Chicken Vindaloo

Fiery Chicken Vindaloo Recipe – Can You Eat It?

Madras not hot enough for you? Then why not try this fiery Chicken Vindaloo Recipe?

Chicken Vindaloo Recipe

This recipe happens to be my favourite “from scratch” Chicken Vindaloo Recipe!  It’s one  that I stumbled upon in an old recipe book that was loaned to my wife by a friend some time ago.

In fact I cannot remember whose (if anyone in particular) this recipe started life as, but over time, I’ve fiddled and changed a few ingredients and quantities and come up with what I think is the hottest and best Chicken Vindaloo Recipe.

Chicken Vindaloo Recipe

Fiery Vindaloo

Chicken Vindaloo Origins

The Vindaloo itself, originated in the Indian region of Goa and it is derived from a Portuguese dish known as “Vinha De Alhos” which translates as “wine and garlic”.  The Portuguese dish was effectively a wine and garlic based stew which was typically made with Pork and served around Christmas time.  However, after the dish was introduced to India, it changed rapidly to what we now know as the Vindaloo with the introduction of chillies and different Goan spices.  

A Chicken Vindaloo isn’t generally that popular in India, other than in Goa, but the dish has become very popular here in the UK, the Middle East, the US and Canada and also Australia and New Zealand, where it is pretty much universally included on Indian restaurant and take away menus.

It also seems to taste much nicer if eaten a day or two after preparation as this allows more time for the flavours to be absorbed by the meat and although some of the flavours and spices can be used in different quantities to vary the dish according to taste, one thing to remember is not to reduce or change the amount of vinegar as a Vindaloo get its excellent flavour only as a result of the vinegar in the recipe.

Typically the Goans use pork with a traditional Vindaloo, but it can be prepared with beef, chicken, lamb, seafood and also vegetables such as potatoes, peas and other root vegetables etc.  Here I’ve decided to use chicken.

Chicken Vindaloo Ingredients:

Vindaloo Paste

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 or 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (you can add more cinnamon, but if can be over-powering, so be careful!)
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2cm cube of peeled ginger
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar

Vindaloo Base

  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 4-8 garlic cloves, crushed or blended
  • 3 red onions, sliced finely or preferably blended

Other Ingredients

  • 4+ red chillies, chopped finely. This is what gives the heat, so you can use less if you like and also de-seed before chopping if you want to make a milder vindaloo (but why?)
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
  • 500g good quality chopped tomatoes or chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 1-2 tbsp of tomato purée to taste
  • 1-4 tsp Hot Chilli Powder to taste – This is optional and if you do want to make it hotter, I’d suggest adding a bit at a time
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Chicken Vindaloo Recipe – The Method


Chicken Vindaloo Recipe

Chicken Vindaloo Preperation


  1. Grate or slice the ginger finely and add the cumin, cinnamon, mustard, coriander turmeric, garam masala and cayenne pepper into a bowl and add the vinegar and sugar and mix thoroughly.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the garlic and the onion and cook over a medium heat until they have softened for approx 5-7 mins, but take care not to let them burn or brown too much.
  3. Once the onion and garlic have softened, add the chicken pieces and cook for approx 2-3 minutes until the chicken starts to colour.
  4. Now add the chillies, tomatoes, tomato purée, and begin to stir in the pre-prepared Vindaloo paste.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste, and bring to the boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer whilst stirring occasionally for approx 1 hour. during this period, it’s important not to let the chicken vindaloo dry out, so add a 1/2 cup of water as necessary.  If you do want to make it hotter than the recipe, then during the simmering time is the right time to gradually add the chilli powder to taste.
Chicken Vindaloo

Authentic Chicken Vindaloo Recipe

This recipe happens to be my favourite “from scratch” Chicken Vindaloo Recipe that that I discovered in old recipe book. As with most of my recipes I've made changes over time and this is what I think is the best vindaloo I've tasted.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 250 kcal


Vindaloo Paste Ingredients

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 - 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon you can add more cinnamon, but if can be over-powering, so be careful!
  • 2 tsp mustard powder (ground mustard seeds)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cm cube of peeled ginger
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar

Vindaloo Base Ingredients

  • 150 ml vegetable oil
  • 4-8 garlic cloves crushed, finely chopped or blended
  • 3 medium red onions sliced finely or preferably blended
  • Water as necessary

Other Vindaloo Ingredients

  • 4+ whole red chillies chopped finely. This is what gives the heat, so you can use less if you like and also de-seed before chopping if you want to make a milder vindaloo (but why?)
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
  • 500 g good quality chopped tomatoes or chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 1-2 tbsp of tomato purée to taste
  • 1-4 tsp Hot Chilli Powder to taste This is optional and if you do want to make it hotter, I'd suggest adding a bit at a time
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander loosely chopped


How to Make Vindaloo Paste

  • Grate or slice the ginger finely
  • Add grated ginger along with cumin, cinnamon, mustard, coriander, turmeric, garam masala and cayenne pepper into a bowl and add the vinegar and sugar
  • Mix thoroughly and set aside.

Cooking the Chicken Vindaloo

  • Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan.
  • Add the garlic and the onion and cook over a medium heat until they have softened for approx 5-7 mins, but take care not to let them burn or brown too much.
  • Once the onion and garlic have softened, add the chicken pieces and cook for approx 2-3 minutes until the chicken starts to colour.
  • Now add the chillies, tomatoes, tomato purée, and begin to stir in the pre-prepared Vindaloo paste.
  • Add water as necessary and bring to the boil. You want some liquid, but not too much.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer whilst stirring occasionally for approx 30mins to 1 hour
  • Whilst it simmers, don’t let the chicken vindaloo dry out, so add more water as necessary
  • If you do want to make it hotter than the recipe, then the simmering time is the right time to gradually add the chilli powder to taste.
  • Garnish with the chopped coriander and serve


Calories: 250kcal
Keyword Chicken, Vindaloo, Spciy, Hot, Curry
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Is this Chicken Vindaloo Recipe Hot?

