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Chicken Vindaloo

I got many requests for this dish in last few days. Since I rarely cook chicken for us, I was waiting for a good time to cook it. Last weekend, I had invited my ex-colleague and friend Cindy and her husband for dinner. I knew she likes Indian food. I wanted to cook something different than what is available in Indian restaurants here. It took me a very long time to decide on the menu as I wanted something very flavorful but not very hot. I made few wrong choices that day, cooked few dishes that were very Indian and may not be liked by everyone, I learnt that, we can’t just reduce the chilies in any dish and expect it to work. Some dishes taste good only when made very hot(According to me, this is atleast true with most of the coconut based chicken dishes). But this dish soon became center of attraction. They both loved it and I became an instant fan too.

According to Wikipedia,

The term Vindaloo, derivative of the Portuguese “vinho de alho”, and also called Vindalho or Vindallo, refers to a popular Indian dish. It was first brought to Goa by the Portuguese and became a Goan meal often served during special occasions. The traditional Portuguese dish was made with pork preserved in red wine or red wine vinegar and stewed with garlic, but later received the Goan treatment of adding plentiful amounts of spice and dried chilis. Restaurants often serve this dish with chicken or lamb sometimes mixed with potatoes. Traditional vindaloos do not include potatoes, the discrepancy arising because the word “aloo” means “potato” in Hindi.

It took about 1hr for me to search this recipe. All the Vindaloo dishes from popular chefs in India, included potato (aloo) in it and I knew that was not the traditional way to do it. So I read at least 20 recipes before deciding how to make this dish. I simply loved the taste of this dish. I served it with parathas and yellow rice.

1/4 kg chicken
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 tea spn ginger paste
1/2 tea spn garlic paste
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
1/2 tea spn coriander seeds
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
1/4 tea spn fenugreek seeds
1 tea spn vinegar (I used distilled vinegar)
1 tea spn chili powder or 4-5 red chilies (increase the amount of chilies if required)
3-4 strands coriander leaves

Grind together ginger, garlic, mustard seeds, red chilies, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds to a smooth paste. Apply this paste and salt to the chicken.
Heat oil and fry onions on a low heat till the onions turn dark brown and crispy(It may help to deep fry the onions in oil to speed up the process). Take them out on a clean kitchen towel to remove all the extra oil. Grind to a paste along with vinegar. This is the dark paste that gives the color to the dish, I removed the onions a tad bit early, so they were not crisp and the color of the dish remained light. Add this to the chicken(Add a little water if gravy is too thick). Leave it aside for 30mins.
Heat a little oil in thick bottomed pan. Add the marinated chicken with all the marinade. Cook till chicken is tender and gravy is thickened. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 40mins(excluding marination time)

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{ 66 comments… add one }

  • Shankari February 9, 2008, 11:36 am

    Thanks for visiting my blog Shilpa. I taught lamb Vindaloo in a class and people just loved it. Your recipe looks a lot easier than mine tho. I will try this one next time.

    • Jyoti April 11, 2013, 3:10 pm

      Can you pls share your Lamb Vindaloo recipe with me? I would really like to get a good recipe…

    • Shilpa April 11, 2013, 7:55 pm

      Sorry Jyoti, I don’t cook lamb. So don’t know. I think this should work with lamb too

  • bhags February 9, 2008, 12:19 pm

    So it a portuguese-goan vindaloo…looks really yummy

  • Sig February 9, 2008, 12:20 pm

    Hey, I never knew that Vinadaloo was not supposed to have potatoes!!!!! I really thought the name came from aloo… :) I love ground mustard in dishes, have to try this one soon…

    Shilpa: Even I thought so for a long time Sig. Then I read somewhere that the Vindaloo does not have aloo in it. Wikipedia aso mentioned the same. All the recipes that I found in Goan sites didn’t have potato but all our chef’s recipes had them.

  • bhags February 9, 2008, 12:21 pm

    So it is a portuguese-goan vindaloo….loos delicious.
    Vinegar addition, is it to give a tangy taste….can a lemon used instead

    Shilpa: Bhags, Vinegar is must in this dish. It is one of the basic ingredients that distinguishes this dish from others. I have seen some recipe which included tamarind juice too. But since vinegar is tangy, I didn’t add tamarind.

