Chicken Vindaloo | The Recipe Critic


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If you’ve never had Chicken Vindaloo, you’re in for a treat! This classic Indian dish is made with chunks of marinated chicken and tender potatoes simmered in a tangy, flavorful, and perfectly spiced broth. Serve over fluffy white rice with Perfect Naan Bread for an irresistible, comforting meal! Instant Pot instructions included!

If you’re a fan of Indian food, be sure to check out my recipe for Butter Chicken, this Coconut Curry Chicken, and Tandoori Chicken.

A serving of chicken vindaloo and white rice in a black bowl.

What is Chicken Vindaloo?

This Chicken Vindaloo is packed with flavor and a subtle kick of spice, thanks to the Kashmiri chili powder. This type of chili powder is common in Indian cooking and has a milder taste than regular chili powder, but infuses a richer color into dishes. As written, this restaurant-worthy meal is mildly spiced, and you can increase or decrease the heat level to fit your preference.

Start the recipe by marinating the chicken in a combination of warm spices for at least 30 minutes to really pack in the flavor. Then, sauté it with the potatoes and the sauce before simmering it for about 30 minutes with broth. When it’s done cooking, it will be super tender, juicy and saucy. You will have everyone wanting to come back for seconds! 

Ingredient List

The ingredients in this chicken vindaloo recipe are really quite simple. Other than the Kashmiri chili powder, you probably have all of the seasonings and spices in your pantry. Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Chicken: Use boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 2-inch pieces.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Gives the marinade a slightly tangy flavor with a bit of sweetness, too, that’s a nice balance to the warm spices!
  • Garlic: Adds the perfect punch of savory flavor.
  • Spices: A blend of Kashmiri chili powder, cumin, coriander, ground black pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and salt adds the best warm, smoky flavor to the meal.
  • Ghee: A type of clarified butter that is popular in the culinary traditions of the Middle East and India.
  • Red Onion: Sauté finely diced red onion to add a zesty flavor.
  • Potatoes: Buttery and rich, yellow potatoes soak in all of the delicious sauce and make this dish extra satisfying.
  • Chicken Broth: Gives the marinade extra sauciness to finish the dish.
  • Rice and Cilantro: For a complete meal, serve chicken over rice with naan, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

How to Make Chicken Vindaloo

I love Indian takeout, but when you make chicken vindaloo at home, it just tastes so fresh and you can control all of the ingredients! It’s surprisingly easy too! Here’s how:

  1. Marinade the Chicken: Place the diced chicken into a large ziploc bag, or sealable container along with the apple cider vinegar, garlic, 1 tablespoon kashmiri chili powder, cumin, coriander, pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 12 hours in the fridge.
  2. Sauté the Onion: Heat a large, heavy bottom pot on the stove over medium high heat. Then add the ghee and onion. Sauté the onion until it is transparent.
  3. Combine Potatoes and Chicken: To the pot add the potatoes and marinated chicken, along with all the marinade and additional 1 tablespoon Kashmiri chili powder. Then sauté everything together for about 5 minutes.
  4. Simmer: Reduce the heat to medium and add chicken stock, then stir and cover. Allow everything to cook for 25-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are fork tender.
  5. Serve: Remove the vindaloo from heat. Then serve over rice, garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

Make in the Instant Pot

  1. Season the Chicken: Marinade chicken just the same. Turn the instant pot to sauté and sauté the ghee with the onions until the onions are transparent.
  2. Combine Ingredients: Add in the chicken with the marinade, potatoes, additional Kashmiri chili powder, and potatoes.
  3. Cook: Set the instant pot to pressure cook and seal the vent. Pressure cook for 5 minutes and do a natural pressure release.
  4. Serve: Enjoy chicken vindaloo over rice with a cilantro garnish.
4-photo collage of the chicken being marinated and the curry being prepared.

Tips and Variations

Making chicken vindaloo is simple and straightforward, but here are some tips and variations, so it’s perfect every time you make it.

  • Chili Powder: If you can’t find the Kashmiri chili powder, regular chili powder works as a great substitute.
  • Heat Level: This particular recipe for chicken vindaloo isn’t overly spicy, however if you’re sensitive to spice, you can decrease the extra 1 tablespoon Kashmiri chili powder added to the sautéing chicken and potatoes to about 1/2 tablespoon or omit completely.
  • Using Ghee: You can find ghee near cooking oils at the grocery store. If you’d prefer to use butter, that will work fine, we just really love the slightly roasted, nutty taste that ghee adds to the dish. 
  • Make It Spicier: If you want to really kick up the heat in your chicken vindaloo, add cayenne pepper to the spice mix.

Top-down view of chicken vindaloo in a blue and white pot.

Storing Leftover Chicken Vindaloo

This chicken vindaloo is great leftover! I love making a big batch to enjoy throughout the week.

  • In the Refrigerator: Place leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, and they will last for up to 4 days.
  • In the Freezer: To freeze, place it in a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze it for up to 3 months.
  • How to Reheat: For best results, reheat the chicken on the stove. Reheating it in the microwave can make the chicken rubbery and overcooked. Place leftovers in a pan on the stovetop and heat on medium heat, stirring often, till heated through.

A serving of chicken curry with rice and naan.

More Spiced Chicken Recipes to Try

If you’re looking more chicken dishes with a slight kick of heat, here are some more favorites! They’re all super easy to prepare and packed with incredible flavor!

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  • Marinade the chicken, place the diced chicken into a large ziploc bag, or sealable container along with the apple cider vinegar, garlic, 1 tablespoon Kashmiri chili powder, cumin, coriander, pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 12 hours in the fridge.

  • Heat a large, heavy bottom pot on the stove over medium high heat. Add the ghee and onion. Sauté the onion until it is transparent.

  • To the pot add the potatoes and marinated chicken, along with all the marinade and additional 1 tablespoon Kashmiri chili powder. Sauté everything together for about 5 minutes.

  • Reduce the heat to medium and add chicken stock, stir and cover. Allow everything to cook for 25-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are fork tender.

  • Remove the vindaloo from heat and serve over rice, garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

Serving: 1servingCalories: 234kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 26gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 537mgPotassium: 696mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 46IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 28mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.





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