Lamb Vindaloo

Lamb Vindaloo
Lamb Vindaloo is an Indian curry dish popular in the region of Goa. It is known globally in its Anglo-Indian form as a staple of curry house menus.
Vindaloo is regarded as a fiery spicy dish, but as with all curries that can be tailored to your own tastes by adjusting the type and amount of chillies used.
It’s very important to use fresh chillies, I think the heat of fresh chillies is a hotter, but more enjoyable taste and sensation. Although potatoes are a common inclusion in Vindaloo, they have been omitted in favour of the more traditional recipe which doesn't include them.
Lamb was used, partly because its seems to be able to support the stronger spices better, and the longer cooking time in the oven makes the lamb beautifully tender.
This Lamb Vindaloo could work well with chicken or even King Prawns instead of lamb, but I find other curries like a Massala, Dopiaza or Bhuna more suitable for meats.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • 1.3 kg boneless lamb shoulder (cut into large chunks)
  • 125 ml  sunflower oil
  • 4 onions (3 finely sliced, and 1 chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)
  • 4 long red chillies (roughly chopped)
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground paprika
  • 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp  fenugreek seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 handful fresh coriander



  • The lamb should be left overnight to marinade; you can do it by adding half the chopped spices to a quarter cup of white vinegar, rubbing it into the lamb, before refrigerating the mixture in a sealed container for a couple of hours before cooking


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F or Gas Mark 4.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F or Gas Mark 4.
  • Add a couple of tablespoons of oil to a heavy bottomed pan (I use and recommend a cast-iron shallow casserole dish), and brown the lamb.
  • Once browned, remove the lamb, and set aside it for later.
  • For the sauce, add three tablespoons of the oil to the same pan and cook the sliced onions over a medium-low heat for 15 minutes – or until softened and lightly browned.
  • While the sliced onions are cooking, put the remaining chopped onion, garlic, chillies (With seeds), cumin, coriander, fenugreek, paprika, and cayenne pepper in a food processor and blend to a purée.
  • Stir the purée into the fried onions, and add another two tablespoons of oil and cook together for five minutes, or until thickened and beginning to colour.
  • If your pan isn’t suitable, you will need to move the mixture from the pan into a casserole dish.
  • Pour 500ml/17fl oz. water into the casserole dish, then add the salt and bay leaves and bring it to a simmer.
  • Cover the surface of the curry with a piece of greaseproof paper, then cover with a lid, and cook in the oven for 45 minutes.
  • If serving with rice, or a last minute homemade raita, then it should be prepared now, ready for when the lamb has is cooked.
  • Once ready season to taste with salt (Other spices won’t have a chance to impart flavour now!).
  • Serve hot over a bed of rice, top with a little more chopped coriander. As the dish is ¬– intentionally – hot, you can serve it with a cooling onion raita, and some naan bread – this helps reduce the heat for those with palettes that are more delicate!


Is lamb vindaloo hot?

Yes, whilst it depends on the volume of chilies used; this is generally regarded as a very hot curry, and in most Indian restaurants a lamb vindaloo would be one of the hotter curries.

Should vindaloo have potatoes?

You can add them if you like, but the traditional recipe does not contain potatoes – its also a lot of carbohydrates when you include the rice!

Where is vindaloo from?

Vindaloo originates in India, but it was inspired by a Portuguese dish called Carne de vinha d’alhos.

Is vindaloo healthy?

No, this lamb vindaloo is high in saturated fats and calories – best enjoy it as a treat!

The name Vindaloo is derived from the Portuguese dish “Carne de Vinha d' Alhos”, which is a dish of meat, usually pork, with wine and garlic.