The Best Chicken Vindaloo

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The best chicken vindaloo


“Boasting complex flavors, this recipe for Chicken Vindaloo shows you the best and easiest way to put it all together”


The Best Chicken Vindaloo


  • Please don't let the list of ingredients put you off, it's all flavor. And if you cook from my site regularly, then you will find other places to use those spices again.

    1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into about 1 inch pieces (yes, you could use breast if you wanted, but I think the thighs cook up better)
  • 1 large onion, half in a rough chop, half diced, seperated
  • 4 large cloves garlic, rough chop
  • 1 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 4 - 5 dried red chilies, stemmed (seeds removed if you don't want too much heat) or 1 - 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam marsala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cubed potato (size of cube is up to you, I did about 1 inch) Any type of potato will work, but I like a waxy potato such as Yukon Gold or Red Bliss or combo
  • 1 cup low-sodium or homemade chicken stock
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes, with juice, blended, or 1 cup tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, if desired


Step 1

Prepare the Marinade

In your blender or food processor, combine the rough chopped onion, along with the garlic, ginger, and red chilies. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the spices along with the vinegar; process until it is a fairly smooth paste, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Place the chicken pieces in a zip top bag and add the marinade, smooching it around so that all the chicken is coated. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour, better for more. (I did 4 hours).

Step 2

When ready to cook, in a sauté pan, heat the oil and ghee together over medium heat, when hot add the diced onions, along with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring frequently until they just begin to brown around the edges, about 5 - 7 minutes. Add the chicken, along with the marinade and cook for 5 minutes, stirring it around, then add the chicken stock and tomatoes, stir and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and lower the heat slightly, cook for 1/2 hour (if using thighs; if using breast, add the potato now so the breast doesn't get overcooked). Uncover the pan and add the potatoes; simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until the potato is tender, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust for salt, pepper, and heat (add a little more cayenne if you desire hotter). Garnish with cilantro, if using and serve with some steamed basmati rice (or other rice of your choice).

Step 3

LindySez: Please note that the prep time does not include marinating the meat. You can marinate the meat anywhere from an hour to all day. 


The making of The Best Chicken Vindaloo


The Best Chicken Vindaloo served with poached pears


Vindaloo, Vindaloo. Just the name is fun to say.

“Chicken Vindaloo.”

I’ve had Vindaloo in Indian restaurants before. A combination of meat cubes in a spicy sauce with chunks of potatoes generally served with a side of steamed basmati rice. But I never made it myself.

The other morning as I was doing my “homework” going through my Google+ communities to see what the other 250 gazillion food bloggers are cooking, photographing and writing up, I came across a recipe for Chicken Vindaloo that sounded pretty darn tasty.

Tonight’s dinner is planned.

But, as always, I must find more recipes for Chicken Vindaloo. I must investigate various techniques. Because, as is with music, there are many ways to put the same notes together to come up with something uniquely different. And my job, as I see it, is to come up with the best, and simplest, preparation for any recipe I share with you, whether it’s my own, or someone else’s.

If you go on the internet, you will find many recipes for Chicken Vindaloo; from YAWN, boring, to YIKES, difficult. Some have you marinate the chicken, some don’t. Make a paste with the spices, or don’t. Add sliced onions, or pulverize them. It can be very confusing to find just the right recipe.

Until you found me 🙂  And this recipe for The BEST Chicken Vindaloo.

Vindaloo is the India offspring to a Portuguese dish, “Carne de Vinha d’alhos”  that was introduced when the Portuguese colonized India. The original Portuguese’s dish was made with pork, red wine, and garlic. The Indian people started adding more spice and peppers transforming this dish into something more curry-like. They replaced the wine with vinegar to give the sauce a sweet and sour taste. Potatoes were added at one point, probably to make the dish more cost-effective, less meat, more food, but many curries of India contain potato so it may be a cultural thing.  As time went on different meats were used including lamb and chicken. A Vindaloo is traditionally served with Naan or rice.  And once you taste this delish sauce, you will know why you want something to sop it up!

As I read, I jotted down the major elements of any recipe I liked. I liked the marinating of the meat. Marinating adds flavor. I like flavor. And since the marinade uses vinegar in it, it also changes the texture of the chicken, just like the buttermilk brine does for Simply the Best Fried Chicken. Instead of adding the spices at varying times throughout the cooking process, I put them all in the marinade, right at the beginning.

Done. Wipe hands on a towel. Put spices away.


the best chicken vindaloo

My favorite way to marinate anything. In a zip top bag.


I also prepared the onions two ways, one is pulverized and included in the marinade, the second way is to dice and lightly brown them. I think this adds a great depth of flavor and natural sweetness allowing me to omit the need to add sugar.


