Goan Chicken Vindaloo

Cook Eat WorldAsianGoan Chicken Vindaloo
By Published On: June 16th, 2021

Vindaloo is a fiery Goan chicken curry with a personality to remember. Chilli heat plays its part in this sweet, sour and spicy curry. It’s utterly addictive and simple to make at home.

Chicken cooked with vinegar. spices, garlic and tomato.

One of my favourite Indian curries is the spicy, Goan chicken curry, vindaloo. It's a stalwart member of my 10 Best Chicken Curry Recipes - with its rich, tangy sauce that than delivers big on taste, fragrance and spice. Indian Vindaloo often gets a bad rap because people assume it needs to be liquid gunpowder. But, while indeed, vindaloo is spicy curry - it needn't blow you head off.

What is Vindaloo?

Vindaloo gets its name from the Portuguese, who colonised and ruled over South Western India from 1505. They brought with them a dish "carne de vinha d'alhos", meaning 'meat with wine/vinegar & garlic'. The dish was popular on the Portuguese ships as it was a good way of using sour wine and helped preserve meat. Over time, the dish made its way into the local Indian cuisine, incorporating spices to help create the dish we know as 'Vindaloo' today. It's most often cooked using pork, but my vindaloo recipe uses chicken, which is regularly used too.

Chicken cooked with vinegar. spices, garlic and tomato.

Stuff you'll need

This Goan chicken curry is a simple dish with relatively few ingredients. Here are some of the key flavours - a full recipe is below.

  • Chicken - I like thigh meat best - it stays juicy. Breast will dry out - avoid!
  • Vinegar - coconut vinegar if you can get it, apple cider or white vinegar works too.
  • Spices! - I mix up my chilli powders, using milder Kashmiri chilli for colour, Paprika for more colour and fiery cayenne pepper for heat. You can dial the heat up or down as you wish.
  • Garlic - brings a full, richness to the sauce.
  • Tomatoes add sweetness and colour

A step by step guide

Vindaloo only has a few simple steps. See for yourself how easy this recipe is to make at home.

  1. Mix all the spices with water to create a curry paste
  2. Fry the onion with some whole spices until soft
  3. Add the chicken
  4. Add the tomatoes
  5. Add the vinegar
  6. Simmer for 30-40 minutes until reduced
  7. Serve with rice

So as you see, a delicious Goan chicken curry like Vindaloo is a complex marrying of flavour, but simple to make at home. Once you taste it, you'll see just why it's a contender for curry night, every night!

More delicious Indian recipes

How to make Goan Chicken Vindaloo




Chicken cooked with vinegar. spices, garlic and tomato.

Goan Chicken Vindaloo

Rate this recipe

4.25 from 4 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Recipe by Lee
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Servings (adjustable) 6
Calories (per serving) | 365

Video Recipe


Curry Paste

Other ingredients

  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions (halved and thinly sliced)
  • 1 stem fresh curry leaves (taken off stem)
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2.2 lb (1kg) skinless & boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 ripe tomatoes (blended to pulp) or 1/2 can crushed tomatoes
  • 5 tbsp coconut vinegar (or apple cider/white vinegar)


Spice paste

  • Mix together all the spice paste ingredients with 1/4 cup water and set aside.

The Curry

  • Heat the oil in a large casserole pan or wok over a moderate heat until hot. Add the curry leaves, cloves and cinnamon stick and let them splutter briefly before adding the onion.
  • Cook the onion gently for 10 minutes, stirring regularly until soft and golden.
  • Add the chicken to the pan and stir well. Cook for 5 minutes before adding the spice paste. Stir the paste in well and cook for 2-3 minutes before stirring in around 13oz/400ml water.
    Add the tomatoes and stir well.
  • Let this come to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and let the curry simmer gently 40 minutes with the lid off. In the last 10 minutes, turn up the heat to reduce the sauce til it's thick and creamy, being careful to not let it stick.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar. Pop on the lid and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. I serve mine with lots of fluffy basmati.


Calories: 365kcal (18%) | Carbohydrates: 7.9g (3%) | Protein: 49.7g (99%) | Fat: 13.5g (21%) | Saturated Fat: 3.5g (22%) | Cholesterol: 148mg (49%) | Sodium: 585mg (25%) | Potassium: 635mg (18%) | Fiber: 2.5g (10%) | Sugar: 3.3g (4%)
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Chicken cooked with vinegar. spices, garlic and tomato.

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