Yes a vindaloo is typically one of the hottest curries you can have.

What do you Serve a Chicken Vindaloo with?

If you wanted to be traditional, you would ideally serve this Chicken Vindaloo with pilau rice, chapattis, or Naan bread – I especially like some of the Garlic and Coriander Naan’s that are available from most supermarkets, although if you were a bit more adventurous, you could try to make your own.

Is a Vindaloo the Hottest Curry?

a Vindaloo is most certainly one of the hottest curries available.  There is a Phaal which is a British Asian invention which originates from curry houses in Birmingham in UK, but a Vindaloo is probably the hottest of the “proper” curries.

What’s the difference between a Vindaloo and a Madras

Lots a of people think that a Vindaloo is just a spicier Madras, but in fact they are both very different curries.  Yes a Vindaloo is spicier than a madras, but has a totally different flavour due to the different ingredients used.

Is this Chicken Vindaloo Recipe Healthy?

Yes it is already a healthy recipe, but you can make it more so by reducing the amount of oil you use when preparing it.

If you’ve tried my Chicken Vindaloo Recipe, I’d be glad to hear your feedback or even your own changes or ideas to make my recipe better!


205 thoughts on “Fiery Chicken Vindaloo Recipe – Can You Eat It?

  1. Robert Ollerenshaw

    Hi, question on the mustard powder. Presumably not English mustard powder like Coleman’s?
    Ground mustard seeds?

  2. DavidG

    This is surprisingly good, I tried it out of curiosity as I normally do my BIR using batch prepared curry base, the only changes I made were to add cloves and cardomon pods at the onion frying stage, I also substituted the vinegar for lime juice, and I found this dish was superb, thank you for a great recipe.

  3. Adam Szymura

    This was fantastic. I now live in Japan and I have yet to find an Indian restaurant that has vindaloo.
    I cooked it slightly differently to the instructions. I sauted all the dry ingredients and the vinegar in a pan with a little oil to start. I then used it to marinate the chicken for a few hours.
    I sauted the onion, garlic and red chilies and then used the blender (You should never blend raw onion as it will make it bitter. Blend after cooking or grate the raw onion). I also blended the tomatoes.
    I added potato (I apologise to the purists), but that is how I have always eaten it in Britain.
    I then browned the marinated chicken, added the tomato puree, tomatoes etc.
    It was really good and the closest I have ever been able to get to a British Indian curry house vindaloo. Thank you.

  4. Phil

    Hello from Denmark
    Firstly absolutely spot on recipe
    Being from the land of curry being the UK, I followed the procedure (recipe) pretty much to the word using red wine vinegar and didn’t have any cayenne pepper but substituted it with some curry powder , after cooking it in the frying pan I put it in a soup pot and took turns with the lid on and off to prevent it drying out
    When I put the oil in I blended the onion and garlic which pretty much absorbed the oil , at this time was thinking how is this going to work? Relentless still followed the directions and end result was a really lovely coloured sauce with the correct thickness
    I still have 2 thirds of a pot left and this is day 2 , so I am expecting it to even taste better today , I was thinking to let a mate have a plate later , but what the hell , keep it for me self
    Seeing I’m working abroad and the wife cant cook for me I am always dabbling in online recipes , between Indian , Thai and Chinese dishes and eating out in Denmark is silly prices

  5. Zoe Robinson

    Hi, I made this today and it’s very tomatoey. This happens every time I make a vindaloo. What am I doing wrong?

  6. Peeps

    I have made and eaten this recipe for the first time today, and WOW. I will have a second helping tomorrow to evaluate the overnight effect to taste, this is one excellent vindaloo curry recipe. Thank you so much David…….17/09/16

  7. Craig

    You need to add 3 or 4 tblspoons of dessicated coconut to the vindaloo when simmering, but add a little bit more water as the coconut thickens the sauce. Gorgeous

  8. Francis

    I just made this and absolutely love it. I followed the recipe exactly except I used Bragg’s apple cider vinegar in place of white wine vinegar as it’s what I had on hand. It came out absolutely amazing.

  9. Mari

    We are crazy Indian food lovers and two family members ate it because they were hungry and I found it inedible.
    Will stick to my old recipe but I can appreciate that everyone has different tastes.

  10. NL curry lover

    Thank you for the recipe, I made it in the slowcooker and it was really nice. I used a LOT of ginger because we like it that way. Also added lime juice, some raisins and chopped cilantro at the end. Served with mango cubes, no bread or rice because paleo.

    Next time I will use some red wine and less vinegar as advised by some commenters.

  11. SouthernGothic

    Potatoes! Where are they?
    Awaiting dishes where they belong!

    I made this dish to specifications. It is the best I have ever had!
    I made two changes because of circumstances.
    I did not saute the onion until soft…I prefer them a bit crunchy.
    I did not have chili pepper, but I did have fresh bird’s eye.

    This is so hot my lips are burning! There’s no where in the house your eyes don’t burn!

    Thing is, as hot as it is, you still have flavor.

    This has become one of my favorite recipes.

    I did make one mistake. I added too much water.

  12. Mark

    Great recipe,
    I used red wine (a bottle that had been opened a few weeks ago)
    English Mustard (instead of the powder)
    Paprika (instead of Cayenne pepper)
    Also I used breast pieces so didn’t cook the finial mixture for a long time – I.e. 10 mins rather than an hour.
    Very pleased with the results.
    Let’s see how it matures over the next few days !!

  13. Lawrence

    Amazing recipe only thing I did different was did the sauce first and gave it a quick blend just to smooth it out a little. I went to the 4tsp of hot chilli powder and it was just right, hot just like a vindaloo should be. Thanks.

  14. Ann

    I added fresh Thai chili and habanero for heat. I like this recipe since there are no potatoes. Sugar was omitted, petite diced tomatoes were used, white pepper was added, and mustard oil. Garnished with fresh methi leaves and chopped green onion.

    Nice recipe!

  15. malcolm chambers

    Tried the Madras …..unbeatable.
    Just finished cooking this one,…….ferfect.
    You have done it again!