  • Zlamushka February 9, 2008, 1:11 pm

    fabulous entry. Love spicy vindaloo.

  • sunita February 9, 2008, 1:12 pm

    I love the colour of your dish…thanks for sharing this lovely recipe :-)

  • rina February 9, 2008, 1:26 pm

    Love Vindaloo curries Shipla. Yours look gr8. Bookmarked to try. Love you Cabbage fitter too.

  • dhivya February 9, 2008, 2:03 pm

    wow..great entry….i love chicken but got bored with regular dishes…nice idea,,,will surely give a try

  • siya February 9, 2008, 2:38 pm

    Hi shilpa,
    I ve been following ur website regularly. Great work!
    I m a maharashtrian.. always lived in Goa .. now in the US.
    I too attempted chicken vindalhoo about a month back. i added too many chillies though so the dish turned a little hot. I agree completely that there are many misconceptions about this dish. I too had a tough time trying to find the authentic recipe. I ve tasted the traditional chicken vindalhoo in Goa. I believe in Goa they use kashmiri red chillies and coconut vinegar for this dish. Red wine vinegar would also give an authentic taste..

  • Purnima February 10, 2008, 12:02 am

    Shilpa..so many varieties have you made of chicken, Vindaloo looks great! I have to try this out! Shall post you a feedback soon! (I had thought vindaloo is a cousin dish of dumaloo with variation!!!! :D–so dumb of me!)

  • Happy Cook February 10, 2008, 3:15 am

    Once in Madur jeffery food show i saw her making it with pork. I like it with chicken.
    I have a patchapman curry book and he too make it with chicken.
    This looks delicious

  • Munni February 10, 2008, 10:03 am

    Really appreciate all the effort you put into researching recipes.
    Will try this sometime & let you know.
    Thanks dear !!!

  • swathi February 10, 2008, 11:32 am


    thanks for the researching a nice receipe. I am trying this today

  • rashmi February 10, 2008, 1:39 pm


    i was searching for this recipe but couldnt find a original one in web..thank you so much for the recipe ….will try nexxt week or so….it just looks great….even i didnt know the story behind vindaloo…

  • Ninad February 10, 2008, 2:49 pm

    A good piece of advice of anyone cooking for guests is to always prepare dishes you know well and are comfortable with. You may be excited about hosting a party and may be in an adventurous mood but it is a bad idea before you know how to cook a new recipe. If you want to serve a new dish , try it a few times before cooking it for others. This way you can relax and your guests are not put on the spot to be part of a failed dish.

  • Kalai February 10, 2008, 8:00 pm

    Wow! So much info I never knew abt vindaloo and a wonderful recipe. I always thought vindaloo had potatoes, but this looks awesome! Will try. :)

  • Tiba February 10, 2008, 11:02 pm

    Looks really good can’t wait to try it.

  • Miri February 11, 2008, 4:14 am

    Thanks so much for posting this, I have been looking for an authentic chicken vindaloo recipe too, I remember having it when I was very young but didn’t find anything which looked authentic. This one seems like it, especially since you have put some much effort into looking for it!
    Looks delicious – and I’m sure your guests really appreciated the energy you put into cooking ALL the dishes!

  • Bhanap February 11, 2008, 8:55 am

    Dear Shilpa, Wow that looks delicious, I will have to try it soon. -B

  • anuzi February 11, 2008, 10:14 am

    My family and I used to Goa during some summers to visit relatives and our “mattha” (family temple) and one of my aunts used to prepare the best Mutton vindaloo. By the end of the meal…my sis and I would have tears in our eyes but I would find myself going in for seconds and thirds. Thanks for this easy looking recipe. I gotta try it out :o)

  • Deepa February 11, 2008, 2:29 pm

    very nice pic shilpa,ya I never liked the aloo version of vindaloo,this recipe looks very original.

  • Purnima February 13, 2008, 5:12 am

    Shilpa..I tried this dish out..it turned out very yummy (I have to remember to take off onions a bit earlier!) Tks for sharing..shall be repeating this dish!

  • Shella February 13, 2008, 5:25 am

    This looks so gorgeosly good. I am sure gonna try this.

