Spicy Chicken Vindaloo

By tradition, vindaloos are very spicy so my recipe title is redundant but figured I should include the disclaimer if you’ve never experienced a vindaloo dish. Yes, there are quite a few ingredients in this dish, but don’t let that stop you from making this highly flavorful curry. The actual process of making this dish is easy!

I’ve broken down the process into 4 easy steps: prep, marinate, cook the base, make the sauce, temper, and done! That’s it! Enjoy this spicy, savory meal with some red rice, moru curry, and pappadam.

If you decide to make this tag me @thefoodiecutie on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter or comment below with how this turns out for you 🙂IMG_4412


  • Chicken Thighs, 2-3lbs, with bone (you can use boneless chicken or other meat)
  • Lemon Juice, juice of 1 lemon


  • Yogurt, ¼ cup (preferably dahi yogurt)
  • Raw Cashews, ½ cup
  • Ginger, 1 inch, minched
  • Garlic, 8 cloves, minced
  • Green Chilis, 2, chopped
  • Cloves, 8
  • Black Cardamom, 2 pods
  • Star Anise, 2
  • Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Methi Leaves), 1 tbsp
  • Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala, 1 tsp
  • Turmeric, 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chili Powder, 1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder, 2 tsp
  • Black Salt, 1 tsp
  • Salt, 1 tbsp
  • Ghee, 2 tbsp, melted


  • Ghee, 3 tbsp
  • Onion, 1, thinly sliced
  • Ginger, 1 inch, minced
  • Turmeric, ½ tsp
  • Coriander, 1 tsp
  • Red Chili Powder, 1 tsp
  • Tomato Paste, 1 tbsp
  • Tomato, 1, medium dice (I use roma)
  • Vinegar, 1 tbsp
  • Tamarind Paste, 1 tbsp
  • Coconut Milk, ½ cup (you can use heavy cream or regular milk as subs)
  • Warm Water, ½ cup
  • Garam Masala, 1 tsp
  • Dry Mango Powder (Amchur), 1 tsp
  • Fresh Cilantro, ½ cup, chopped


  • Ghee, 1 tbsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 2 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp


Prep. Start by cleaning your chicken thighs. I removed the top layer of fat and then cut the meaty edges off the bone leaving some meat on the bone then cubing up the cut off portions. This way I have a mix of boneless and bone-in chicken. Keeping the bone also gives more flavor to your overall dish.

Marinate. In a large mixing bowl, squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the chicken. To make the marinade, blend all of the ingredients under “marinade” in a blender until smooth. Pour this mixture over the chicken along with the melted ghee. Mix this well and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.

The Base. Now to start the base for the sauce. In a deep skillet or dutch oven, heat up 3 tbsp of ghee. Once hot, add in the onions and saute until they become soft/lightly golden. Add in the ginger and cook until soft. All at once, add in the turmeric, coriander, and red chili powder. Quickly add the tomato paste, fresh tomatoes, vinegar, and tamarind to avoid burning the spices. Let the tomatoes cook until soft then mash them down.

The Sauce. Add in the marinated chicken and cover on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes to allow the chicken to cook and the sauce to form. After the chicken has cooked, pour in the coconut milk and warm water. Mix evenly and let this cook for 2-3 minutes to allow it to incorporate and thicken the sauce. Add in the garam masala and dried mango powder and mix.

Tempering. In a small skillet, add the ghee. Once melted and hot, add the cumin and mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds pop, turn off the heat. Pour this into the vindaloo. Flavor trick: put about a 1/2 cup of the sauce in the tempering skillet and swirl it around to pick up any last bits of spices then pour it back into the vindaloo. Sprinkle in fresh cilantro, check for salt, and done!




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