chicken vindaloo – restaurant style

Chicken vindaloo is on every Indian restaurant menu because it’s seriously delicious. And you can make it just like restaurants do. At home.

It’s popular for a reason. It’s a perfect balance of hot and savoury. A little sour. With just a hint of sweet. Good eating for all curry lovers.

Vindaloo is a Goan dish

If you are looking for authentic, this is not it. Vindaloo comes from Goa. It’s a pork curry. Maybe the only famous pork curry. Heavily influenced by the Portuguese.

The Portuguese sailors came with preserved pork and garlic in red wine. The Indians took that and ran with it. And came up with something magic.

The Portuguese also brought chilies with them. All I have to say about that is “Thank you Portugal”.

Chicken vindaloo, dal and vegetable curry from above.

This chicken vindaloo is the restaurant style version

Fast forward about 500 years. Restaurants in the UK started serving up a curry dish that had a hot and sour tang.

Chicken vindaloo just like they make in Indian restaurants.

Not sure it really shares much else with the authentic version. But it’s what is called vindaloo now. Outside of India anyway. It goes from spicy to insane depending where you order it.

Serving chicken vindaloo from a metal bowl. Dal and vegetable curry in the background.

Flavour first, fire second

I’m a believer that a good curry needs to have rounded flavours. Most everything on this blog is medium spicy. Sometimes hot but rarely blazing.

I want balance. Flavour is always job one. Never hot for the sake of hot. It’s not hard to make a spicy curry. Just add more chili. Tasty is more challenging. But it’s more important too. Make this as hot as you want. But focus on flavour first.

Chicken vindaloo starts with a paste

I’ve been tinkering with vindaloo for years. Pretty pleased with my version even. But I couldn’t quite get the depth of flavour I wanted.

So I started asking questions at my favourite local Indian restaurants. And they all said the same thing. “We make a paste”. So I started messing around with pastes.

It was when I got going on the laal maas recipe that it snapped into focus. Rehydrated chilies. Not chili powder. Fried in oil to round out the flavours. Like Mexican cooking. And it worked. It worked well. So now this is my go to chicken vindaloo. Using this vindaloo paste.

Chicken vindaloo in a metal bowl from above.

This is restaurant style cooking

Restaurant style cooking means you are making it the same way they do. Same techniques. Same ingredients. It’s different from homestyle.

So if you haven’t done this before it is a good idea to have a read of this primer to cooking Indian restaurant style. It’s worth the time.

Chicken vindaloo with vindaloo paste. Restaurant style. Took me forever to figure it out. Now I know. And so do you.

Chicken vindaloo with dried chili garnish in a metal bowl from the front.
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4.95 from 17 votes

chicken vindaloo – restaurant style

Vindaloo paste makes this a well rounded, flavourful curry.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword chicken vindaloo, indian chicken curry, vindaloo paste
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 412kcal
Author romain | glebekitchen


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 dried kashmiri chilies
  • 1 tsp Indian restaurant spice mix – recipe link below
  • 1 tsp kasoor methi – dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup vindaloo paste
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste diluted in 2 tbsp water
  • 15 oz curry base – recipe link in the notes
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 12 oz chicken pre-cooked


  • Combine the Indian restaurant spice mix, kasoor methi and salt in a small bowl. Preheat your curry base. Dilute the tomato paste.
  • Heat your frying pan (don’t use non-stick) briefly over medium heat. Add the oil. It’s ready when the oil starts to shimmer.
  • Add the Kashmiri chilies and cook for about 10 seconds. Flip them and cook another 10 seconds.
  • Turn down the heat and add the spice mix, kasoor methi and salt. This is the critical step. Stir it constantly for 30 seconds. If it starts to darken lift the pan off the heat. You want the spice mix to cook in the oil but not burn.
  • Add the vindaloo paste. Fry, stirring constantly, until it starts to darken. This should take about 2 minutes.
  • Turn the heat up to medium high. This is important. The heat is what makes the onion base work. It gives the dish its Indian restaurant flavour. Add the diluted tomato paste and stir until bubbles form. This takes around 30 seconds to one minute depending on the heat.
  • Add 3 oz of curry base. Stir until bubbles form (little craters really), around 30 seconds. It's like a lively boil. Watch the video to see what I mean…
  • Now add 6 oz of curry base and stir briefly. Let it cook until the bubbles form again. Let it cook about 2 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the curry base and let cook until the bubbles form. Stir in the tamarind paste. Turn the heat down to low and add the pre-cooked chicken. 
  • Let the curry simmer for about 5 minutes. If it gets too thick add a bit more curry base. Do not add water.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice or Indian flat bread.


