Full of spice and with a delicious kick of vinegar in the sauce, this easy lamb vindaloo recipe is one that many curry lovers will love! Just make the marinade the day before so all the delicious flavours can soak into the lamb before you cook it.
Vinadaloo is known as a hot and fiery curry and is a real takeaway favourite with lots of people. I love the heat in a vindaloo but I also love the tanginess of the vinegar and tamarind. It's hot but also sour and that makes it extra special.
My lamb vindaloo recipe is not just trying to be super fiery in a macho Can you handle the heat? kind of way. No, I'm aiming for flavour first and heat second. This vindaloo is a hot curry but it's also full of flavour and one that you'll definitely want to make again and again.
If you like spicy food, you'll love it. And if you love a bit of sourness along with the heat, you'll love it even more!
Ingredients for lamb vindaloo
To make this easy homemade lamb vindaloo you'll need to make a marinade for the lamb first and for that you'll need:
- Red wine vinegar - Substitute with white wine vinegar if you don't have red wine vinegar. You can even use malt vinegar.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic or garlic paste both work.
- Ginger - Fresh ginger or a paste is fine.
- Chilli peppers - Some people will say that you need to use ghost chillies which are super hot. I have never used them and tend to just use what I can get at the supermarket which is normally finger chillies or birds eye chillies.
- Spices: cumin, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, fenugreek, cinnamon and cayenne pepper
- Tamarind paste
You will also need:
- Lamb - I usually use lamb shoulder but lamb leg or neck also works.
- Whole spices - Mustard seeds and cardamom pods
- Onion - I usually use a brown onion but sometimes a red one depending on what I have at home.
- Tomato puree
How to make lamb vindaloo
The really important thing when making this curry is to give the meat enough time to marinate. Marinating the lamb first makes the lamb more tender and helps the flavours really soak into the meat, making it super flavourful.
Most of the ingredients are ingredients for the marinde and it really doesn't take long to make. Just blitz them in a food processor and then coat the meat in it and leave it till the next day.
The next day, heat a little oil in a saucepan. Fry the whole spices for about half a minute and then add some chopped onion. When the onion has softened add tomato puree. Then you can add the lamb and the marinade it is coated in.
Cook, stirring for a couple of minutes and then add a little water and leave the curry to simmer for about 90 minutes.
Cook up some rice just before it finishes cooking or prepare some naan breads.
Substitutions and adaptations
If you want to add a few vegetables to the sauce along with the lamb you can. You can add them at the start so they cook down a lot or nearer the end so they retain some bite. Cauliflower, green beans and sweet potato are all great in this.
You can also add chunks of potato to the curry. They go really well in a vindaloo.
Can you use a different meat?
Yes! This curry works just as well with chicken. You can use breast or thighs and the cooking time can be reduced as well.
Traditionally in Goa, vindaloo was made with pork and was not such a hot curry as it is thought of in the UK. If you want to make this with pork instead of lamb then do go ahead. It will still be really tasty.
By the way, you can read more about the history of the vindaloo curry here.
What to serve with lamb vindaloo?
I usually serve this with rice and Indian breads. As it's a fairly hot curry, it's a good one to serve with a raita. Why not try my spinach raita or my tomato cucumber and onion raita? Or just my kachumber salad?
Storing and reheating
After making this curry it will keep well in the fridge for up to three days in a covered container. In fact, I would say it tastes even better the next day so if you are really organised you could make the marinade one day, cook it the next day and eat it the day after that! Just reheat it in a saucepan. You'll proabably need to add a little extra water.
You can also freeze it after it has been cooked and it will then keep in the freezer for up to three months.
Defrost overnight in the fridge (or during the day on the kitchen counter) and then reheat in a saucepan with a splash of water. Or just pop it in the microwave.
More curry recipes
Why not try one of these curries too:
Easy Lamb Vindaloo
Ingredients for the Marinade
- 5 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon ginger
- 8 chilli peppers I use finger chillies or birds eye chillies
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ teaspoon tamarind
- 500 g lamb shoulder diced
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 onion diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- Put all the ingredients for the marinade into a food processor and blitz
- Stir it into the lamb and put in the fridge for 24 hours.
- Heat a little oil in a saucepan and when it is hot, add the mustard seeds and cardmom pods. Cook for about 30 seconds and when the mustard seeds start to pop, add the onion.
- Cook the onion gently for about 5 minutes and then stir in the lamb, the tomato puree and any excess marinade.
- Cook for a few minutes, stirring to seal the lamb and then add about 50ml of water. Cover annd leave to simmer for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check regularly that the liquid hasn't dried up. Add a little extra water if necessary.
- Serve with rice and Indian breads.
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