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Quick Chicken Vindaloo

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Vindaloo is an extremely spicy Indian curry dish; our version has heat but doesn’t overwhelm. The dish goes well with jasmine rice and naan. If you’ve got time, make your own Homestyle Indian Naan, but if you make the vindaloo on a weeknight, store-bought naan is fine.


  • 1-1/2 Tbs. curry powder
  • 2 tsp. hot paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 3/4- to 1-inch pieces
  • 8 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 (14-1/2-oz). can diced tomatoes, drained, 1/3 cup juice reserved
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 360
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 180
  • Fat (g): 20
  • Saturated Fat (g): 4
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
  • Cholesterol (mg): 110
  • Sodium (mg): 670
  • Carbohydrates (g): 12
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 33


  • In a small bowl, stir the curry powder, paprika, and 3/4 tsp. black pepper. Put the chicken in a medium nonreactive bowl, sprinkle with 1 Tbs. of the curry powder mixture, about half of the garlic, 2 Tbs. of the vinegar, and 3/4 tsp. salt; toss to coat. Set aside at room temperature.

    Heat the oil in a 10- to 11-inch straight-sided sauté pan over high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and ¼ tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until it softens and begins to brown around the edges, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium high, add the ginger, the remaining garlic, and the remaining curry powder mixture and cook, stirring, until fragrant and well combined, about 45 seconds.

    Add the tomatoes and mix to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with the spoon. Stir in the chicken, reserved tomato juice, remaining 2 Tbs. vinegar, and 2/3 cup water. Bring to a boil, cover partially, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the cilantro.

Serve with a hearty side like Green Lentils with Green Beans and Cilantro.


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Reviews (16 reviews)

  • Zizu | 01/12/2016

    I used coconut oil instead of canola oil and turned out even better than usual. The coconut gives sweet flavor to it which I like. I use only 4 garlic so the food doesn't taste too strong.

  • mmeckstr | 03/01/2015

    Loved this. Served with basmati rice and naan. Fast enough for a weeknight meal.

  • FreddieFlea | 02/02/2012

    Good and easy. I must have the freshest curry powder and cayenne. Mine came out pretty hot, not painful, just noticed the burn. No complaints. Would be good with grilled veggies, too.

  • Niki344 | 01/29/2012

    This was sooo yummy! It wasn't quite hot enough for my taste so I added garlic-chile. I also added mushrooms and peas, because I had them and they needed to be used up. This reminds me of the Vindaloo I'd get in the UK from our local tandoori shop. This was a great recipe.

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