It has no dairy in it. Most restaurants serve a modified version of this dish, far from the original recipe. And they might add cream to their dish. So, if you have any allergies, check with the chef before ordering it.

Does chicken vindaloo have gluten?

Since no flour is added to the dish, there is no gluten in it, and it 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.

Which vinegar is best to use in vindaloo curry?

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.

Can I add coconut milk to the chicken vindaloo curry?

Many Goan Hindus add coconut milk to their vindaloo curry to make it creamy and rich. You can try it too.

How many calories does chicken vindaloo have?

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 in making this curry.

Can I store vindaloo paste?

Yes, you can prepare the vindaloo paste and store it in the fridge for about a month. 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.

Serving Suggestions

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, Plain Tawa Paratha, Kerala Parotta, Plain Naan, or Lachha Paratha. Sometimes, I also like to serve it with dosa or appam; it tastes just delicious. 

Storage Suggestions

Chicken vindaloo will last 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 after refrigerating, add some hot water and adjust the consistency.

You can even freeze this chicken vindaloo curry. Cool it completely, transfer it to a freezer-safe box, and freeze it for up to a month.

Thaw it on the counter for 3-4 hours, then reheat it with a little water until nice and warm before serving.

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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.
4.54 from 141 votes

Authentic Goan Chicken Vindaloo Curry Recipe

Vindaloo is a Portuguese-influenced Goan dish made by cooking meat with spices and vinegar. Learn to make Authentic Goan Chicken Vindaloo Curry in a traditional way using my easy recipe.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

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
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Instructions 

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.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Increase or decrease the spice level according to your heat preference.
I have used Kashmiri red chilies which give this vindaloo curry a fiery red color but they are not as spicy. You can use any dry red chilies that are easily available to you.
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, shrimp, eggs, 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.
Some people like to soak the chilies in vinegar for some time but after trying multiple times, I have realized that this extra step is not required at all. 

Nutrition

Calories: 343kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 103mg, Sodium: 124mg, Potassium: 783mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 371IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 77mg, Iron: 4mg
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Recipe Rating




45 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    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! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    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.

  3. 5 stars
    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.

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

  5. 5 stars
    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!

  6. 5 stars
    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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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?

    Thanks!