Boasting Complex Flavors

There are a lot of spices in this dish, and you can use them to varying degrees to achieve your personal level of taste. The finished dish, as written, was spicy, but not overly hot. While we were eating I mentioned to Brian that I just wanted to keep on eating and tasting. The complex flavors jumped to all the taste buds on my tongue. It was so good, I couldn’t wait to have it again for lunch. And the great part about spices, they add flavor, but not calories!

Really, it was the best Chicken Vindaloo or Vindaloo I’ve ever had.

So try it soon. And as always, let me know what you thought of it. Comments and shares are appreciated.


The best chicken vindaloo



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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Cher on June 10, 2014

    This sounds positively amazing, Linda, and I’m sure the whole family will love it!!

    • posted by LindySez on June 10, 2014

      It’s ummmm ummmm good! Cheers

  2. posted by Brian on June 10, 2014

    This recipe is awesome….great flavors and good for the waistline…the heat at the end is perfect. Serve with an off dry Riesling, Gewurtzminer or even a Pinot Blanc (Alsace as most New World versions of PB are “juicy fruit gum”).

    • posted by LindySez on June 10, 2014

      Thanks for the wine suggestions Brian. They are spot on for the flavors in this Vindaloo ~ see I just can’t stop saying it…Cheers

  3. posted by Chris G on June 11, 2014

    Mmmmm, I do love me some vindaloo… I mean I REALLY REALLY LOVE IT! I’m definitely going to have to give this one a try (adding it to my list now). I also love your write up on it… loved the history (started as a Portuguese dish, what?!)… and loved your obvious excitement over the flavors. I wish I weren’t leaving town tonight, otherwise this would certainly be on the menu!

    • posted by LindySez on June 11, 2014

      Thank you for the lovely comment. I hope you try it soon, soooooo gooooood. Have a safe trip!

  4. posted by Linda Omura on June 11, 2014

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. I do love those flavors. Is that purple looking vegetable a potato?

    • posted by LindySez on June 11, 2014

      Yes, I used a multi-color waxy potato blend of Purple Passion, Red Bliss and Yukon Gold. I hope (I know) you will enjoy this very much FoodHuntress aka Linda Omura. Cheers

  5. posted by Elle on June 12, 2014

    What a great recipe Linda. Portuguese dish? Who knew.

    • posted by LindySez on June 12, 2014

      I know Elle, I guess you could say it’s “loosely” based on a Portuguese dish. It’s sooooo good, and easy really. I hope you try it. ~ Cheers

  6. posted by Tony Fisk on January 16, 2017

    Found and chose this recipe (out of many others searched), due to its straightforward nature. It just made sense to marinate the chicken, then make the “gravy,” incorporating the various ingredients together. The whole family loved it…

    I did double the amounts, and found I needed a bit more of the spices, which I added while cooking. Well done, and thanks very much for sharing it.

    • posted by LindySez on January 17, 2017

      Thank you for taking the time to write Tony, and so glad your family enjoyed the recipe. One of my fav parts of cooking is, adjusting the flavors to meet my own tastes, taste and adjust as I always say. Cheers to good cooking (and eating) Lindy

  7. posted by Mary Gonzalez on March 27, 2017

    I love Indian food especially the food that is cooked in the tandorri

    • posted by LindySez on March 27, 2017

      Me too. It’s so much more fun to make food from other countries in the native cooking vessel. Cheers ~ Lindy

  8. posted by Suzan on July 23, 2017

    Awesome dish…I am very much impressed by the description and the nice presentation…!!!

  9. posted by Lorraine on September 4, 2017

    Really enjoyed this, will certainly make again, maybe without rice, but nan bread on the side.

    • posted by LindySez on September 5, 2017

      Naan on the side is great, but I still love the basmati rice with it. But that’s just how I roll. Enjoy your fav way ~ Cheers Lindy

  10. posted by Lorraine on September 17, 2017

    I made this tonight for the second time and result was just as delicious as the first although I cut my potatoes a bit smaller this time. It is a very tasty curry that all the family love.

    • posted by LindySez on September 19, 2017

      Thanks for the comment Lorraine. That’s what I love about cooking, making it suit your tastes and style. Glad you like the recipe! Cheers ~Lindy

  11. posted by Natalie on March 20, 2018

    Seriously??? Allspice??? I’m an idiot for putting THAT IN!!! Horrible result…it’s going in the garbage as soon as it cools down….

  12. posted by Natalie on March 20, 2018

    Cloves….not allspice…both horrendous….I skrewed up to put that in…

    • posted by LindySez on March 21, 2018

      Guess you don’t like cloves. But they are an important element to the complexity if the dish. I always say adjust to your personal taste and how to figure if you like something or not is by smell. I found the flavor of this vindaloo to be “the best” but maybe not for you. Cheers Lindy


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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.
  • Calories
  • Fat
    12g (4g Sat, 5g Mono, 2g Poly)
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrate
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium
  • This is for the vindaloo only. As always, I do my best to give you accurate nutritional values, but they may not be 100% so

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