Chicken Vindaloo is a popular spicy Indian curry dish that’s rich and full of spices. The combination of vinegar, salt, chilies, and other ingredients makes the curry in this chicken recipe a real winner.
It is said that the Portuguese bought vindaloo to India when they colonized Goa. The original goan dish was made with pork. It was simply meat, vinegar and spices (no water). This method of cooking meat with only vinegar and no water helped preserve the dish for weeks without refrigeration. We use that method when we make pork vindaloo for our East Indian weddings.
Vindaloo can be easily prepared with common kitchen ingredients. There are many variants of Vindaloo too. The most common ingredient, which is meat, can be either chicken, pork, lamb, or beef . In fact, I use vindaloo paste in my ground/mince chicken or beef as well as in my pork sausages. to. Also, chicken vindaloo is featured in most Indian restaurants.
Ingredients and substitutes
- Chicken - The most common ingredient in vindaloo is meat, which can be either chicken, pork, beef, or lamb. Today I am using boneless chicken thighs and legs and I prefer to use boneless thighs or legs. My mom used to use a whole bone-in chicken cut into 10 pieces.
- Whole spices - classically this recipe is made with fresh masala paste made with whole spices. These are dry roasted in a frying pan before being blended into a paste. Roasting enhances the flavor of the spices. If you do not have the whole spices you can use the powdered spice alternatives given below.
- Spicy - I am using Kashmiri red chilies which are not so spicy but have a wonderful red color. If you use powder, I suggest using half cayenne pepper and half sweer red paprika.
- Vinegar - I use apple cider vinegar but you can also use palm vinegar. If you use distilled vinegar you will need to reduce it as these are very concentrated.
- Instant Pot - This can also be cooked for 8 minutes on high pressure in an instant pot. In fact, if I use beef I always use the instant pot and cook for 20 minites on high pressure.
- Slow cooker - You can make a slow cooker chicken vindaloo by adding all ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours or high for 3 hours.
- Vindaloo coconut curry - Replace the 1 cup water with 1 cup coconut milk and you have a wonderfully creamy and delicous coconut vindaloo to serve on rice.
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- 2 lbs Chicken I used boneless thighs and legs
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 1 large Onion chopped finely
- ½ cup Tomato paste or 2 large tomatoes pulsed in blender
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 2 tbsp Cilantro for garnish
- 10 large Dry Kashmiri chilies soaked in water for 10 mins or 2 tablespoon Paprika
- 2 tablespoon Whole coriander seeds or 1 tablespoon Coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds or ½ teaspoon Cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds or ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
- 4 Cloves ½ teaspoon clove powder
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick or ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 3 Green cardamoms ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 10 Black peppercorns or ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 10 large Garlic cloves
- 2 inch Fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar or 1 tablespoon distilled vinegar
- 2 inch Fresh tamarind soaked in ¼ cup of water or ½ teaspoon tamarind paste
- Tamarind - If you are using fresh tamarind soak it in a bowl with ¼ cup of water and let sit for 10 minutes. Then squeeze as much of the pulp with your hands and set it aside.
- Chicken - clean and trim excess fat from the chicken. Cut the boneless chicken into 2-or 3-inch pieces. If using a whole chicken cut it into about 10 to 14 pieces. Pro tip - make the chicken pieces of equal size so they cook evenly.
- Roast - In a frying pan over medium-low heat, dry roast the red chilies, coriander, cumin seeds, cloves, cardamoms, black peppercorns ad mustard seed for about a minute or two until fragrant. Pro tip - keep the heat to low or medium making sure to shake the pan so they do not burn.
- Saute - In a large pan over medium heat add the oil and saute the onions until golden brown. About 10 to 15 minutes. pro tip - cook on medium to low and stir often. You want to caramelize which makes the onions sweeter not burn which makes the onions bitter.
- Chicken - add the chicken pieces and saute on medium-high heat until no longer pink about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Paste - Next, add the vindaloo paste and saute well. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until fragrant. Then add the tomato puree/paste, turmeric powder, and sugar. Season with salt. Combine well.
- Simmer - Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to a low simmer cover the pan with a lid, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
- Garnish - When done, taste and adjust the consistency and seasoning for salt and vinegar. If serving with rice you may need to add a little water to make gravy/sauce. If serving with chapati or roti keep it a thicker consistency. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
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