It’s easy to make a great vindaloo paste.
Here’s how to make Indian restaurant spice mix.
Curry base is a key ingredient in Indian restaurant style cooking.
To pre-cook your chicken cut up your chicken thighs into big bite size pieces,  combine a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of restaurant spice mix or curry powder and enough chicken stock to cover the chicken in a saucepan and simmer until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 170F or is cooked to your liking.


Serving: 2servings | Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 712mg | Potassium: 359mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1085IU | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1.5mg

46 thoughts on “chicken vindaloo – restaurant style”

  1. Hey! I love your recipes and your posts, thanks so much for teaching us 🙂 One point of feedback: it’s great that you added the metric data, but it’d be nice if you keep the teaspoons and tablespoons the same! As far as I know, us metric users use tea- and tablespoons too 😉

    • I get mixed feedback on the mighty teaspoon from the metric folks. I like teaspoons myself – fast and that’s exactly how these recipes are developed. I’ll try to figure out a way to make it so people can flip back and forth but I’m not sure it will work…

  2. 5 stars
    Hi, I was going to try your recipe but I was wondering what “pre-cooked chicken” is or how I should pre-cook it. Can you help me with that? Thank you so much

  3. 4 stars
    Only gave this 4 stars because of a mistake I made, I think. I cooked this for 6 and changed the measurements to metric (I’m in the UK). I sussed that 15ml of fenugreek isn’t the same as 3 US teaspoons, as 15ml of fenugreek is a massive amount. I altered that but think I used too much Tamarind as that is the predominant taste, or is it supposed to taste that way?

    • Not sure where the fenugreek leaves went wrong. 3 tsp (Canadian BTW:-) is 15 ml. Are your leaves ground? That would be a lot. Kasoori methi are small leaves here and while I have never tried tripling this recipe (and often recommend against it because trying to fry a litre of gravy is really, really hard) the fenugreek shouldn’t be overpowering. 1 tsp uncrumbled.

      Similarly the tamarind (to my palate) is balanced when I make this recipe. I don’t see why tripling would drive the profile that far out of whack. Recipe scaling is tricky but in the 1-3 times range it shouldn’t be that out of line.

  4. Thanks for this ! Great flavours here and vindaloo is my go to dish in most restaurants/take always as it’s such a unique curry. As with a could of others here, I’ll look to spice it up a bit more next time. Think I also added a little too much tamarind ! Wondering about a bit more vinegar too..for my taste at least. Loving the authentic restaurant texture, and combined with your quick chicken tikka ! 😄

    • Glad you enjoyed it. I spice to medium heat on this blog. A little extra hot chili powder in with the rest of the spices will heat things up without altering the flavour profile. A little naga pickle is nice as well but that will alter the flavour profile to taste of naga of course.

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I feel like I’ve been given secret knowledge that was not meant for a mere mortal such as I.

    I tried another vindaloo recipe before, and this one is much better. It makes the other recipe look like a joke. This is probably the best vindaloo recipe on the internet.

    Instant subscription from me.

    • Awesome to hear. It was intended for you and everyone else that wants to know:-).

      Hope you try a few more recipes and you like them as much!

  6. 5 stars
    As always Romain, awesome! Just made this for the first time and my son and myself thoroughly enjoyed it. No variations except doubling up on the salt. I use Himalayan and have found that it needs extra in many recipes. Thankyou 👍🏻

  7. 5 stars
    Always loved a good Vindaloo and this is no exception, being more about the Vindaloo taste rather than mad heat (although I do like to crank the chillies up a little).
    Go easy on the tamarind concentrate though, too much will ruin it. I learned that on my first go at this!

    • I tend to spice the curries on glebekitchen for the general palate. I am guilty of cranking up the chilies when cooking for myself as well.

      And anyone reading take note of the comment about tamarind concentrate. More is not always better…

  8. 5 stars
    Hi Romain,

    thank you for sharing this fabulous recipes. I like them very much.
    Do you have any idea for a restaurant style Naan?


  9. Am I the only one who can’t find what is the ‘curry base’ in this recipe? I must have missed something. What are the ingredients in the curry base? I just stumbled upon your website, and it looks great.

    • Apologies for that. I usually include a link in all my restaurant style curries but somehow I missed it here. Thanks for pointing that out!

