Chicken Vindaloo

Sep 08, 2007 by 2501 | 1 Comments| Share it:   



3 ratings


This is my recipe for vindaloo. Vindaloo is a dish from Goa, and is influenced by the Portuguese (who actually introduced the chili to Goa).

The name, vindaloo, is from the Portuguese for vinegar, vin, and from the Portuguese for garlic, alho, we get aloo. This may be a bit of a shock to some UK members, who may have been told that the aloo is something to do with potatoes. Indeed potato is an ingredient of this dish if you were to buy it from most UK curry houses. However, the name and the original dish have nothing to do with potatoes!

It is worth pointing out that this recipe is actually best if you substitute pork tenderloin for chicken. The chicken version is still very, very yummy.

OK, enough with the preamble, on with the goods.


  • Prep: ~30 mins.
  • Cook: 1 - 2 hrs.
  • Serves: 4

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- Whole red chillies. Note: I am not telling you how many chillies to use. This is up to you, but the dish is best when very spicy, so we are using about 10-12 Kashmiri chillies
- 8 cloves
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 inches of cinnamon stick
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 4 tsp white poppy seeds

- 3 inches of ginger, chopped. Note: I cheated because we were out of ginger, and I am eternally sorry.
- 6 plump garlic cloves, more if you have small cloves
- 1 tbsp tamarind puree
- 2-3 tomatoes Note: Tomatoes are optional, and not an authentic Goan ingredient in this dish. Try it both ways
- a bunch of coriander. Note: This is optional and I suggest making the dish with and without to see what you like best.
- 3 large onions
- 1 lb chicken breast or pork tenderloin
- Jaggery (Jaggery is the traditional unrefined sugar used in India)
- cider vinegar
- salt and pepper

Step 1

In a clean coffee grinder, grind the chillies and the rest of the spices (except the poppy seeds) to powder. Transfer the ground spices to a suitable receptacle. Then (and only then) grind the poppy seeds. The poppy seeds will release oil when processed and that would otherwise gob up your spice mixture. In the picture below you can see the ground chillies, ground spices and the ground poppy seeds (top left).


Step 2

Ok, now we need to puree the garlic and ginger with some cider vinegar. Roughly chop the garlic and ginger and blend with about 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar until you have a smooth paste like the one below.


Step 3

Mix the all the spices together with the garlic and vinegar puree and the tamarind.


Step 4

Ok, chop your onions and fry in a couple of tablespoons of sunflower oil (or ghee if you are going for a full-on cardiac) until past translucent and starting to go brown, say 10-15 minutes or so. Then add the spice paste you have made and another tablespoon of oil. Fry this mixture for at least another 5 minutes. It is important to fry dried spices for a while to maximize the flavor released from them and to aid with digestion later.


Step 5

Now chop you tomatoes and finely chop the coriander (if you are using it). Don't be shy of the coriander stalks. This dish will cook for a while longer, and the coriander will break down somewhat to add a nice flavor to the sauce. So fry this for another 5 minutes until the tomatoes are breaking down a bit.


Step 6

Add the chicken to the dish and saute the mixture for another 5 minutes or so. Then add 1/4 pint of water and bring to the boil. Now season the dish with a little salt and add about 3 teaspoons of jaggery (sugar). Stir this in and leave simmering on the hob for as long as you like. Just make sure the chicken is done. I find that 30 mins-45 mins gives the best flavor for me. Taste the sauce after about 20 minutes and adjust for salt, jaggery and maybe a wee bit more cider vinegar if you like your vindaloo a bit more piquant.


Step 7

Finish the cooking cycle and serve with boiled rice and as much soured cream (or yogurt) as you need to quench the fires. As ever, you must drink copious amounts of wine with this dish (or beer if you made it really hot). I recommend an un-oaked Chardonnay. The combination of oil and vinegar in this dish makes it a good one for making a lot of and keeping in the fridge for a few days (if your body can stand the repeated harsh treatment). That is to say that oil and vinegar act as a preservative. The flavors will really pierce the meat after being left overnight in the fridge, and it does actually taste even better the next day. Just don't go to work after having it for breakfast!

Now that you have learned how to make chicken vindaloo, please be sure to view these other chicken recipes. Also, you will love these Indian recipes.


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1 Comment

user does not have an avatar Sailu @ Indian Recipes

Oct 06, 2011

It’s jaggery and vinegar which is the key to a good vindaloo. Too much vinegar yields a bitter flavored vindaloo. Go slow on jaggery as it should not overpower the heat of the red chilies.

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