  16. Graham

    Nice recipe, only change I would suggest is to add a handful of freshly chopped coriander including stalks for the last 10 mins of cooking and some pre cooked potato pieces.

  17. Ian

    Great recipe, thank you David.

    My alterations are:-
    1 tbl spoon white wine vinegar and 2 tbl spoons lemon juice
    Onions 5 minutes then garlic for another 2 minutes
    Add paste, chillies and tomato puree and fry for 5 minutes (it is important that the paste fries…..not boils as it does in your instructions
    If you know you want chilli powder, add it to the paste and fry it…..DO NOT BOIL PASTE OR CHILLI POWDER!!!
    Add toms or tin of chopped toms and carry on

    Mutts nuts recipe……just make sure you fry the paste and chillies

  18. Gavin Small

    I love vindaloo and much prefer it to madras. It’s what I order everytime I go to a Indian takeaway. I used to a recipe on, but after trying yours I prefer it now.

  19. Andrew dixon

    Just made the paste can’t wait to cook later. We have 6 Indian resturants in our town and all bad. Been making my own now for months. Glad I found your site…

    Ps got 6 red chillies and 1 dried habanero in my paste

  20. Noreen Renders

    It was currytastic. NICE!!! Tot Ab Fab. Followed recipe except instead of 3 tbsps white wine vinegar used 1 tbsp red wine, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar and I 1 tbsp lemon juice. Mwaaaah

  21. lynn dobson

    just prepared this with beef in my wok, now gone in slow cooker, smells amazing, will let you know how it turns out.

  22. Philippe

    This is definitely the best Vindaloo recipe ever. The mix of spices is perfect. My wife gave birth the day after eating it. She wasn’t even pregnant!

  23. jeanette

    Thank you for this curry recipe.
    love the flavors for a change.
    most vindaloo,s loose the spice , over the heat.
    recommend this to all curry lovers out there.
    will be doing this time and time again thank you.

  24. James

    A very, very good curry. I added 5 cloves and five cardaman pods at the beginning. Lovely deep flavour and had a very sloppy shit the following morning. Very good indeed.

  25. Mikaela

    God bless you!!!! I searched for the best chicken vindaloo recipe online because this was my first try at my favorite indian dish, and your recipe caught my eye so i thought i should try yours first. i followed your instructions by letter, when the food was almost done the smell was kinda peppery, and i wasn’t sure if this was indeed an original chicken vindaloo recipe or something similar. and then i tried it. hallelujah! it was magnificent, exactly how it should’ve been. i put 4 chillies like you recommended, but i must admit next time i’ll try a litter more, i like it spicier. other than that, i only wish i could put you 10 stars…

  26. Kent

    Hey Dave,

    Thanks for sharing. I’m a fanatical currier and tend to make the brown stuff at least twice a week. Was fun trying your recipe as the method is somewhat different than others I’ve tried. Overall, I think this is a good Vindaloo and agree that, like most curries, it tends to have more flavor the second or third day after making it. Not being content with the status quo, I made it a second time with some variations. While I liked it much better with the adjustments, I just want to say that curry is one of those “subjective” foods that appeal to people in different ways, so its all good.

    In terms of adjustments, I did the following: pre-marinated the chicken pieces for a few hours with some garam masala; kashmiri chilli powder and ginger/garlic paste; used “reclaimed oil” (from another curry) to fry the onions and garlic (along with a few cumin seeds); increased (doubled) the cumin powder in the paste; blended the chillis (habaneros) into the pureed tomatoes; used Indian base gravy instead of water; threw in a black cardamom during the simmer stage (to get more of a smoky flavor); and finished with a pinch of garam masala, a squeeze of lime and cilantro for garnish.

  27. Laura

    I made this last night and it was really good. The only thing is I chickened out (excuse the pun) slightly on the garlic. I went for 6 small cloves but next time I’m doing 8 fat cloves. The slight hint of garlic in this was great but I should have been brave enough to go further with it. I didn’t use any chilli powder in the end. After 20 minutes of simmering time and having checked the chicken was cooked through I tried it for seasoning/heat and it was perfect for me. I’m obviously a spice-wuss! If you’ve never made a Vindaloo I would definitely recommend tasting before you put any hot chilli powder in whatsoever as you may find (like me) that with the spice paste and the fresh chillies it’s hot enough! I’ll be making this again.

  28. Laura in Los Angeles

    I’m wondering if red onion size is dramatically different in U.S. vs UK? Granted my onions were pretty friggin large and it looked like a LOT. I had to go in batches chopping up in my food processor but I thought it would cook down. Yet when I put it all together it was seriously lacking in flavor. I had to add twice the spices to get it going.. Tasty in the final analysis but next time I’d use half the onions..

    1. David Post author

      Hi Laura

      I’m guessing not having the EU tell you what size an onion should be, yours will be much bigger than ours. Typically a UK supermarket-bought red onion is 5-8cm in diameter and a lot of time they are smaller than that.

  29. Dawn

    Great recipe, thanks for sharing this. I verified it a little by cooking in a large sauce pan and keeping the lid on whilst simmering until the last 15 minutes. That way, I didn’t need to add any extra water. It’s so yummy will definitely keep using this one 🙂

  30. dayle

    Son loves hot curry and has requested chicken vindaloo for 17th birthday dinner..such great reviews I’m gonna try this and will let you know how it goes down!

  31. Drikus

    I stumbled onto this website a year and a half ago. This is definitely my favorite vindaloo recipe! I have tried it with chicken and pork shoulder and they both taste great. I must have made it 7+ times and every time it tastes great and I receive loads of compliments. I always make a double recipe because it’s just so good! Thanks for sharing David.

