Chicken Vindaloo

I love vindaloo, nice and spicy, yet not so hot that you can’t taste the wonderful flavours. The original recipe is made for pork, but it works equally ready with chicken. This recipe is adapted from “The food of India” by Priya Wickramasinghe and Carol Selva Rajah.

Preparation time
3h 30m
Cooking time


  • 1kg bone in chicken
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 4 dried chiles
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 10 cm cinnamon stick (roughly broken)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 4 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion finely sliced
  • 10 garlic cloves finely sliced
  • 5cm piece of ginger cut into matchsticks
  • 3 ripe tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 4 green chiles chopped
  • 1 teaspoon soft brown sugar



Trim away excess fat from chicken, remove the bone and cut into 2.5cm cubes. Reserve the bones.

Split open the cardamom pods and remove the seeds. Finely grind the cardamom seeds, peppercorns, dried chiles, cloves, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, turmeric, coriander seeds, and fenugreek seeds in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.

In a large bowl mix the ground spices together with the vinegars, add the chicken and mix thoroughly to coat well. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 3 hours.

Heat the oil in a casserole over a low heat and fry the onion until lightly browned. Add the garlic, ginger, tomato and chili and stir well. Add the chicken, increase the heat to high and fry for 3-5 minutes, or until browned. Add 1 cup of water and any of the marinade liquid left in the bowl.

Reduce the heat and bring slowly back to the boil. Add the brown sugar and the chicken bones. Cover tighly and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stiring occasionaly until the meat is very tender. Discard the bones, season with salt to taste.

There are 2 Comments

  1. That’s a lot of great spices. Would love to try this!

  2. Reads and looks scrumptious! I really dig your spice photo too.

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