      And thank you for the kind words about the site.

  10. 5 stars
    This has become of our fave recipes and tend to cook it at least once a week!
    Have friends over this coming weekend and thought I’d share your amazing curry with them … slight fly in the ointment is they’re vegetarian so wondered if potatoes, cauliflower and green beans would work in place of meat? Similar weight to the chicken etc?

    • It’s one of my favourites too. Potatoes and cauliflower I see working. Not so sure about the flavour of the beans. Chickpeas would work really well if you fancy that…

  11. Hi Romain,

    Fantastic recipes. I’ve already made your tikka masala with your curry base and it was superb. Even my wife ate some of it and she’s the pickiest eater in the world. I was shocked.

    For this recipe, I would like to sub the chicken with paneer. Is there any marinade you would recommend to use for it, or just bake the paneer in the oven first without it coated with anything and then just add it to the vindaloo? Cheers!

    • I’ve never tried it but a tikka/tandoori marinade might be nice. Or you could try a touch of the vindaloo paste maybe? Plain will work though. No shortage of flavour in this particular curry.

  12. 5 stars
    Hi there Romain,

    thank you for sharing these inspiring recipes. Today i made a large pan of your base gravy, in order to make this vindaloo recipe. I followed the recipe closely, except for that I added a green bell pepper, a spring onion and one ounce of carrot. These were leftover veggies and i reckoned it wouldn´t hurt adding them to the gravy.

    Your vindaloo paste recipe is absolutely fantastic, it´s so aromatic! I use it as a guideline, couldn´t help giving it my own little twist. For example, i added 2 cloves and 1 small piece of mace to the dry spice mix ingredients, which i toasted in a dry pan before being ground with pestle and mortar.

    And instead of malt vinegar, i used rice vinegar. For some more complexity in de the dish, a small teaspoon of matured Shanxi vinegar was also added to the paste. As well as a tablespoon of tamarind juice.

    Unfortunately, i couldn´t find whole Kashmiri chillies at our Asian supermarket. So i use whole dried Szechuan chillies instead, and as a substitute for the paprika powder, i use Kashmiri chili powder.

    Will be trying some more of your restaurant style recipes the next few days!!!

  13. Hi there, do you season the chicken in any way as per your Kahari curry. If you do, I am going to sous vide my chicken with a sprinkle of curry powder on it.. if not, will sous vide without. Thanks

    P.S. the vindaloo paste tastes terrific

    • I do but I don’t bother with sous vide for chicken for curry. Just toss in in some stock with curry powder and simmer until almost done. I have tried sous vide with lamb but I actually prefer the texture just simmered in flavoured stock.

  14. Hi Romain I’ve been trying to find a recipe for a restaurant style vindaloo for years. ive tried so many different recipes over the years and none of them have came close. But your recipe is the one absolutely bursting with flavour. I am gonna add some chilli powder next time as I like it a bit hotter and gonna add a bit of potatoe to it. But making it hotter is the easy part. Getting the flavour like you have is the hard part. Thank you do much for the recipe. I cant wait to try some of your other Indian recipes

    • Took me a long time to get this one down as well. Glad you liked it. Potato sounds like a great addition.

  15. 5 stars
    Wow. I have been searching for this vindaloo flavour for years. Had it in a restaurant and was blown away. Thank you for recreating it,i loved it. The one I had had a smoky flavour and I think a bit of hot smoked paprika in this will just complete that memory for me. Thanks again.

    • Haha. I’ve been looking for it for a long time too! Glad you liked it. I’m going to try your smoked paprika idea. That’s the second time somebody has suggested it.

  16. 5 stars
    Hey Romain
    Tried this one out Saturday evening…fabulous curry! Great flavours and a fab thick sauce. Would’ve liked it just a little hotter, without overpowering the flavours what would you advise chilli wise to add that extra little zing?

    • Glad you liked it Andy! You could add a tsp of a hot Indian chili powder to the pan along with the kasoor methi and spice mix just before you add the vindaloo paste. You want to cook it a bit to lose any “raw” chili flavour though.

    • 5 stars
      Hi Romain … another Vindaloo cooked up this evening … added a touch of chilli powder as you suggested and hey bingo! Perfect … succulent sauce, fab flavours and a bit of a kick!

    • Awesome to hear Andy! I tend to post the recipes to be medium hot so people don’t wind up cooking something they can’t eat but a little extra chili powder works well when you want that little extra pop.

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