  32. Ana

    Thought this was a very good recipe loved the spice level only criticism is thought the vinegar was too overpowering for me going to try cider vinegar next time and less of it 🙂

  33. arby

    Just bumped into this, so haven’t tried it yet. Not certain I will, I’m in love with my version from “The Art of Indian cooking” by Monica Dutt. No tomatoes or sugar, just mustard, garlic, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cumin and red pepper flakes, I double everything except the red pepper. The smell in the mortar as the spices are ground IS India. Served with piles of poppadoms and homemade end-of-the-year chutney. Made with whatever is left in the garden just before the first frost, peppers and green tomatoes mostly, along with apples, onions, raisins (and whatever else is handy) and bunches of brown sugar and vinegar. A crockpot full of it simmering scents the house sumpthin’ wonderful. I made my vindaloo this week, and decided it must be my very favorite meal. It wouldn’t be without the poppadoms and chutney, though.
    So I guess what I’m saying is I might not stray from my recipe, but all the comments by people who probably know better than me saying how good it is, makes me ponder it. It isn’t a common takeout item in the states like it is in GB, and I live in an Indian food desert here, and I have to get friends to bring me poppadoms from the city. It’s worth it.

  34. pratish

    one question ..does the chicken needs to be marinated in the vindaloo paste or else can u pls tell when to add the vindaloo paste . is it with the chicken or after the chicken gets colour by itself ( when it isn’t marinated) cause i am confused about the step before adding the tomato’s.

  35. Tony

    I once found my perfect Vindaloo and after going three times the restaurant closed down.

    Last night I used lamb for this vindaloo recipe and yes it was very good but not what I was looking for, that elusive vindaloo I had lost. Still it was good. I doubled up on everything so I had a large pot left over.

    Today for lunch I made some fresh basmati rice and heated up some of the vindaloo in a pot. Wow there it is. Day two leftovers are fantastic. Next time I will try hold back some of the sauce to blend and add back in to make it a little thicker but the taste is simply beautiful.


  36. Leanne

    Hi David!

    Your recipe sounds fantastic and I cant wait to try, but I`d like to make it without any actual pieces of tomato. Id like a nice smooth, thin, spicy sauce. What do you suggest? I was thinking, some kind of balance of tomato paste/puree and water or chicken stock?

    1. David Post author

      You can always use passata or blitz a tin of chopped tomatoes. More often than not, I tend to use chopped tomatoes that have been blitzed..

  37. Marco

    Won’t lie. This recipe was good but I undershot it. The thing is that it said 4 skinless chicken breasts which I felt was too much chicken so I cut it in half and in doing so, cut in half certain ingredients and some not.

    Mistake. But overall it came out great. Question though, should I add the water at the start or just in case it starts to dry up?

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  39. Amruta

    I made this tonight. Our family recipe that I got from my mom who got it from her mom, calls for whole spices and red chillies dry roasted and ground in vinegar. We fry that in oil with the garlic and onion till the oil separates before the chicken or pork goes in but I followed your directions. I will say that normally I am not a fan of mixing pre made powders in Indian cooking and prefer to do it the old fashioned way, but I thought this recipe saved a lot of trouble, especially for a week night. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how simple it was. I used diced canned tomatoes, which I won’t do again and used slightly less garam masala because I have heart burn. Overall, I think it turned out great! Thank you for sharing.

  40. james

    I made this tonight and what a curry loved it.
    I had no blender so used a cheese grater for onions 🙂 I also added a potato diced, love patato in my curries.

  41. Andrew

    I made this recipe for 2-3 people (two mates and a bit for myself to try cos I like hot food but it doesn’t like me back) using half quantities successfully. I made a full sized batch of the paste and froze half of it. I toasted my whole spices before grinding into the paste and used to vinegar to deglaze the pan and take off that bit of sharpness. I fried a tsp of the paste before adding the onions and garlic and I probably used less oil as I didn’t bother to measure it out just used as much as I felt it needed. I also only added one chilli, but it was a trinidad scorpion which is apparently one of the hottest you can get and didn’t use all of the seeds as I planted a few and now have 5 chilli plants sprouting on my kitchen windowsill 🙂 it was made about a month in advance and kept in the freezer which helped develop the flavour and it went down as the best vindaloo they’d ever had.

  42. Sherry

    Excellent! Amazingly yummy! I used your recipe almost exactly. Since I didn’t have white wine vinegar (added 3 tblsp. white wine), didn’t have mustard powder (squirted a small blast of regular boring yellow mustard), ran out of small red hot chili peppers (squirted a decent blast of sriracha hot chili sauce instead)… heaven! This is now my curry base for all curries whether I add yogurt or coconut milk or cream, for beef, lamb, vegetables, lentils and on and on! Thanks for this recipe David.

  43. Carlin

    Hi! I was looking for a chicken vindaloo recipe and came across this and it looks great! However, I don’t have a very high spice tolerance, whereas my boyfriend and FIL love spicy spicy spicy food. Is there anyway I can separate a bit out for myself at the end and then add the chillies and chilli powder in theirs while still cooking?

    1. David Post author

      You’d be better making two versions or making a slightly less hot version and adding raw finely sliced chillies to theirs at the end and adding adding yoghurt / creme fresh to yours to lessen out the spiciness

  44. Doive

    This is a magnificent vindaloo, I left out the oil completely as personal preference, and added 10 chillies and lots of hot chilli powder – just about right. Left the chicken to cook slowly in the sauce as it simmered – superb. My curry loving friends agreed!

  45. Tracy

    I don’t like vindaloo but this was lush, I only had a pan with one spoon of extra curry powder, my partner and daughter had an extra two ( very brave ) very easy to do, will definetly be making again.thanks.

  46. adam

    leave out the tinned tomatoes i always think they ruin the tatse of a curry, chop 4 – 6 depending on size add scotch bonnet fresh chillli, chilli flakes and chilli powder add the water to just below the top, let it simmer down for as long as neccessary & you will have a nice sauce too, and toilet roll in the fridge

  47. James

    I got sick of watery off-the-shelf cook-in sauces with no taste and little more spice.

    Tried this recipe and I love it! So does everyone I’ve made it for although as a bit of a chilli fiend I have had to tone down the spice levels at times which just allows more flavour to be appreciated by everyone.

    Top notch!

