The tangy, spicy blend of vinegar and Indian curry spices in Vindaloo is sure to satisfy and it's made without a pre-made paste or sauce mix.

Chicken Vindaloo

  • Author: Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


The tangy, spicy blend of vinegar and Indian curry spices in Vindaloo is sure to satisfy and it’s made without a pre-made paste or sauce mix. Adjust the spice level from milk to XXX hot by increasing the extra hot chili pepper powder.



  • 1 to 1-1/2 lbs boneless, skinness chicken (light or dark) cut into 1/2″ inch pieces

Spice Marinade:

  • 1 onion, diced fine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar or white wine vinegar – Heinz has a gluten-free variety.
  • 1/2 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons extra hot chili pepper powder [Note 1]
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, about 2 inches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  1. Place cubed or thinly sliced chicken pieces into a glass bowl or zip top bag and set aside.
  2. Add all the ingredients needed for the marinade and stir to combine.
  3. Pour the marinade mixture over the chicken and toss well to evenly coat all the chicken pieces. Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours. [See Note 2]
  4. In a large and deep skillet or wok heat the oil over medium heat. Add the marinated chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes. Stirring often.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of water, simmer UNCOVERED on low for 7-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through to 165°F.
  6. If you prefer little thinner gravy add water as need and let it simmer for another 4-5 minutes before serving. I prefer the gravy to be thick and sticking to the meat pieces.
  7. Serve hot.


  1. Extra Hot Chili Pepper Powder is sold in the Indian grocery. It may also be sold in World Market. It is similar to cayenne pepper and cayenne may be substituted for the Extra Hot Chili Pepper Powder.
    1. To increase the heat from this milder version of vindaloo, simply add more Extra Hot Chili powder until you hit an acceptable spice level. We start with a milder dish for those afraid of the heat and increase the heat (after their servings are taken) to XX or XXX hot for the spicy food lovers.
    2. If the dish becomes too spicy, you can add some more vinegar or some sugar to balance it out.
  2. The longer the marination the more tender the chicken. That being said, I’ve made this dish with near no marination and a super thin cut on the meat and it’s still amazing.
    1. For a super thin cut on the chicken meat, partially freeze the chicken (about 20 minutes) and then slice thin.

Nutrition is calculated based on the recipe as written. Additions, omissions, or substitutions will change the calculated values shown. The addition, omission, or substitution of ingredients will alter the nutritional information shown. Nutrition percentages are based on a 2000-calorie diet. The FDA recommends 80 micrograms of vitamin K.

  • Category: Main
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: indian, chicken, vindaloo, easy, dairy free