Lamb Vindaloo Recipe – Authentic Indian Restaurant Curry at Home in 5 Steps

This lamb vindaloo recipe comes from my visits to Indian restaurants in Birmingham, and in Belfast near where I live.

It is important to realise this is not an authentic recipe that Indian people would eat at home – it is part of an Anglo-Indian food tradition often called BIR (British Indian Restaurant).

If you want to learn how to cook curries that taste like an Indian restaurant or takeaway – you’re in the right place!

Lamb Vindaloo Curry Recipe
Lamb Vindaloo Recipe with Potatoes & Garnished with Coriander

What is a Vindaloo Curry?

Vindaloo is a hugely popular dish to order from your favourite Indian takeaway or restaurant. 

Vindaloo is a hot curry which is similar to Madras except for the addition of vinegar, potatoes and 2 extra teaspoons of chilli powder. 

If you don’t like the dish to be too hot you can just use two teaspoons of chilli powder. If you like your tongue on fire and your nose running, you can add extra teaspoons.

Bear in mind that a vindaloo should be hot but not so hot you can’t enjoy the flavours!

Where does the Lamb Vindaloo Recipe Come From?

The vindaloo has its origins from when the Portuguese colonised Goa during medieval times, bringing spices and chillies from the New World.

It was first served with pork which had been preserved in vinegar.

Many curry houses have been traditionally run by Muslims, and so pork is not an option. 

This lamb vindaloo recipe comes from this BIR (British Indian Restaurant) Tradition. You can substitute the lamb with chicken, which is also a very popular option, or paneer (Indian Cheese) for a vegetarian option. 

What Do I Need for a Lamb Vindaloo Recipe?

For this recipe you will to have made the curry sauce/base gravy in advance. You will need 3-4 ladles or so depending on how much sauce you like in your curry, or how thick you like it to be.

The curry sauce recipe for base gravy is easy enough to make but it will take about 2 hours so it’s best to make a big batch of it.

Lamb Vindaloo Recipe – Authentic Indian Restaurant Curry at Home in 5 Steps

Ingredients for Lamb Vindaloo Recipe

  • Pre-cooked cubes of lamb (cooked in vegetable oil and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric)
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil or Ghee (Clarified Butter)
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar (add a little more if you like)
  • 3 crushed green cardamom pods (this lets out the flavour)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste (equal amounts of ginger & garlic mixed with water and blended). Alternatively you can grate 2 cloves of garlic, and peel and grate a thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 4 Indian Green Finger Chillis – finely chopped
  • 2 bird’s eye chillis finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 teaspoons of chilli powder (more if you like it really hot)
  • 1/2 tsp methi leaves (fenugreek)
  • 1 pre-cooked potato (boiled in water or curry sauce/base gravy) peeled and chopped into pieces
  • 1 tbsp of finely chopped coriander (cilantro in the US)
  • 70ml (1/4 cup) tomato puree mixed with a little water
  • 1 tbsp of Restaurant Curry Powder (Mixed Powder) a blend of these spices; 1 tbsp garam masala, 3 tbsp ground coriander, 3 tbsp ground cumin, 3 tbsp ground turmeric, 3 tbsp smoked paprika & 4 tbsp curry powder. Keep what’s left of your Mixed Powder for adding to further curries.
  • 1 tsp of salt or to taste

How Do I Cook a Lamb Vindaloo Recipe?

Lamb Vindaloo Method

  1. Get your pan over a medium to high heat and add the oil or ghee, if using. Add the bay leaf, star anise and the crushed cardamom pods. Let the flavours begin to infuse together for a minute or so and then add in your ginger and garlic paste.
  2. Now add your finely chopped chillies for about a minute before adding the ground spices to the pan. The smells will be fragrant, and the oil full of flavour.
  3. Add 2 ladles of your curry sauce/base gravy and then the tomato puree. Try not to stir so that your sauce has a chance to caramelise and stick a little. This adds a nice smoky flavour to the sauce as well. If it is sticking too much then give it a quick stir. Turn the heat down to a simmer.
  4. Put your pre-cooked lamb into your pan and stir the sauce to get all the lovely flavours to coat your lamb pieces. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. At this point you may wish to add more base gravy if you feel your sauce needs watered down a little, or if the pan is becoming too dry.
  5. Now add in the white wine vinegar and then the methi leaves and salt. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning by adding more salt, if needed. Add the pre-cooked potato pieces and heat them up in the sauce. Last of all, garnish with coriander/cilantro.

Serve with naan bread and the rice of your choosing.

Great work! You can now cook authentic Indian Restaurant style Vindaloo.

Go forth and amaze your friends!

Related Recipes

Curry Base Gravy Recipe

For another great article giving you an excellent lamb vindaloo recipe, try here:

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