Lamb Vindaloo recipe is a classic dish of tender meat chunks cooked in fiery red vindaloo sauce made with lots of dry red chillies, vinegar, garlic and spices. It's delicious, easy and an authentic Portuguese influenced Goan curry that is spicy, tangy and mildly sweet - all in one! Serve this tasty lamb vindaloo curry with steamed rice or dinner rolls for a satisfying weeknight meal.
About this Lamb Vindaloo Recipe
Are you fan of spicy food and love meat? Then, you must have heard of Lamb Vindaloo. It is a popular Goan curry known for its fiery red color, intense heat and bold flavors.
The unique blend of hot spices, sour vinegar, tamarind and little bit of sweetness makes vindaloo different from other curries, an extra special! So, if you love spicy food along with sourness and mild sweetness, you will love it. I promise!
My Lamb Vindaloo Recipe is the so delicious, authentic and traditional that tastes just like Goan household or restaurants. The vindaloo paste gives a unique savory and mild sweet taste to this dish, and is made with simple pantry staples like dry red chilies, vinegar, tamarind, ginger, garlic, turmeric and few whole spices.
The recipe is super simple, easy, and you can make this lamb vindaloo in a pot or traditional pressure cooker on stovetop or in an instant pot. I have shared the detailed step below for both traditional and instant pot pressure cooker.
This recipe of vindaloo is easily adaptable and can be scaled to make for a large crowd. 6-quart instant pot or 5 litres traditional pressure cooker is good for 2.2 lbs meat.
You will find that in many vindaloo recipes, people prefer to add potatoes. This is because of the belief that word Vindaloo has "aloo" into it. Aloo = Potatoes!
The term is actually misunderstood here and the authentic vindaloo curry has no potatoes in it. However, only if you wish, you can add potato chunks, that's absolutely fine!
Even though the dish is known for its spiciness, you can still enjoy all the flavors. Its a must-try dish for anyone who love to eat spicy food.
Little about vindaloo origin
Vindaloo (vindalho)basically was the Portuguese dish known as "Carne de vinha a'alhos", which means meat in wine and garlic. It is believed that the dish was brought to Goa by Portuguese settlers in 15th century and over time, the dish gradually became the traditional Goan Recipe.
Traditionally, the vindaloo was made with pork. After lot of experiments, the Goans adapted the dish to suit their taste, and include local ingredients like vinegar and other types of meat like lamb / goat, chicken and more!
The other vindaloo variation also includes with beef, shrimps, and fish. The Anglo-Indian version is to marinate the meat in vinegar, chilies, ginger, garlic and sugar, followed by spices.
Vindaloo has gained popularity not only in India but around the world due to its characteristic spiciness, and flavor. It is one of the popular takeaway choice for many people.
NOTE: Keep in mind, the authentic recipe do not use tomatoes or its paste either. Hence, we do not prefer to add it in our recipe.
Ingredients you will need
Lamb (or Goat Meat): You will need good quality bone-in meat here cut into medium sized pieces. Bone adds lot of fine flavor to the curry.
Curry Leaves: This is totally optional, but addition of it gives fine coastal Goan kick to the dish. Some people add it and some don't. Try to add it and see how beautifully curry leaves infuses the flavor into the dish.
For vindaloo paste
You can make this vindaloo paste in bulk and store, it is thousand times better than the store bought packs or bottles!
Chilies: You will need good amount of dried red chillies with medium to less heat. I prefer to use Kashmiri red chilies for this recipe, because of its less heat profile (....that's how kids actually like!) and gives vibrant color to the dish.
Sometimes, I also prefer adding spicy variety chili along with Kashmiri chilies when I'm making this dish only for me and my husband 🙂 . But that's the rare case, because kids just love vindaloo like nothing, so less heat variety chili is a choice all the time.
Garlic: This is the another key element of this recipe.
Ginger: You will need roughly chopped fresh ginger.
Vinegar: Ideally palm vinegar goes into the dish, but, malt vinegar or even cider vinegar works great.
Other ingredients: You will need corianders seeds and turmeric powder. The whole spices that goes in are Cloves, Cinnamon, Green Cardamom, Black Peppercorns and Cumin Seeds.
Note: You can add teaspoon of mustard seeds if you like. I do not add it in this recipe, I like the flavor of mustard seeds in shrimp or chicken vindaloo.
How to make lamb vindaloo?
The recipe making involves three steps, but, this should not daunt you as they are absolutely easy to follow.
1- Make Vindaloo Paste.
2- Marinate Lamb or Goat meat.
3- Make the curry.
So let's get started, here is how to make the authentic lamb vindaloo at home.