  • Maya February 13, 2008, 10:45 am

    Love the colour of the Vindaloo..Feel like just digging into tht masala. I tried making it once long back, but dint turn out rite. Will try ur recipe next time.

  • Varsha February 15, 2008, 4:08 am

    Hi akka…..This looks yummy. And I have this chicken craving of mine get even more intense after seeing this. I have never cooked chicken on my own before…..what is the end point to know that the chicken is fully done?

    Shilpa: Hey dear, nice to see you here :). The chicken turn whitish when it is cooked. If you are a first timer, I would suggest, once you see the color change, pick up one piece and poke it with a spoon. If it gets cut easily, that means it is cooked. After you have cooked it couple of times, you can easily go with your instincts.

  • Meeta February 15, 2008, 7:06 am

    Oh Shilpa, this makes my mouth water. I love the flavors here – exceptional!

  • suman February 18, 2008, 6:40 pm

    hi shilpa
    thanks for the wonderful recipe. i tried day before yesterday and came out very good. it was so tasty.i don’t know how to thankyou.looking forword to try all your recipes.i told my friends about your blog so now on you will hav more fanz.

  • Mishmash! February 21, 2008, 1:19 pm

    Shilpa..we had this dish for our lunch today with some rotis…and we liked the taste especially that of the caramelised onion paste. Thanks a lot for sharing this one :)


  • Vaishali March 17, 2008, 3:52 am

    Hey Shilpa,
    Ur recipes have made me a regular visitor to your site, and this Chicken Vindaloo recipe looks so simple to make! Actually I’m a vegetarian but my hubby loves this dish. Thanx to yuo m going to give him a good surprise for dinner today.

  • Sher April 12, 2008, 6:22 pm

    Shilpa, this recipe looks fantastic, and I can’t wait to try it! I moved to the UK from the US a few years ago and had to convince my British husband that traditional vindaloo does NOT have potatoes in it! I read in an old cookbook of mine that it originated with the Portuguese sailors who kept their meat preserved in vinegar…so vinegar really is a must! In fact, the old recipe I have calls for the chicken (or pork) to marinate in spiced vinegar for several hours first.
    I just found your site and look forward to many happy hours reading and cooking. Thanks!

  • Julia Fernandes May 8, 2008, 6:17 am

    In traditional chicken vindaloo recipe, made in true Goan style, mustard seeds and methi seeds are not used. Ginger garlic, cumin and coriander seeds, alongwith red chillies, plus the usual spices, are ground together not in water, but in vinegar. To grind you need more than one teaspoon vinegar. One teaspoon vinegar will not bring out the desired result. Once this paste is ground, you have to open the mixer container to know the powerful aroma of vinegar mixed with spices. You can either marinate the chicken with this mixture, or make it without marination which I make. It turns out awesome.

  • Paul June 19, 2008, 8:39 am

    Hi Shilpa –
    I had a go at making this last night – it came out really well, so thanks for that! I’m confused though on a number of counts:-

    1) You use a tiny amount of chicken and claim it feeds 4-5. I doubled the chicken and it still only feeds 2… maybe we’re too greedy!

    2) Where does the liquid come from? In your recipe you have hardly any liquid ingredients, but yet your photo shows the output is plenty wet, and you talk of cooking to thicken the gravy. In my case, I added a little tomato paste, and then during cooking I must have thrown in about 1 cup of water.

    Still, it came out really well. Thanks for sharing!

    Shilpa: Paul, I think the “serves” part was wrong because I mentioned how many people it fed at my home. When it comes to chicken we are not big eaters. I will check out again and correct the mistake. Thanks a lot for pointing out.
    In my case, the liquid came from frozen chicken. When I left the chicken for marination, it became watery.

  • raju July 14, 2008, 8:47 pm

    I tried this but honestly not very impressed..

  • chris stronach October 27, 2008, 12:01 pm

    thanks so much for the chicken vindaloo recipe.

    I tried it on six of my closest friends and they all came back for seconds.

    First time I’ve tried a curry hotter than a madras, but it was lovely!

    Would you reccomend that I try a Phal

    Best Wishes Chris

    Shilpa: Phal?? Are you referring to a kind of curry. I heard about it for the first time, I will check out more about.

