Chicken Vindaloo Recipe

Yields: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes (plus marinating time)
Cook Time: 45-60 minutes


Spice Paste:

  • 15-20 dried Kashmiri chilies (for vibrant color and mild heat)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt to taste


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1.5-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1-2 fresh green chilies, finely chopped (adjust to your heat preference)
  • 1 -1 ½ cups chicken broth or water
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (optional)


Make the Spice Paste:

  • Soak chilies: Place dried chilies in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for 20-30 minutes until softened.
  • Toast spices: In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast coriander, cumin, peppercorns, cardamom, and cloves for about 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  • Grind spices: Add toasted spices to a spice grinder or blender. Drain soaked chilies and add them along with garlic, ginger, turmeric, vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Grind into a smooth paste, adding a little water if needed.

Marinate the Chicken:

  • Combine: In a large bowl, combine the spice paste with the chicken. Mix well to coat thoroughly.
  • Marinate: Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight for maximum flavor.

Cook the Vindaloo:

  • Brown the chicken: Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add marinated chicken pieces in batches, browning for a couple of minutes per side. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Set browned chicken aside.
  • Sauté onions: In the same pot, add onions and sauté until softened and golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add the fresh green chilies and cook for another minute.
  • Add chicken and paste: Return the chicken to the pot with any accumulated juices. Stir in the remaining spice paste from the marinade bowl.
  • Add broth and potatoes (optional): Pour in enough chicken broth or water to partially cover the chicken. If you’re using potatoes, add them now.
  • Simmer: Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Add more liquid if it becomes too dry.
  • Adjust seasoning: Taste and adjust salt and vinegar (for a touch of sourness) to your liking. If you want extra heat, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper.


  • Serve hot with steamed basmati rice, naan bread, or your preferred sides.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro for a burst of freshness (optional)


  • Spice adjustment: Adjust the number of chilies and additional heat sources (green chilies, cayenne) to match your spice tolerance.
  • Vinegar: White vinegar adds the traditional tang, but you could experiment with malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  • Potatoes: Traditionally a Goan addition, you can skip them for a more classic vindaloo.
  • Richness: For extra richness, stir in a tablespoon or two of heavy cream at the end of cooking.


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