Vindaloo is a classic Goan curry dish that involves marinating and cooking meat with aromatic spices. Its distinct flavor profile comes from the addition of vinegar to the masala vindaloo sauce. The resulting curry base has a unique taste that is pleasantly spicy, tangy, and slightly sweet.
Making authentic Goan lamb vindaloo is super easy - make the flavorful sauce, marinate the lamb meat, and cook it. In fact, you can use any protein and follow this recipe albeit the cooking times will vary. You can use this fantastic vindaloo sauce to make the vegan version of spicy vindaloo using a mix of veggies like potatoes, carrots, peas, green beans, etc.
This authentic lamb vindaloo can also be served with naan, jeera rice, or Basmati rice. Finish the meal with a glass of chilled mango lassi to balance the heat. I love to make vindaloo lamb in the Instant Pot pressure cooker as it takes less time and does not need monitoring. I am also including stovetop instructions if you do not have access to an Instant Pot.
Why you will love this vindaloo recipe?
- This Instant Pot lamb vindaloo recipe is packed with flavor and is easy to prepare.
- It can also be adjusted to suit individual preferences. For example, reduce the chilies to make the curry milder.
- The taste and flavor are way better than your favorite takeaway vindaloo. Make Instant Pot vindaloo lamb at home that is better than any takeaway.
What is vindaloo?
Vindalu was first introduced by Portuguese sailors to India in the 15th century and was called "carene de vinha d'alhos" or "carne vinha d'alhos", which meant meat preserved in garlic and wine. It was Indianized by the locals by replacing wine with vinegar and adding spices to it. This delicious curry is an adaptation of the Portuguese recipe and is now an integral part of Indian food.
Traditionally, it is made spicy but you can alter the heat as per your preference. While it does use whole Indian spices, the heat (from chilies) can be adjusted and that is the beauty of this dish. My tried and tested recipe will give you perfectly balanced flavors - heat and strong flavors from spices that are balanced by a slight tang from vinegar - but neither of them is overpowering. Vindaloo is gluten-free, dairy-free, and suitable for the keto diet. It is a very popular curry similar just like butter chicken.
Related: Instant Pot lamb curry.
Lamb: I am using lamb stew meat in this Instant Pot recipe. Lamb leg or lamb shoulder can also be used. You can also use goat meat in this recipe to make goat vindaloo.
Spices: The whole dry spices that go into making the masala base are dried chili, whole coriander seeds, whole cumin, cinnamon stick, green cardamom, cloves, and black pepper. Ground turmeric is used when making the curry.
Souring agents: Both vinegar and tamarind paste are used in the masala paste. White wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used. Tamarind paste can be substituted with lemon juice.
Aromatics: Ginger and garlic are used in the masala paste. Onion is used when making the curry. Red or yellow onion can be used.
Sugar: A small amount of sugar is used which helps balance the tang and heat. It cannot be skipped.
Oil: Use olive oil, ghee, or any regular cooking oil.
Step 1: To a blender, add the vindaloo paste ingredients - whole red chilies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black peppercorns, fresh ginger, garlic, vinegar, and tamarind paste.
Step 2: Add ½ cup of water and grind into a smooth paste.
Step 3: In a large bowl, add the lamb stew meat pieces. Pour the ground vindaloo paste and mix well. Let the lamb marinate for at least 30 minutes. You can also marinate it overnight in the refrigerator.
Step 4: Heat oil and add the chopped onions. Saute for 5 minutes, until the onion begins to brown.
Step 5: Add the marinated meat, ground turmeric, sugar, and salt.
Step 6: Saute for 3 minutes until the meat begins to brown.
Step 7: Add ½ cup of water. Mix well and deglaze the pot.
Step 8: Cancel saute mode and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook mode for 15 minutes on high pressure.
Step 9: Do 5 minutes of natural pressure release, then do a quick release. Open the lid once the pressure drops.
Step 10: Top with cilantro and mix well.
To make vindaloo lamb on a stovetop:
- Grind together dried red chilies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, garlic, white vinegar, and tamarind paste into a smooth paste.
- Add it to the lamb stew meat and mix well. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Take a thick bottom pan and heat ghee or olive oil.
- Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes on medium-high heat.
- Next, add turmeric powder, sugar, and salt. Saute for one minute.
- Add the marinated meat. Saute for 5-7 minutes.
- Add one cup of hot water and mix well.
- Cover and simmer on low heat for 18-20 minutes, until the lamb is fully cooked. The cooking time depends on the cut of the meat.
- Top with cilantro.
Marinate the meat for at least 30 minutes. You can also plan ahead and marinate it overnight in the refrigerator.
Use Kashmiri red chili (or any dried chili that is mild). It gives a nice and bright color to the curry yet does not make it too hot. To increase the heat level of the curry, use regular red chili powder or cayenne pepper as per your taste buds.
You can store this curry in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. It also freezes well and can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
This dish works best with boneless lamb stew meat pieces, that are cut into medium-sized pieces (1.5-2 inch pieces).
If the curry is too thin after pressure cooking, set the Instant Pot back to saute mode for 4-5 minutes so that it can thicken. However, it usually thickens when cooled down so this step is purely optional.
The beauty of this homemade vindaloo is that you can choose the type of meat you like. Follow this authentic lamb vindaloo recipe and replace lamb with chicken or pork meat to make chicken vindaloo and pork vindaloo. Click here to see how to make Instant Pot chicken vindaloo that can be made using chicken breast or thigh.
To make delicious lamb vindaloo curry in a slow cooker, do the prep and saute the onions and meat in a frying pan. Then, transfer it to a slow cooker and cook it on Low for 9 hours.
While the use of whole Indian spices in the spice mix gives the authentic vindaloo curry its unique taste, you can replace them with garam masala. Also, you can add mustard seeds in the initial tempering before adding the onions.
Never run out of ideas on what to serve with naan with this detailed guide.
Here are some recipes that can be served alongside this curry for a complete meal. Don't forget to finish the meal with creamy mango lassi.
You can also serve this curry with cauliflower rice for a delicious Indian keto meal.
If you liked this recipe, please don't forget to give a 5-star rating and leave a comment below.
Lamb Vindaloo in Instant Pot
For vindaloo paste:
- 5 dried red chili Kashmiri or any mild version
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3 cloves
- 2 cardamom
- ½ inch cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ inch ginger
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
- ½ cup water
For the curry:
- 1 lb lamb stew meat cut into 1½ inch pieces
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 small onion
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoon cilantro
Make vindaloo paste and marinate:
- To a blender, add the vindaloo paste ingredients - dried red chili, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, garlic, vinegar, and tamarind paste.
- Add ¾ cup of water and grind into a smooth paste.
- In a large bowl, add the lamb pieces. Pour the ground paste and mix well.
- Let the lamb marinate for at least 30 minutes. You can also marinate it overnight in the refrigerator.
Making the curry:
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and add oil.
- Once it heats, add the onions. Saute for 5 minutes, until the onion begins to brown.
- Add ground turmeric. sugar, and salt.
- Add the marinated lamb and saute for 4-5 minutes.
- Add ½ cup of water. Mix well and deglaze the pot.
- Cancel saute mode and set the Instant Pot to Meat mode for 15 minutes.
- Do a natural release of pressure for 5 minutes, then do a quick release.
- If the curry is too thin, set the Instant Pot back to saute mode for 4-5 minutes.
- Top with cilantro and serve.
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