Try our chicken vindaloo recipe, then check out our chicken madras, chicken jalfrezi, chicken tikka masala and more of our chicken curry recipes.

Monica Sawhney Haldar has been teaching Indian cookery for more than 10 years after founding The Spice Club to showcase home-style regional Indian cookery via her own cookery schools and pop-up supper clubs. During lockdown in 2020, she founded, an online Indian cookery school where she teaches her members from all over the world how to master Indian cookery. Instagram @thespiceclub

How to cook the perfect chicken vindaloo: cook's tips

  • You can batch make the spice blend and store it in an airtight jar so you can make it whenever you like
  • Also, you can make a vegetarian version using 220g paneer, 1 small cooked potato (100g) and 2 tbsp peas

How to serve chicken vindaloo: With rice or fresh chapatis.

Chicken vindaloo recipe


  • 450g boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into small chunks
  • 3 tbsp oil for cooking
  • ¾ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 onion (110g), finely chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ghee (optional)
  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Spice blend

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 5 cloves
  • 3cm cinnamon/cassia bark
  • 4-6 dried whole chillies (I like to use Kashmiri dried chillies)

Spice paste

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2cm ginger
  • ½ tsp tamarind concentrate/paste or lime juice
  • 2½ tbsp white wine vinegar/apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp jaggery or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt


  • STEP 1

    Heat a frying pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the spice blend spices to the pan. Toast on a medium heat for 60-90 seconds or until fragrant. To prevent spices from burning, as soon as you see the cumin and coriander seeds turn a shade darker in colour, turn the heat off and transfer the spices to a plate to cool.

  • STEP 2

    Once cool, transfer to a spice (or coffee bean) grinder and grind into a fine powder.

  • STEP 3

    Now put the spice paste ingredients in a mini food processor/chopper along with the ground spice blend and 3-4 tbsp water, and grind into a paste. You may need to tweak the amount of water you add to create a thick, smooth paste, so add a little at a time. Add the spice paste to the chicken and mix well.

  • STEP 4

    Heat the oil in a pan. Once hot, add the mustard seeds. As soon as they begin to crackle and pop, add the onions. Fry for 4-5 mins on a medium heat until light golden in colour.

  • STEP 5

    Once golden, add the marinated chicken and seal for 2 mins on a high heat. Add 150ml of water to the pan and bring to a boil. Put a lid on the pan, reduce heat slightly and simmer for 10 mins until you have a saucy consistency. Finish with ghee and coriander sprinkled over.

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