Making vindaloo paste
1. To begin with, add all the ingredients i.e. red chilies, garlic ginger, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, green cardamom, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, turmeric powder, tamarind pulp, cider vinegar (or malt vinegar) and water. into the blender jar or food processor.
2. Blend to a smooth paste.
Marinating the meat
3. Then, add the blended paste to mutton along with the salt, sugar.
Note: if you plan to cook vindaloo in a pot on stove top, you may add meat tenderizer (quantity as per mentioned on the pack), if you like.
4. Combine well, cover and let it marinate overnight in the fridge. However, if there is a time crunch, then marinate atleast for 2 hours. Keep in mind, longer you marinate the meat, more tender and delicious the lamb will be.
Making lamb vindaloo
5. To start with, place the steel insert switch on the IP and press 'Sauté'. Once the screens displays 'Hot', heat oil. Then, add chopped onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until soft and pink.
6. Add the marinated lamb and sauté for good 4-5 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally.
7. If anything is stuck at the bottom add couple of tablespoons of water to deglaze.
8. Add ¾ to 1 cup of water depending upon the consistency you need. Throw in few curry leaves and stir.
9. Cover the lid and seal the pot with valve in sealing position. Press 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook' and set the timer to 20 minutes on 'High'. Once the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. Then, do the quick release.
10. Open the pot, check for the salt and add more if needed, stir. If you want thicker curry, then switch on the 'sauté' and simmer for 3-4 minutes until it reaches desired consistency.
11. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Bright fiery mutton vindaloo is ready to serve. Dish out, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker
Once the mutton is ready to cook, heat the oil in a heavy bottom pot or pressure cooker or a heavy bottom pan. Then, add chopped onions and fry until translucent.
Then, add the marinated mutton and sauté it on high heat for 8 to 10 mins. Keep stirring it in between.
Once the mutton is sautéed well, add 1-2 cups of water and curry leaves. Mix well. Check for the seasoning and salt and adjust it as per the requirement.
Pressure cook until the meat is done done. Let the pressure release naturally.
Once cooked, dish out and garnish with green coriander and serve hot with steamed rice.
Note: If using a pan, then allow it to simmer and will take around 1 to around 1 to 1 and half hour. You can adjust the consistency as you like.
Slow Cooker Recipe
You can cook amazing lamb Vindaloo in slow cooker or crockpot. Once the marination process is over. Heat oil in frying pan. Add chopped onions and sauté until soft.
Then, add the marinated lamb along with sautéed onions into the slow cooker pot and give it good mix. Add ¾ to 1 cup of water and curry leaves.
Cover the lid and cook it on low for 6-7 hours or until tender. Dish out, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.
- Feel free to add spicy variety chilies, if you like. Or any variety that gives nice color and flavor. So, choose it according to spice heat you prefer. Further, to get only good bright fiery red color but no heat, you can simply discard the seeds and use.
- Marination is the key. I insist, you marinate the meat overnight to soak up all the delicious traditional Goan flavor before cooking. If, in case you have crunch of time, then allow the meat to marinate for at least 2 hours.
- Follow the steps and enjoy this typical Goan home like vindaloo recipe at your table.
Frequently asked questions
Lamb shoulder roast cut or leg pieces works great for this recipe. Use tender shoulder cut from young lamb to get the best results (my personal recommendation).
The older the lamb is, more will be cooking time, especially if you plan to cook the curry in pot.
Yes, the vindaloo recipe does not use any kind of flour or element that has gluten in it. This curry is dairy-free as it does not use any kind of dairy product as well.
Goan Vindaloo do not call for addition of coconut milk though some people like to add it. So, there is no harm if you add some coconut milk in this recipe.
Yes, this vindaloo curry is Keto, Paleo and Whole30 compliant.
For Keto diet, limit the the amount of sugar or jaggery, add only as much you have to include in your diet or swap it with stevia.
Serve this tasty lamb vindaloo with steamed rice, jeera rice or with pav (bun), crusty bread, warm naan bread for dinner along with some salads and see the magic. In Goa, people like to serve it with traditional Poee bread.
It also tastes great with appam, plain dosa and even with neer dosa.
Personally, I don't like to eat this curry with phulkas, or chapathi. But, you can eat it with chapathi if you like, it tastes great with lachha parathas.
Refrigerating the Curry : The Curry taste better the next day so do yourself a favour and make some extra and store. It stays very well upto 5 days in refrigerator. Transfer the curry in clean air tight container and keep it in the fridge.
Freezing the curry : Once the curry cools completely, you can transfer it to a clean airtight freezer safe box and freeze. It stays well upto 4 months.
