Indian Chicken Vindaloo

6 Servings
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes

Indian Chicken Vindaloo is made wonderfully spicy and tangy with ginger, cumin, cardamom, garam masala, and brown sugar in a rich sauce.

This authentic and flavorful dish makes a filling and delicious Weeknight Meal. For more amazing Indian food that you can make easily yourself, try Slow Cooker Butter Chicken or Chicken Korma.

Indian Chicken Vindaloo on serving plate with rice and naan

Chicken Vindaloo is an Indian dish with some Portuguese influence. You can find the amazing dish on most Indian restaurant menus. However, with this simple recipe you can get Classic Indian Chicken Vindaloo from the comfort of your home with just a few easy cooking instructions. 

Chicken Vindaloo has the perfect balance of heat and tangy flavor. You can make this curry dish with common spices found in a lot of Indian cuisine like cumin, cardamom, turmeric, pepper flakes, and more. Then it gets an amazing tangy flavor from the authentic vindaloo paste made with tomato sauce and vinegar. 

More Indian Recipes

Classic Vindaloo Curry tastes amazing served over a bed of plain rice. You can enjoy the Indian Chicken Vindaloo recipe with white rice, Brown Rice, or for an authentic version with lots of flavors use Basmati Rice

Key Ingredients

  • Chicken: Boneless chicken breast work perfectly for this Indian Vindaloo Chicken because they do a great job soaking up the flavor around them and turn out perfectly tender. 
  • Spice Blend: This recipe has such an amazing spice flavor. With a blend of ginger, garlic, cumin, cardamom, turmeric, garam masala, red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, peppercorn, and cloves the chicken is seasoned perfectly. 
  • Brown Sugar: To make sure the heat isn’t overpowering, brown sugar is mixed in to balance out the flavors with some rich sweetness. 
  • Vindaloo Sauce: The spices are all blended into a smooth paste with tomato sauce and vinegar. Then you just marinate the chicken in the mixture. It absorbs a warm, spiced flavor from the spices and a tangy flavor from the vinegar and tomato sauce. 
Indian Chicken Vindaloo collage

Frequently Asked Questions About Chicken Vindaloo

Where does the name “Chicken Vindaloo” come from?

The name of this dish goes back to its influence from Portugal. An old, very popular Portuguese dish with quite a similar name is called “carne de vinha d’alhos”. It is meat cooked in a garlic marinade. It’s likely the influence came to India with the Portuguese explorers and that is where the name came from.

How is Chicken Vindaloo different from Chicken Curry?

Chicken Vindaloo is a spicier, more complex dish than Chicken Curry. Vindaloo also has vinegar in it, which adds a punch to the spiciness.

How spicy is Chicken Vindaloo?

Typically considered one of the spiciest curries, Chicken Vindaloo has a high heat level. It is a great choice if you can tolerate lots of spicy flavor as the unique combination of flavors in this dish are truly a spicy delight.

How to Make Indian Chicken Vindaloo

  • Prep Time: If the boneless chicken breast is frozen, take it out of the freezer and let it defrost in the fridge. Once it’s thawed, slice it into bite-size cubes. 
  • Marinate: Add the tomato sauce, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, cumin, cardamom, turmeric, garam masala, crushed pepper flakes, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, salt, and cloves to your food processor. Then blend until the seeds and peppercorns blend into the mixture. Slowly add a stream of vinegar, until it’s combined into a smooth paste. Then pour the mixture into a zip lock bag or large container with the chicken pieces. Then let the chicken marinate in the spice mixture for 1 hour. 
  • Cooking Time: Add vegetable oil to a large skillet and set the heat to medium. Then add the onions, and stir until they’re coated in the oil. Cook for 5-6 minutes until softened. After that, pour the chicken and chicken vindaloo sauce into the pan with the caramelized onions. Then pour in the chicken broth, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and continue to cook the chicken for 25-30 minutes.
  • Serve: Once the sauce has thickened, remove the skillet from heat and garnish the Indian Chicken Vindaloo with cilantro. 
Indian Chicken Vindaloo collage

Variations on Indian Chicken Vindaloo

  • Meat: We’ve made this recipe with chicken meat, but you can always try a different choice of meat. Turkey or pork would taste quite delicious. Just make sure you check the temperature of whatever meat you choose before serving. That way, you can make sure it’s at a safe temperature and adjust the cooking time accordingly. 
  • Vegetable: Delicious onions flavor this chicken recipe. If you want to add more of a vegetable mixture, pick out some of your favorites to cook up along with the chicken. Broccoli, zucchini, or carrots would all make great additions. Make sure to chop them into fairly small pieces. Then add the vegetable mixture after cooking the onions. 
  • Spices: You can also experiment with the spice level by adding different seasonings. Try adding coriander seeds, chili peppers, or cayenne pepper to the food processor. Then blend them into the Vindaloo paste.
  • Creamy Chicken Vindaloo: If you want to make Indian Chicken Vindaloo into a more creamy dish, you can add coconut milk. Simply mix coconut in with the vindaloo paste at the same time you add the chicken broth. Just remember, you’ll need to cut back on the amount of chicken broth, based on how much coconut milk you add. Then let the ingredients simmer until the creamy sauce is thickened. 
Indian Chicken Vindaloo in cooking pan

Chicken Recipes

How to Store Indian Chicken Vindaloo

  • Serve: Don’t leave Chicken Vindaloo at room temperature for more than 2 hours. After that, you’ll need to store the leftovers. 
  • Store: Sealed in airtight containers, the chicken can stay good for 2-3 days in the fridge. Then you can reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave to serve. 
  • Freeze: Make sure to let the recipe completely cool before you seal it to store in the freezer. It will stay good for up to 3 months. 
Indian Chicken Vindaloo and naan in hand

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Indian Chicken Vindaloo

Indian Chicken Vindaloo is made wonderfully spicy and tangy with ginger, cumin, cardamom, garam masala, and brown sugar in a rich sauce.
Yield 6 Servings
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger , minced
  • 1 teaspoons brown sugar , packed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 chicken breasts , cut into 2" chunks
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion , thinly sliced
  • cilantro , minced for garnish


  • In a food processor, add the tomato sauce, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, cumin, cardamom, turmeric, garam masala, crushed red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, salt, and cloves.
  • Puree until the seeds and peppercorns have disappeared into the mixture, then add in the vinegar in a slow stream until smooth.
  • Marinate the chicken in the spice mixture for 1 hour.
  • Add the vegetable oil to a large heavy skillet on medium heat.
  • Add the onions, stir well to coat and cook for 5-6 minutes until softened.
  • Add in the chicken and spice mixture, along with chicken broth.
  • Stir well to combine, then bring to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes until sauce has thickened.
  • Garnish with cilantro before serving.



Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 577mg | Potassium: 554mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 191IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Indian Chicken Vindaloo
Indian Chicken Vindaloo collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Hi, Sabrina! Our family loves you and all your amazing recipes. You literally enrich our lives. Thank you!! Quick question: Will recipe still turn out well if chicken marinated for up to 8 hours or perhaps even longer? Again, thanks!!

    1. 2 cups…yikes thanks for bringing this to my attention. Fixed the recipe and truly appreciate you taking the time to reach out and let us know Ellie.

  2. I would like to sub the meat (as suggested) and therefore wonder, what is the approximate total weight of the chicken breasts in the recipe?

    1. As a rule of thumb, you’ll get about 2 to 3 chicken breasts to the pound. But it really depends on how big they are. One pound roughly equals 454 g.