  • naresh November 1, 2008, 4:11 am

    i need some a indian food for recipes

  • Geoffrey Moss February 1, 2009, 2:20 pm

    Continuing thanks for the real deal. Submitted for your
    approval: add a tablespoon of gee/clarified butter as substitue to comlete the vindaloo. Adds a nice finish to the sauce.

  • tallbiker66 February 4, 2009, 9:14 pm

    Thanks for the recipe, it turned out pretty good. I just would like to know how you generated the amount of sauce that is shown in the pictures above. I have to admit, I had to grind the ingredients in a blender as I don’t have a mortar, but two tea spoons of vinegar and some oil just made the entire thing pretty dry. I ended up using a little milk to stretch the sauce somewhat. Please let me know what to do differently.

    Shilpa: You can add water to get the gravy thinned down.

  • tallbiker66 February 4, 2009, 9:22 pm

    Water instead of milk, I will give that a try next time. I will also buy a mortar and combine the ingredients more towards a paste.

    Thank you for getting back with me this fast.

    Shilpa: It is ground in mixer/blender and not on a mortar. Probably on mortar, it will take a long time to grind it.

  • ashley rodrigues February 8, 2009, 7:26 pm

    this was the classic simple goan recipe …….. LOVE THE TASTE OF GOA

  • Mark mann March 7, 2009, 6:28 pm

    My first try at Indian cooking although I love Indian food ,tasted amazing just didn’t seem to have enough sauce , we added 4 tomatoes from a tin,

    Lovely recipe

  • amita March 13, 2009, 12:43 am

    its simply superb

  • Deb Beardsley March 13, 2009, 2:17 am

    Yum – your recipes are divine and just love your webpage. It always has just what I am looking for. I am a huge fan of Indian food and styles of cooking and altohough some of the ingedients are hard to come by here in New Zealand, I just love all of your brilliant idea. Keep up the great work – awesome to find atuhentic recipes!!!!

  • Indo Curry April 21, 2009, 2:40 pm

    Thanks Shilpa for posting this recipe of Chicken Vindaloo – one of my favorite dishes. The method I knew from a five star hotel chef was lengthy and tedious – your simple method gives almost the same taste!

  • Lahna May 27, 2009, 7:55 pm

    I am looking forward to trying this recipie…. but I can not seem to find fenugreek anywhere…. will the recipie be alright without it?

    Shilpa: Sorry, I misread your comment. Yes, you can leave out fenugreek if u don’t fine it. But it gives a really nice taste to this dish.

  • Dave May 30, 2009, 5:15 pm

    Lahna – In my store, fenugreek seeds are called ‘methi’ seeds. You may find them under that name…

  • Nat June 9, 2009, 10:17 am

    Thanks for the recipe. Very good base for the vindaloo, although I must say that vinegar is a must for the paste of spices while grinding and not nearly enough liquid. To make enough sauce I added a can of chicken broth and since that watered down the taste I doubled the spices. Since we like it hotter (spicier) I added a lot more chili powder. But the taste is great, spices are perfect. Thanks again.
    P.S. Sauce is very runny, so for a thicker sauce, if done without potatoes, a little corn starch could help.

  • Santosh July 1, 2009, 2:28 pm

    Hi Shilpa,

    Great recipe.. Although we have visited Goa a lot, during my childhood, I do not remember ever having tasted this dish. I should check with my aunt if she prepared it, as she lived in Goa for about 15 yrs.
    Well, I tried it out last night and results were simply superb. After a long day at work, I still thought I will try it out and it was relatively very easy to prepare and didnt take much time either. I did not marinate the chicken for 30 minutes due to lack of time. My wife and mom couldnt stop praising about the dish. thank you so much for the wonderful recipe!

    Keep up the good work

  • Santosh July 1, 2009, 2:31 pm

    Oh and the consistency of the sauce, the color was exactly like the dish in your picture. I actually added 1/2 tsp turmeric powder to the spices during marination.

    Simply amazing!! Will try it with lamb next time

  • humaira July 31, 2009, 9:57 am

    Hi!I am from Pakistan!I tried vindaloo from sum other website and it turned out lyk our usual murgi ka shorba or chicken handi more accurately!thnk god my family didnt object!I will try dis recipe only if my family likes to take risk again!