You can freeze it as as meal prep. So, add just the curry or along with portion of rice in meal prep container and freeze.
Vindaloo Paste : The paste freeze very well. You can make it in bulk and freeze in portions. It stays well in freezer up to a year. Increase the measure in folds and proceed.
The below measure for exact 2.2lbs lamb meat, so go ahead accordingly, make as much you want and then freeze.
Freezing the Marinated Meat : This is the option that I usually prefer. I freeze the marinated meat in portions up to 4 months. Say for around 1 to 1.5 lbs portion which would be enough for to 4-6 people.
So when you want to cook, thaw it and cook in slow cooker, or pressure cooker on stove top.
Cooking frozen meat in Instant pot : First, sauté the onions until soft. Then, add water, curry leaves, frozen marinated meat and cook on high for 25 minutes.
Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then do the quick release. If there is much sauce left, then press sauté mode and simmer for few minutes until it reaches desired consistency.
More Instant Pot Dinner ideas for you :
If you made my recipe for vindaloo with mutton, please let me know how it turned out for you! I'd love to hear through your comments and ratings below.
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Lamb Vindaloo Recipe
For the Vindaloo Paste
- 15 Kashmiri Red Chilies
- 10 Garlic Cloves
- 1 inch Ginger
- 1 tablespoon Coriander Seeds
- 1½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 6-8 Cloves
- 3 Green cardamom
- 10 Black Peppercorns
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 2 teaspoon Tamarind Pulp
- 3-4 tablespoons Cider Vinegar
- Water to grind the paste
- 2.2 lbs Lamb Shoulder or Goat Shoulder (cut in medium sized pieces)
- Salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons Sugar
For the Curry
- 5 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 1 ½ cup Onion (finely chopped)
- Water as required
- 1 Sprig of curry leaves
- Chopped Cilantro (for garnish)
Make Vindaloo Paste
- Gather all the dry ingredients we need to make the paste.
- Add them into a blender and blend to a smooth paste.
- Add the blended paste to mutton along with the salt, sugar. Combine well.
- Cover and let it marinate for overnight in the fridge. However, if there is a time crunch, then marinate atleast for 2 hours.
Make lamb vindaloo curry in instant pot
- Place the steel insert switch on the IP. Press 'Sauté'. Once the screens displays 'Hot', heat oil.
- Add chopped onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until soft and pink.
- Add the marinated lamb and sauté for good 4-5 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally. If anything is stuck at the bottom add couple of tablespoons of water to deglaze.
- Add ¾ to 1 cup of water or depending upon the consistency you like.
- Throw in few curry leaves and stir. Cover the lid and seal the pot with valve in sealing position. Press 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook' and set the timer to 20 minutes on 'High'.
- Once the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. Then, do the quick release.
- Open the pot, check for the salt and add more if needed, stir. If you want thicker curry, then switch on the 'sauté' and simmer for 3-4 minutes until it reaches desired consistency.
- Let the curry rest for 5 minutes. Dish out, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.
in stovetop pressure cooker
- Once the mutton is ready to cook, heat the oil in a heavy bottom pot or pressure cooker or a heavy bottom pan.
- Add chopped onions and fry until translucent.
- Add the marinated mutton and sauté it on high heat for 8 to 10 mins. Keep stirring it in between.
- Once the mutton is sautéed well, add 2 cups of water and curry leaves. Mix well. Check for the seasoning and salt and adjust it as per the requirement.
- Pressure cook until the meat is done done. Let the pressure release naturally.
- Note: If using a pan, then allow it to simmer and will take around 1 to around 1 to 1 and half hour. You can adjust the consistency of the curry as preferred.
- Once cooked, dish out and garnish with green coriander and serve hot with steamed rice.
in slow cooker
- Once the marination process is over. Heat oil in frying pan. Add chopped onions and sauté until soft.
- Add the lamb along with sautéed onions into the slow cooker pot and give it good mix. Add ¾ to 1 cup of water and curry leaves, stir.
- Cover the lid and cook it on low for 6-7 hours or until tender.
- Dish out, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.
- Vindaloo curry paste can be made in bulk and stored. Please refer to post on how to make masala paste and store or freeze it.
- If you are unable to tolerate the heat of chilies, either reduce it or discard the seeds and use. Or, use the ones that is mild but gives nice color.
- Use tender lamb shoulder cut for the best result.
- Do not forget to marinate the mutton overnight to develop that traditional Goan flavor.
- In crunch of time, allow the meat to marinate for at least for 2 hours
- You can add few spicy variety chilies if you like. Choose the chilies according to heat you prefer.