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20 April 2018

A recipe for the popular spicy Indian dish, this spicy, tangy chicken vindaloo curry is a quick and easy kitchen staple. My version is wonderfully fiery, though you can easily adjust the heat and spice to your preference.

If you are a spicy food lover like I am, you need to give your taste buds a treat and try this amazing Chicken Vindaloo Recipe. It has everything a fiery food lover could want – Flavor, Heat, Spiciness, Pure Satisfaction.

It is most definitely one of my favorite recipes and it is super eat to whip together in the kitchen with very little effort and cooking time.

That’s a HUGE PLUS for a slow cook like me!

Chicken Vindaloo - Plated and Ready to Eat

What is Vindaloo?

“Vindaloo” is a popular Indian curry dish that calls for meat to be marinated in a highly flavorful spicy mixture with vinegar, then quickly cooked up when you’re ready to eat.

You can easily prepare it with several different meats – pork, goat, beef, even potato for a vegetarian version. I love it with chicken, particularly chicken thighs, which I’ve included here for this recipe.

Spicy Chicken Vindaloo - Plated and Read to Eat

How to Make Chicken Vindaloo (Recipe) – The Marinade

The vindaloo marinade is the most important part of this dish, as it imparts an immense amount of flavor that all of us spicy food lovers crave.

Vinegar is a MUST, as is garlic. From there, we’re adding in a number of pungent spices to make this amazing, including paprika, ginger, coriander, turmeric, mustard powder, cumin, cinnamon, and a healthy dose of spicy red chili flakes.

Don’t forget the salt and black pepper to taste.

Vindaloo curry powder in a bowl and on a measuring spoon.

Try this Homemade Vindaloo Seasoning Blend.

Upping the Heat and Spice Factor

For the wild chiliheads like ME, you can use ghost pepper chili flakes like I did. If ghost peppers are too hot for you, use the typical red chili flakes or cayenne pepper that you find in the store, which are perfectly GREAT for this recipe. 

You’ll definitely get plenty of heat with them, and I want this dish to please your personal palate, not mine! So go with a heat level you’re comfortable with.

You can also include a bit of sugar if you’d like, either white or brown sugar. I didn’t use them this time.

Whisk all of the seasonings together with the vinegar, then pour it over the skinless chicken in a bowl. Or, use a plastic bag that you can seal. This is your curry paste. The chicken should be cut into bite sized pieces.

Refrigerate the chicken for at least 1 hour, though you’ll get better results if you let it marinate overnight.

More marinade time = more flavor.

I like to whip this recipe together the night before and let it sit in the refrigerator until dinner time the next evening. It makes for a super quick and easy meal, though yeah, it does require a little bit of forethought.

Fiery Chicken Vindaloo - Served Over Rice

How to Make Chicken Vindaloo (Recipe) – The Method

Making authentic Chicken Vindaloo is simple. First, heat oil in a large skillet to medium high heat.

Next, cook down your onion and chili pepper a few minutes to soften them up. I used spicy serrano peppers here, though you can use milder peppers for a version with less heat.

Next, add the chicken (along with the marinade) and stir. Cook it for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Next, add in the tomato paste and cook stirring a bit, along with about 1/2 cup of water or chicken broth to form a sauce. Fresh diced tomatoes are also a nice addition here.

Let the whole pan simmer about 20 minutes, until the chicken cooks through and the flavors develop. You can let it simmer longer if you’d like.

If the sauce becomes too thick, just stir in a bit more water or broth until it reaches the consistency you prefer. It will thicken in the pan. It should be the consistency of a good gravy.

BOOM! DONE! Better than any Indian restaurant. It’s so deliciously fragrant. I love it. Such a great recipe. Indian food is filled with so much amazing spice and flavor.

For Serving

Serve it up over rice and garnish with some fresh herbs and extra spicy chili flakes. Basmati rice is a nice choice, as is a side of naan bread. Make it rain, my friends!

Spice this baby up! 

If it gets TOO spicy, serve it alongside this Traditional Indian Raita recipe, which is made from spiced yogurt. It has a nice cooling effect.

It really is an amazing dish. Give it a try and let me know how you like this curry recipe. How spicy did you make yours?

Send pics! I’d love to see them. Till next time!!! — Mike H.

Fiery Chicken Vindaloo - Get Yourself a Plate Now

Try Some of My Popular Curry Dish Recipes

Try Some of My Other Popular Chicken Dishes

If you try this recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #ChiliPepperMadness on Instagram so we can take a look. I always love to see all of your spicy inspirations.

Chicken Vindaloo Recipe - A Spicy Indian Curry Dish
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4.86 from 55 votes

Chicken Vindaloo – Recipe

A recipe for the popular spicy Indian dish, this spicy, tangy curry is a quick and easy kitchen staple. My version is wonderfully fiery, though you can easily adjust the heat and spice to your preference.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chicken, curry, recipe, spicy
Servings: 6
Calories: 252kcal


  • 2 pounds chicken thighs chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 serrano peppers chopped (or use Indian peppers if you can obtain them)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoon spicy red chili flakes I used ghost pepper flakes for an EXTRA kick
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

FOR SERVING: Cooked rice, fresh herbs, extra chili flakes


    • Add the chicken to a large bowl.
    • Mix your marinade by whisking together the vinegar and all of the seasonings. Pour it over the chicken and rub it into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Longer is better, such as overnight.
    • Heat a large pan to medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and peppers and cook about 4-5 minutes, until they soften up.
    • Add the chicken along with the marinade and cook another 5 minutes to nicely brown up the pieces.
    • Add the tomato paste and cook another minute, stirring.
    • Add ½ cup of water (or chicken broth for extra flavor) and stir until the mixture thins out and becomes a sauce. You can add more water if needed. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
    • Serve as is or over rice with fresh herbs and sprinkled chili flakes. Make it rain!


    NOTES: This is definitely a hot and spicy dish. Some would say very hot, though you can dial back the heat by using milder chilies and going easy on the red chili flakes. If you're looking for an even HOTTER version, go with habanero peppers, or fiery ghost peppers, which will REALLY heat things up.
    Gluten Free.


    Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 202mg | Potassium: 519mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1055IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2mg

    This recipe is gluten free.

    Chicken Vindaloo - Recipe | #IndianCuisine #Curry #IndianFood #Spicy #SpicyFood