  48. paul

    i have to say after cooking curry in the home for 30 years this is by far the best vindaloo recipe i have cooked. way to go, Dude

  49. Paul


    I live in France where curry is bland at best so decided to have a go myself. This is the first curry I have made and I must say it did just the job and I would be very interested if you have other recipes.
    Many thanks,


  50. Johan

    Thanks for this amazing recipe, its become something of a signature dish when i have friends over.
    I use leg of lamb and let it gently simmer for 2-3 hours until the meat falls of the bone. Havent had indian take out that taste this good!

    Cheers from Sweden

  51. Carlos

    This recipe is amazing. Aboslutely amazing. I’ve been doubling the amount of paste and using red wine and butter instead of vinegar and vegetable oil with terrific results. I can safely say that this recipe tastes just as good as any restaurant vindaloo i’ve ever had.

    Any chance of a Chicken Tikka Masala recipe coming soon? Or, even better, how about a naan recipe? I’ve been struggling to find a descent naan recipe for ages.

  52. Gordo

    Made this last weekend and used 4 scotch bonnets, was delicious albeit hot as a vindaloo should be, squeezed half the juice of a lemon in near the end of cooking and it gave it a lovely slight citrus tang too, beautiful! Thanks for the recipe, so easy to make and so delicious!

  53. mick

    i just made this the one thing i did do is instead of water i added
    a good chicken stock
    its so good with rice and a beer you will cry
    so good so tasty 10 out of 10

  54. Nic

    Just made this and tried some. I found the smell and taste of the tomatoes quite strong so will use less next time. Only changes I made were – I added a bit of curry powder (mostly to try drown the tomatoes) only used 2 onions and I blended it as it is quite thick and chunky. Added 3 red chillies, a green and 5 birdseyes chilli. Was really spicy, just what I like. First time making pretty much any dish from scratch so quite proud 🙂 Thanks so much for this excellent recipe.

  55. vik

    i made this recipe last week and it was just perfect…
    my friends are coming over this weekend and i wanna try beef instead of chicken . do i have to change or add anything in the recipe ??

  56. David

    Hey David am trying your vindaloo in my slow cooker first
    Time for both.
    HoPe it works, did the onions and garlic in fry pan
    Then put it in the cooker then the meat ( I used beef)
    Then added the vindaloo mix, tomatoes, purée.
    Now I wait for around 6-8 hours. Will let you know how it went
    Another time.

  57. Roe V.

    I just found this recipe and had to make it immediately!. It came out fantastic. I did however change a few things – swapped red wine vineger, added red hot pepper paste instead of tomato puree and used diced tomatoes in the can along with their juice , 4 habanero peppers and about 4 tbsps of the Hot Chili Powder (I really don’t measure I just pour, lol)….We like it extremely hot and this did not disappoint!!!

  58. Jamie c

    Just made this and pwooar!! Lovely, still sweating, not overpoweringly hot but still nice and hot all the same!!

    Definitely recommend it!

  59. Curry Mad


    Curries can go bitter when either the garlic burns at the start (not good) or if you burn the spices ( that’s if you toast them and grind them first that is) or they burn in the pan because of not enough oil to carry them.

    I have just found this recipe, love madras and vindaloo and will give this a bash, judging by the comments it sounds like it’s the holy grail of all vindaloos!

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  61. brian

    fantastic recipe, second time round tonight but used green chillies! wife loved it last weekend and up for more tonight!! brother thought it was far better than restaurant. Had a bit of ghee going on. Nice one.

  62. Matt

    I Made this curry tonight but the after taste was extremely bitter, I followed exactly as the instructions said. don’t understand where I went wrong,
    Any Suggestions???

    1. David Post author

      Hi Matt

      Sorry it didn’t work out for you. Can’t think why it would be bitter unless you perhaps got the quantities mixed up…

  63. Hwilliams

    I love this recipe! I made it with lamb instead of chicken, because that is what I had on hand. It was truly wonderful. My husband thought I had gotten Indian take out! I did let it cook for a couple of hours and the lamb fell apart in the sauce… Divine!

  64. Emma wilkinson

    This is the best curry I have ever made! Nice & spicy and full of flavour! Can’t wait to make it again! I put a quite a lot less oil (i use 30ml) in just because i am watching the waistline, was still very tasty not sure how much of a difference this makes to the taste can’t imagine it makes it any less tasty!!!

  65. Zhou curryman

    Personally I find restaurant vindaloo a bit mild and usually go for phal with added naga but I followed this recipe except for a couple of alterations,to the paste I threw in 7 blended scotch bonnets and used 20 finger chillis finely chopped aswell as 20 dry red chillis. Delicious…. Compliments to the chef

  66. Pete

    I have this simmering away on the stove as I type. Almost all but by the book….I am no cook by any stretch, had no veggie oil but had rice bran…..hope that doesn’t muck things up. Anyway, its 23min in, I have only added 2 teaspoons of chilli powder thus far so the missus can try. Tastes bloody unreal so fingers crossed. Good on ya Dave!!!

    Cheers Pete

  67. Victoria

    Hey David! Cool recipe, I made it with tofu instead of chicken and it still turned out great. I love it eye-searlingly spicy 😀 Thanks for posting this.

  68. Annett

    This was my first try at making chicken vndaloo or any Indian food so I am quite inexperienced. I blended 2 1/2 red onions in my food processor and I am wondering if it would have been better to blend them until they were smooth/paste. The onions were overwhelming. I also cut the oil to 2 1/2 tabs as suggested. I wonder if that had anything to do with my lack of success. I would like to try again but…..

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  70. Janie

    I did what the dude earlier said and marinated the chicken in the paste first. Also dry fried the spices before making paste. Don’t know if it made any difference or not, as first time I’ve made it, but it was awesome. Really fresh tasting, good kick of spice with 4 tsp hot chili powder and 4 red birdseye chilies and 6 cloves of garlic. Right amount of vinegar. Really tasty, thanks for a good recipe, this is definitely being made again.

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  72. martin

    i did the recipe but i added the juice of half of a lemon, it adds another dimention to an already fantastic recipe. try homemade naan ,well worth doing.!!!

