This spicy lamb vindaloo recipe is a traditional curry from the Goan region of India. Made with a paste of spices, dried chilis, and vinegar, this restaurant-style Indian recipe is incredibly easy to make at home.
Without much effort, and no hard to find ingredients, lamb vindaloo is great Indian recipe for home chefs. Loads of flavor, not much work. Naturally gluten and dairy free, this curry recipe will definitely be on your make again list.
This lamb vindaloo recipe can be meal prepped in advanced, allowing 24 hours to marinate the meat and cooked the next day. While it does take about 50 minutes to cook, most of that time is hands off.
Please read the entire post for tips and tricks to ensure a perfect recipe every time. And don't forget to tag @peelwithzeal on Instagram so we can admire your creation!
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🍲What is a Vindaloo Curry?
Vindaloo is a spicy Goan curry dish made with vinegar and hot chili peppers. Vindaloo is known for its spicy flavor, it is one of the hottest of all Indian curries. Traditionally made with pork, Vindaloo curries can be made with lamb, goat, chicken or tofu.
Goan chefs originally adapted a garlic preserved meat dish made by Portuguese sailors and put their own Indian twist on it. There are two key elements to a good lamb vindaloo. The first is soaking the dried chilis in vinegar and the second is making the Vindaloo paste the meat will marinate in.
🧾Ingredients and Substitutions
For this recipe, you will need just a few basic ingredients plus the homemade vindaloo paste. This vindaloo paste can be used for any vindaloo curry including chicken, beef, or goat/ mutton.
- Lamb stew meat or a boneless leg of lamb or shoulder meat cut into 2 inch pieces
- Ghee is traditional but you can also use olive oil
- Onion, white or yellow
- New potatoes or another small round potato
- Chicken stock
Homemade Vindaloo Paste
- Dried chiles de árbol
- Distilled white vinegar
- Fresh ginger
- Garam masala
- Ground mustard
- Kosher salt
- Coconut sugar, or granulated
- Ground clove
Don't let the number of ingredients in the paste foul you. It comes together in just minutes.
⏲️How to Make Lamb Vindaloo
The first step of making a vindaloo curry to to make the paste which will be used to marinate the vegetables.
Make the Vindaloo Paste
Start by soaking the dried chilis in a mixture of hot water and vinegar for 20 to 30 minutes. Just enough to soften them up. Once softened you will drain the chilis and add them to a small food processor or blender.
Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, the fresh ingredients (onion, garlic, ginger), and the dried spices and salt. Puree until smooth.
Marinate the Lamb
Split the paste into two parts, one part should be covered and stored in the fridge until it is time to make the curry.
Rub the other half of the vindaloo curry paste into the lamb pieces, cover and chill in the fridge for a a minimum of 4 hours. The lamb can be marinated overnight, up to 24 hours.
Make the Vindaloo Curry
Melt the ghee, or other oil, in a large pan over medium heat. First, we will carmelize the onions. To carmelize, add the onions to the pan stirring occasionally until they are nicely golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Add the remaining vindaloo paste and stir to coat the onions. Then add the lamb, along with all the marinade, and cook until browned.
Next we add the potatoes and stir to combine. Pour in the chicken stock and crushed tomatoes. Bring the curry to a simmer. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes. The lamb should be extremely tender.
Serve over rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.
🌡️How to Store Leftovers
Leftover lamb vindaloo can be stored tightly covered in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Or frozen for up to 2 months.
🥘Tips and Tricks
- I typically use canned crushed tomatoes for this recipe. But if you prefer you can use fresh tomatoes chopped up.
- To reduce the spiciness of the dish you can use fewer chilis.
- Got it too hot? No worries! Add coconut milk to reduce the impact of the spice. While not traditional, some variations of Vindaloo curries do contain coconut milk in the recipe.
- The potatoes can be omitted. There is a lot of debate whether potatoes are authentic to the dish. Authentic or not, I love how they soak up all the flavors of the Vindaloo paste. The potatoes become spicy little flavor bombs.
- Want to make it low-carb? Omit the potatoes and serve over cauliflower rice.
- You can substitute virtually any meat for the lamb. Pork, beef, chicken thighs, prawns, or vegetables.
🥗What to Serve with Lamb Vindaloo
Lamb Vindaloo can be served with traditional basmati rice, naan, riata, and even a mango lassi. If you want to change it up try our unleavened flatbreads and sauteed greens. Both make excellent pairings.
- Soak the dried chiles in ¼ cup hot water mixed with ¼ cup of vinegar until soft, about 20 minutes.
- Drain the chilis. Add to a blender or small food processor along with the additional vinegar and the remaining paste ingredients. Puree until smooth.
- Rub half the vindaloo curry paste into the lamb pieces, cover and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Up to 24 hours. Cover the remaining paste and store it in the fridge.
- Melt the ghee in a large pan. Add onions, and cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the remaining vindaloo paste and stir to coat.
- Add the lamb, along with all the marinade, and cook until browned. Add the potatoes and stir to combine.
- Add the stock and tomatoes to the pan. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the lamb is tender.
- Serve over rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.
- Leftover vindaloo can be stored, covered, in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.