Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
1hr 35min

Chicken Vindaloo is a Goan-based Indian curry. It's spicy, tangy, and fiery hot! I like chicken thighs that can withstand the heat, but feel free to substitute beef, pork or goat if you prefer. The key to this recipe is the sauce simmering so that all the spices go together in an excellent punch. Serve over rice or with naan for a perfect treat!


4 Servings

For Vindaloo Paste

  • 8
    Dry Red Chillies (broken)
  • 1tsp
    Mustard Seeds
  • 3
  • 2tbsp
    Coriander Seeds
  • 1tsp
    Black Peppercorn
  • 1tsp
    Red Chilli Powder
  • 3
    Green Cardamom
  • 1
  • 2
    Cinnamon Sticks (small pieces)
  • 1tbsp
    Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder/Degi Mirch Powder
  • 1tbsp
    Ginger (chopped/grated)
  • 8
    Garlic Cloves
  • 2tbsp
    Tamarind Pulp (optional)
  • 3tbsp
  • 2tbsp

For Marination

  • 850g
    Chicken (boneless thigh/breast cut in 2-inch pieces))

For Gravy

  • 5tbsp
    Cooking Oil
  • 2
    Onion (ground)
  • 3/4cup
    Tomato Puree
  • 2
    Green Chilli (chopped)
  • 1 1/4tsp
  • 1tsp
  • 1tbsp
  • 1 1/2cup


Vindaloo Paste

  1. Heat a skillet on low to medium flame.

  2. Add dry red chillies, mustard seeds, cloves, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, green cardamoms, mace and a cinnamon stick.

  3. Dry roast for 5-8 minutes until they change their colour and a pleasant aroma arises.

  4. Keep constantly stirring to avoid burning the spices.

  5. Turn off the flame.

  6. Immediately transfer the spices to a plate and let them cool completely.

  7. Transfer the spices to a mixer and coarsely grind.

  8. Add kashmiri red chilli powder, ginger, garlic, vinegar, tamarind, and water to the mixer. Make a smooth paste and keep it aside.


For Marination

  1. Put the chicken pieces in a mixing bowl. Add the vindaloo paste and mix it nicely.

  2. The chicken pieces should be coated evenly with the paste.

  3. Cover the bowl with a cling film or a plate and refrigerate the marinated chicken for at least an hour or overnight for the chicken to absorb more flavour.

For Gravy

  1. Heat oil in a karahi/heavy-bottomed pot on medium to high flame.

  2. Add ground onions and green chillies and cook until golden brown by stirring frequently or until oil releases to the surface.

  3. Add tomato puree and cook for 3-4 minutes till oil releases to the surface and leaves the sides of the pan.

  4. Now add the marinated chicken and mix well. Put the flame on high, cook for 3-4 minutes, and stir constantly.

  5. Add turmeric, red chilli powder (optional) and salt. Mix again.

  6. Add water, stir and wait for a boil. Cover the pot with a lid, and let it simmer on low flame for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the gravy reaches a thick consistency. Stir occasionally.

  7. Add sugar. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste. Mix, cover and cook for a minute.

  8. Turn off the flame and let it rest for some time.

  9. Serve hot with roti, naan, paratha or rice.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Chicken marinated and refrigerated overnight absorbs more flavours.

  2. You can use Kashmiri red chilli for milder gravy instead of dry red chillies.

  3. I have used tomatoes to lessen the heat of the spices in the curry. You can skip adding the tomatoes.

  4. I have used freshly ground ginger and garlic. You can also use store-bought ginger-garlic paste.

  5. You can adjust the spiciness of the curry by increasing or decreasing the chilli powder you use.

  6. The taste and flavour depend on the type of vinegar used.

  7. The number of servings will depend on the quantity of the dish served.

Leena Kohli
Recipe by

Leena Kohli


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