  73. Joy

    Best vindaloo I’ve ever made! I made a beef version instead but had to cut the extreme spiciness with a can of coconut cream. I accidentally did all the measurements with tablespoons instead of teaspoons! Whoops, that must have been why it was so SPICEY. Made enough for 2 litres of curry. I wanted to save some to put in the freezer but my family demolished it 🙂

  74. Linsey

    Well, this looks and smells amazing…. it is simmering away nicely for the boyfriend later- who has no sense when it comes to curry hotness… me? Too scared to try it!!!

  75. Richard

    I made this yesterday, I used a commercial chilli paste instead of the fresh ones and a couple of inconsequential changes. I really went wild on the chilli powder, but as no-one needs to eat my cooking, I csan make it as hot as I want!

    While I was cooking it, I thought that the tomato was overpowering the other tastes, and was disappointed. But after a day in the fridge, the tomato mellowed into the other flavours, and the result was awesome. The nicest thing I’ve tasted for quite some time.

  76. Danny tyler

    Made this last night for the lads!

    Wow we was blown away what a amazing curry, I will be making this again, was expensive to buy all the ingredients but now I have all the herbs and spices so. U much cheaper next time round


  77. Marc E

    I’ve made this twice now. The first time I used 4 chillies (+seeds obviously), 6 garlic cloves & 1 teaspoon of hot chilli powder. I used 500g of Passatta/200 ml water & blended the onions/garlic for a good 2 minutes before cooking. I also squirted the juice of half a lemon in half way through & cooked in a Casserole in the oven. It was easily the best curry I’ve ever tasted – never mind made!!! Beautiful.
    Me & the Mrs (who is also 7 months pregnant) agreed it could have been spicier…

    …So the next time I added a tablespoon of hot chilli powder + 2 extra chillies & that certainly did the job. I opted for a tablespoon of double cream to finish it off instead of the lemon & used Turkey breast instead of Chicken. I can’t wait to make a Lamb one.


    A new firm favourite – thank you

  78. Joanna

    I made a veggie version featuring carrots, red bell pepper, zucchini, a little celery, and peas. And no potatoes. I included a whole jolokia pepper, minced, plus some cayenne. Now my hand is majorly on fire where I touched the jolokia. I peeled and chopped up some tomatoes and threw in a little tomato sauce for good measure. I pulped the onions, garlic, and ginger right into the vindaloo paste along with everything, and began by frying the paste, in ghee instead of oil, then added the veggies. I made the vindaloo paste with both red wine vinegar and white wine. For sugar I used jaggery. This is all quite a thrill. Next time, I’ll use only half as much mustard powder, though.

  79. Jussi

    Hi David,

    I’ve been on the quest to find an awesome vindaloo recipe for about a month now, and I must say that out of about ten recipes, yours is the best so far. Unlike in the earlier recipes I tried, the gravy turns out to be rich and tasty.

    I don’t think I’ve quite reached my goal yet, but I’ll give this one 4/5 stars for claiming the top spot among the recipes I’ve tried so far.

  80. MIC

    Hi, Can i use only chicken drumsticks instead of chicken bite sizes.. and must the chicken be marinated befor i cook it ?

    Im planning to cook for 5 people, how about the ingredients ?

  81. Jason

    Great recipe, I made this today. I didn’t make it quite at hot, the hot chilli powder I got is incredibly potent.

    I made 2 batches of paste, I cut my chicken and put the mixed dry ingredients over it first then added the white wine vinegar and mixed it. This got to marinade over night for about 12 hours.

    I had a second batch of paste made to mix while everything was cooking.

    added salt and sugar to taste and it turned out amazing!

  82. Joff

    Hi I made this curry last night.
    It was absolutely delicious. It was the best curry I’ve ever made I think.
    I added a little less oil, as it seemed a bit to much for me.
    If a restaurant served this to me I would have been very happy.
    Thank you for the recipe!!

  83. Clint

    Just made this amazing recipe…with one slight modification….

    A dozen Naga Jolokia chillis …the full deal, not deseeded. This is now one NUCLEAR NAGA VINDALOO!!

    Thanks so much for the recipe – I’ll never go back to jars of paste from the supermarket ever again 🙂

  84. Steve

    This is by far the best Vindaloo (curry even) I’ve ever learnt to make!!!! Bravo… I tend to pop in a scotch bonnet or 2 haha now on my 20th (ish) time making it for my housemates 😀



  85. CurryMonsta

    Eating and cooking curries for over thirty years, this one of the very best recipes I have ever tried. Not a fan of a vinegar so I only put one tablespoon in. threw in a few Scotch Bonnets for a little va va voom and made it with lamb, yeah.

    TO MC:
    The texture of restaurant curries comes from pureed onions, so if you chopped the onions in this recipe and didn’t cook them long enough to break down you wont get that texture you’re after. As suggested BLEND your onions prior to cooking or cook and then blend whichever you prefer this added to the tin of tomatoes which you can and should also blend will give you a thick gravy. If there is still too much moisture in your sauce cook with the lid off until it evaporates.

  86. Graham

    Hi, I like the look of the recipie and will be making it tonight. I was wondering if cooking with gee or butter would give it a more take away taste? or do you think it would spoil the recipe?

  87. MC

    Just made this tonight. Thanks for sharing! The recipe has some great flavor. We paired this with some grilled naan from one of Steven Raichlen’s books. Delicious!

    I’m wondering how to get a restaurant curry texture. Would you add some plain flour or corn starch/flour when simmering? Or does letting it sit overnight thicken it? It seems like store/restaurant curry has a creamier texture than I have been able to get at home (with any curry recipe, not just this one).

    1. Chris Johnson

      To get your curry’s nice and thick – follow Chef Dama’s advice on making a curry base.

