Chicken Vindaloo stems from a fusion of Indian and Portuguese cuisines and has become a spicy staple in Indian restaurants around the world. It’s just the dish you need to get you fired up this winter! Chicken Vindaloo marinates in a tangy, spicy sauce with notes of smokiness, sweetness, and sharpness to highlight its delicious savory flavors. Serve this over naan or rice for a complete meal.

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For the vindaloo paste:

  • 20 dried red chilies
  • 3 tablespoons malt or red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons water, hot
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 inches fresh cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 green cardamoms, optional
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1-1/2-inch piece ginger

For the vindaloo:

  • 2 pounds chicken, bone-in
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 onions, optional, finely chopped or processed
  • 1 tablespoon malt or red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tomatoes, optional, pureed
  • 1/4 cup water, hot, optional, plus more to taste


Step 1 –Remove the seeds from the red chilies.

Step 2 –In a medium bowl, soak the chilies in 3 tablespoons vinegar and 3 tablespoons of hot water.

Step 3 –In a blender jar, add the coriander seeds, cumin, peppercorns, mustard seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, and cardamoms. Blend the spice mixture into a fine powder.

Step 4 –Add the garlic, ginger, and soaked chilies (making sure to reserve the soaking liquid). Pulse until blended.

Step 5 –Add the vinegar/water soaking mixture and blend until a smooth paste forms.

Step 6 –In a resealable plastic bag, add the chicken, prepared vindaloo paste, turmeric, and salt. Massage the chicken so everything is coated in the spices and paste.

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Step 7 –Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Step 8 –Heat the oil in a deep pot over medium heat.

Step 9 –Sauté the onions until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes.

Step 10 –Add 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar to the onions.

Step 11 –Add the marinated chicken and sauté for 3-5 minutes.

Step 12 –Add the pureed tomatoes and continue to sauté for 3-4 minutes.

Step 13 –Add the hot water to taste. If the chicken releases lots of liquid, you don’t need to add as much of the water. Alternatively, if you prefer a drier curry, you can skip adding in the water.

Step 14 –Cover the pot and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through and fork-tender, about 6 minutes. The chicken should register at 165 degrees F in its thicket part (not touching the bone) with a meat thermometer. The chicken should fall off the bone when pricked with a fork. The sauce should be thick and somewhat dry.

Step 15 –Taste for seasoning.

Step 16 –Serve.