  • Doli August 12, 2009, 12:28 pm

    Prepared this dish yesterday and it was really yummy! Thanks for posting the recipe :)

  • Amey October 29, 2009, 5:32 am

    I guess coconut feni is the most important ingredient of this recipe. Correct me if I am wrong.

  • nisha November 12, 2009, 12:57 pm

    Am a bg fan of your all recpie.my hubby is fond of food and am still in the learning process.your site helped so much to avoid fight in the home and moreover much
    variety.Thanks a lot..I tried vinadaloo today.it came out very good.your recipies never
    disappointed me.Thanks again for sharing.

  • Cassie February 11, 2010, 9:06 pm

    One other thing that the unhappy people might not be taking into consideration is the type of chicken meat you’re using. if you use breast meat, it’s going to soak in a lot of the moisture and leave the gravy dry. try using at least half of the meat as thigh meat, it’s juicier and the fat in it melts into the gravy and makes it smoother.

  • Niki March 22, 2010, 8:37 pm

    Spot on Cassie. I love this dish and I make it with only thigh meat because that’s what was used when I had chicken vindaloo for the first time. It was love at first bite and this recipe comes super close to the vindaloo I have eaten at Maharani’s restaurant.

    I have always wanted to make this dish but after reading so many blogs and recipe sites, I became very intimidated with the many variations. However, after giving this recipe a try and added a couple of personalized tweaks here and there, my husband loved it so much that we had it for dinner 3 nights in a row!

    I just add more fresh chilies and a bit more coriander and we’re good to go. Served with my homemade naan bread and cucumber raita…Perfectly wonderful.

    We’ve added this recipe to my family’s recipe collection.

    Thanks so much Shilpa!!

  • Niki March 22, 2010, 8:39 pm

    Oh, forgot to mention in my previous post that I love to make this with just potatoes, pearl onions, peas and carrots. Yummzzzz!

  • Radhika May 21, 2010, 4:50 pm

    AMAZING recipe. Made it for a party. Everyone loved it! Thanks much.

  • Gayathri K Panickker July 25, 2010, 12:48 am

    Hey, tried this recipe yesterday as I had invited some friends over. Was an absolute hit with the guests and my huisband alike :) Thanks a bunch :)

  • Amer December 28, 2011, 2:03 am

    Hey thanks! I love this recipe.

  • Karl February 7, 2012, 3:20 am

    Amey, yes – coconut feni would normally be used in Goa. It’s very hard to get in some places (pretty impossible in the UK, unless anyone can correct me), so just leave it out. Personally, I leave the meat in the marinade for several hours or overnight, but then I tend to use pork or fish rather than chicken. I also don’t use coriander seeds, but I do cook some ground coriander and turmeric into the sauce when I start to cook it. I also use much more (wine) vinegar – about 3-5 tablespoons. It’s the wine bit that gives the dish its name (along with garlic, of course, of which I use a whole head, so about 10 cloves).

    A lovely dish and a lovely picture. Makes me hungry to look at it!

  • Raga February 25, 2012, 7:20 pm

    try using white wine instead of vinegar.

  • Bella February 25, 2012, 10:16 pm

    Well, I didn’t have a mortar and pestle… So I failed MAJORLY at grinding everything, especilly the onions… which I overcooked. It didn’t come out like curry at all, though it tasted alright. I’ll just have to try again when I can grind things more effectively, and pay better attention to the onions.

    • Shilpa February 25, 2012, 10:48 pm

      I grind in food processor or mixer. I don’t think you can easily make a very smooth paste using mortar and pestle

  • sindu May 30, 2012, 8:07 am

    very bad , my chicken became waste

  • Dave Morrish February 4, 2013, 10:36 pm

    The vindaloo was very tasty. However, the picture included with the recipe does not look anything like the finished product. The finished product did not have the type of gravy shown. There is a mention of adding water and one respondent mentioned milk. But I believe the recipe needs a fair amount of liquid added to achieve the gravy shown. Please advise or revise recipe. Once again very tasty , also should have added more heat in the form of seranno peppers.

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