      Step 1. Finely dice 1 large (red) onion, and fry on medium heat adding about 4 cloves of garlic, 1 tsp of fresh shredded ginger/or ginger paste per large onion used. The more onion you use – the thicker your curry base is going to be! I typically use at least 3 large red onions when making my curries!
      Step 2. Cook for a minimum of 20 minutes (I usually do mine for 30 minutes)! This is the secret to thick curry – you want to turn the onion into a paste (literally) – this cannot be rushed or sped up in any way. You must patiently cook this down!
      Step 3. As the onion is cooking, add tsp’s of water (or better chicken/beef stock) to keep the onion mixture from burning

      Notes: If you want you can fry your onion in broth, instead of oil(this is the healthy method) – just be careful to not let the mixture burn! It will also not taste quite as yummy 🙂

      This paste then forms the nice thick base for practically any curry you can make!

  88. Simon

    This is the business. I stumbled upon your recipe and made it tonight. It’s brilliant!!! To add extra heat as I like it I changed the chillies to 2 ghost chillies(bhot jolokia). These little devils certainly add that little kick I enjoy. Thankyou so much for this I will definitely be using this recipe alot!!

    1. brandon

      How did this work out for you? I’m planning on making this with ghost peppers and I was uncertain about how many to add. I have a pretty inhuman tolerance for heat so i was thinking 2-3 but i don’t want to put it out of reach of my other dinner guests.

  89. Rob

    Nice to see someone actually knows NOT to put potatoes in a Vindaloo! This is a fantastic recipe, probably the best Vindaloo I have ever had. I did make one addition, a single Naga chilli. Had to drink 3 home-made Mango smoothies before my mouth felt any cooler! Thanks for the recipe, I’ll most certainly be making it again!

  90. Barry

    I agree a superb recipe which I think is better than shop bought.i would love to see a decent curry goat/mutton recipe if you ever get round to it.also I left it a day in the fridge which definitely improves the flavour of all curries and stews.

  91. Bodski

    Just made this and it was amazing, closest to authentic bought taste Ive managed to make. Only things I did different were use less oil,a red wine vinegar as I didnt have white, I gave a good squeeze of lemon just before serving and a load of fresh coriander. This made it taste a little more like madras than vindaloo but I liked that. On the whole I reckon this wash a much fresher tasting curry with less oil and I cant wait to make this again!

  92. Dave

    Have made this curry twice now, spot on, cant fault it,the only thing i changed was adding red wine vinegar. Beats any indian take a way.

  93. Sean

    Hi, i just printed the recipe and i’m going to make it tonight, but like someone else said before, 150ml of Vegetable oil sounds quite alot!

    1. David Post author

      Hi Sean

      You can reduce the oil if you like and add a little water should it start to stick when you’re cooking the onions

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  95. Jen

    Hey!!! I cannot use vinegar… Can I sub with cooking sherry? Maybe even wine? I’m allergic to vinegar. While I’m on the topic, any suggestions for substitutes for worcestershire sauce? Thanks!!!

  96. mario

    As portuguese and knowing quite well the origin of this indo-portuguese recipe, i recomend you to put red wine instead of vinegar.And marinate the all spice mixture and wine for a few hours with the meat.It will be tastier as the meat will gain all the spice flavour.And to be closer to its origins, change vegetable oil to olive oil.
    Vinha d´alhos is a quite normal and easy portuguese recipe(marinated meat with red wine,bay leaf,paprika and 6 garlic cloves).

  97. Laura

    Oh and I just realized the recipe actually calls for 150 ml (10 tablespoons) of oil. I only used 3 TAB (2 TAB to cook the onions + 1 TAB added with the chicken). 150ml seems like a lot of oil to me, so to those who are worried, you can absolutely get by with less. You may need to add a bit of extra water, but frankly I think 150 ml of oil pushing it.

  98. Laura

    This was awesome! I make a lot of homemade Indian food, but I’ve never made a vindaloo before. I had to make a few substitutions due to my lack of pre-planning:

    -I only had 1 red onion, so I used 2 other yellow ones
    -I didn’t have fresh ginger, so I ended up using about 1 TAB of finely chopped pickled ginger. This substitution worried me a bit, because the pickled ginger has more vinegar, so I just added an extra tsp of sugar to balance it out. The vindaloo paste smelled pretty bizzare, but when it was cooked it tasted great.
    -Omitted the tomato puree. I used 1 can of diced tomatoes and added a little extra water.
    -Doubled the cinnamon and threw in 3 whole cardamom pods

    At the end of cooking I found that the gravy wasn’t quite thick enough for my taste, so I dissolved a few teaspoons of flour into 1/4 cup of milk (left over from making naan) and stirred it in just to thicken it up.

    Because I’m pregnant (with heartburn), I actually ommitted the red chiles entirely and used 1 jalepeno instead. The spice level came out pretty much exactly how I wanted it. My husband loves his extra spicy so I gave him a jar of cayenne and let him douse his own serving in it.

    I used butter instead of oil. Ghee would have been better, but I find that Indian food cooked with butter tends to have a more restaurant-quality taste than just using vegetable oil.

  99. Moonman from Oz

    Greetings from down under,

    love the sound of this recipe, would using red wine vinegar instead be ok? Also is the garam masala store bought or do you have your own recipe.


  100. Mike

    Absolutely superb. My first attempt at a curry from scratch and definitely not the last time I’ll be making this one.

    The only thing I changed was to use a couple of tablespoons of ghee in place of the vegatable oil.

  101. sophy

    Really want to try his recipe vindaloo is my favourite!! But finding it hard to get white wine vinigar could I use a different type or somethhing else?

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  103. jimmy

    nice one brother,

    got your recipe brewing at the moment. another half hour to go but already it has a fair whack out of it.

    appreciate the recipe and this is now on my favorite list.


  104. Amy

    Just made it, not 100% sure I like it. Next time I might try it with 2 onions and less oil as there was too much for me. Of and way more spice than I put in!

    1. pete

      it won’t be. fresh ginger is about as like dried ginger as a nail is like requiem. most supermarkets in England sell fresh ginger. once you have smelled and tasted fresh ginger you will see what I mean

  105. Martin

    I made this a few weeks ago, sticking to the recipe…it was fantastic, thank you!!!

    I am just wondering if I can get away with a bit less oil? Is there a reason for so much?

  106. Joe

    Made this tonight. Very tasty. Usually make your Madras so erred on the cautious side with this. Stuck to 4 chillies and just 1 tsp of hot chilli powder, it was still hot but will go even hotter next time!

  107. Peter

    I didn’t have any ginger, Garam Masala or fresh chillies so added extra chilli powder and cayenne pepper – tastes great so far! – its now simmering and smells fantastic! i would usually let it simmer for longer than an hour though? does that matter?

  108. dave

    three things spring to mind here, one, i,ve never in my life given a review, two i,ve been eating curry for 30 years or more, and three this recipee is the most amazing curry i,ve ever made, in fact i,d go as far as to say if i,d been given this in a restaurant i,d be going back next week for more! fantastic!!!

  109. Craig


    I made this the other day, and found that the initial taste was very tomatoey, which when bought from a restaurant it tends not to be. Not sure if I did something wrong, or restaurants do something different?


    1. David Post author

      Depends on your tastes. Try adding less tomato and substituting with water, but be careful not to remove to much flavour. It also depends on the type of tomato you use, so try using a passata or a different brand of tinned chopped tomatoes.

  110. Ken

    Awsome Vindaloo, I print this recipe off and give it to anyone who wants to make a curry, I’ve made no changes it is perfect for me.

  111. Paul

    I should also add that I did not use 150ml of vegetable oil, I used just enough Olive Oil to brown the onions and garlic and added a little more as required to colour the chicken!!

  112. Paul

    Hands down THE BEST VINDALOO I have ever eaten!!!

    This was my first crack at making a vindaloo and to be honest I was going to make the Madras to appease the wife but i couldn’t find curry leaves in the supermarket and not wanting to try a substitute, decided to go with the vindaloo.

    I have eaten many a vindaloo but never tried cooking one before and I will be having this tasty bitch at least once a week forever!!

    It is so easy to make. The only thing I found is I added more water than stated as it was simmering, BUT, I did simmer in a wok with no lid and I like
    It pre-tty, per-tty saucy!!

    Thanks for sharing and to anyone thinking about making this, get it in your mouth! I only added 2 tea spoons of hot chilli powder as it was or a few people but if it was for me and the lads it would be the full four, but 2 still makes it about as hot as a madras, maybe hotter!

    I would go as far to say this is possibly the tastiest curry that has ever slipped thru my lips!!

  113. Alysha

    I made this tonight for my husband and I and we really enjoyed it. Thanks for posting it!
    My changes due to necessity and/or preference: 🙂
    Used 1/2 finely chopped onion and added two Tablespoons of onion powder to the paste. Added an additional 1/2 tsp of sugar to the paste. Didn’t have spicy chilli powder, so I used regular chilli powder and added (a lot of) cayenne powder. Lastly, I used a small amount of chicken bouillon to en-richen the flavour.
    Very lovely! ( Next time I’ll use seven peppers–five wasn’t quite enough. We must like it FIERY!) 😀
    Thanks again very much.

  114. Jim

    Just cooked this and it tastes top banana! I made up the paste last night and let it “mature” overnight, I have to say I was a touch concerned about the vinegary smell however I added it to the meat just before the tomatos to let it cook off a touch and it seems to have worked.
    Thank you David.

  115. David

    Best Vindaloo I have ever made and I have made plenty of good ones. Used Pork Loinsteaks for a change, very nice.Before I start cooking I get out everything I need and was left with Turmeric and Garam Masala so added them to the Vindaloo paste. If you only get ingredients out as the recipe requires you would not notice the ommission, need to amend the recipe.

  116. Bob

    Tip. ‘cook out’ the spices with the grated ginger for 2 min’s in a pre heated DRY pan – shake it, don’t burn them! -deglaze the pan with the vinegar and a dash of red wine to drive off the sharp vapours for 20 seconds then mix the ‘paste’

  117. business

    Authentic Indian Vindaloo is not even close to the anglicized version that most restaurants serve. Its a dry pork dish I remember my grandmother making the authentic Indo-Portuguese vindaloo for special ocassions.

      1. David Post author

        Howdy Lukas Bukas

        That’s the Vindaloo trap 🙂
        A Vindaloo shouldn’t have potato in it, because the word “Vindaloo” comes from the Portuguese stew “Vinha De Alhos” which means “Wine and garlic”. After it was introduced to Goa, the dish then mutated over time into what we know today

  118. Dan M Toombs

    Hi David

    I came across your site at Ezinearticles. I’m currently just over four months into a year of eating and cooking nothing but Indian food so I decided to give your recipe a try.

    I used pork instead of chicken which I marinaded in the sauce overnight before cooking. I also roasted the spices whole in a dry frying pan until they smoked and made them into a fine powder with a spice grinder.
    Your recipe was excellent. It’s great to find someone els who loves cooking curry!

    Dan Toombs
    The Curry Guy

    1. David Post author

      Hi Clinton

      I’d stick to using white wine vinegar as this is much less “vinegary” than normal vinegar. If you still think it’s a bit too sharp, then try using less or adding a bit more sugar and you could try making the paste with less vinegar and then adding extra later in the cooking process.

  119. tim


    Cannot find a mention of when or how you use the cube of ginger. I would assume that you would grate it and use as part of the paste?

    Sounds like an excellent recipe for one of my favourite dishes – I’ll give it a go this weekend.


    1. David Post author

      Hi Tim

      My apologies and well spotted. You do indeed grate it/chop it finely and add to the paste. I’ve amended the recipe. Many thanks and let me know how you get on.

      1. James

        Someone who understands the need for hot spicy vindaloo! Thanks for posting and I might try this tonight 🙂

    1. David Post author

      Hi April

      I use the the juice, although I don’t make it clear in the recipe – the tinned tomatoes need to be chopped anyway.

    2. Roy McCann

      I’d tend to agree with you, this is the best curry recipe I have used many times over. I more or less stick to the recipe though sometimes I add a few star anise and chopped mushrooms. Thanks for posting this, it has made dinner times all the better.

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