Lamb Vindaloo curry is made with hot and spicy Vindaloo curry powder, succulent lamb shoulder, and other flavor-packed ingredients like garlic and ginger. Serve it over white rice or potatoes for a hearty dinner option!
Curries are a great way to pack a bunch of flavors into a warming and filling dish. They are prepared differently in different places: there’s Indian chicken curry, Thai yellow shrimp curry, and Malaysian curry powder that can be added to chicken, beef, or fish.
If you’ve never enjoyed a curry before, it features some type of protein swimming in a thick sauce that’s similar to a stew, plus lots of spices and seasonings. It’s usually enjoyed over rice, noodles, potatoes, or another type of carbohydrate.
Today’s recipe is all of that and more thanks to the addition of fiery Vindaloo curry powder. I love using lamb for this dish as it becomes deliciously tender after being marinated and then baked, but you could easily substitute bee for chicken.
While this lamb Vindaloo recipe boasts complex and unique flavors, it’s actually quite easy to put together. With a bit of patience and a lot of spices, you’ll get to enjoy this dish at home!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Lamb Shoulder - I typically purchase a boneless 5.5-pound lamb shoulder. After the fat has been trimmed, you should end up with a little over 3.5 pounds, which is perfect for this lamb Vindaloo recipe!
- Salt - You’ll have to season the lamb with salt before adding the Vindaloo marinade.
- Water - As this recipe is made with a wet marinade, you’ll also need water.
- Vindaloo Curry Powder - You have a few different options for this ingredient. You can either buy it, make it yourself with my recipe, or blend the list of spices seen on the recipe card below. Your choice!
- White Vinegar - The addition of vinegar in the marinade will break down the lamb a bit so that it absorbs the other flavors.
- Ginger - This ingredient also works to break down the meat and add a pop of spice.
- Garlic - Also adds a lot to the total flavor profile of your lamb Vindaloo.
- Onion - Sautéed onions, though simple, add a lot to this dish.
- Ghee - You can also use butter if you’d like. You’ll use it to sautée the onion, garlic, and ginger.
- Tomato Paste - Used to add even more flavor and color.
- Beef Stock - The lamb will bake in a mixture that features beef stock. It helps to make the meat perfectly tender.
- Dried Curry Leaves - The final spice needed for your meal! I usually buy them online.
HOW TO MAKE LAMB VINDALOO CURRY
1. Prepare The Ingredients. Trim the fat from the lamb, then cut it into 1.5 to 2-inch-sized cubes. Toss them with salt and place them in a large tub or bowl to marinate. Next, remove the skin from the ginger, then cut it in half. Keep one-half whole and dice the other, then set aside.
2. Make The Marinade. Add the water, Vindaloo curry powder (or spices), vinegar, 10 garlic cloves, and the whole half of ginger in a blender and purée until smooth. Pour it over the lamb, cover, and allow to marinate for 2 hours. When it’s done, preheat the oven to 375°F and mince the remaining garlic cloves.
3. Bake The Lamb. Place the ghee or butter in a Dutch oven and melt over medium heat. Add the onion, remaining ginger, and garlic, and sauté until the onion becomes translucent. Spoon in the tomato paste and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in the lamb and Vindaloo curry marinade, beef stock, and curry leaves, then bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and bake in the middle rack of your oven for 2 hours. The lamb should be fall-apart tender.
4. Garnish & Serve. If serving with potatoes, boil them in heavily salted water and cook until tender. Drain and add to the lamb and stir to combine. Serve with chopped cilantro over rice, with or without the potatoes.
What Is The Difference Between Vindaloo And Curry?
Vindaloo is a type of curry powder that is usually added to a protein like beef or lamb. Curry is a type of Indian cooking method that features curry spices. Additionally, curry can be made vegetarian while Vindaloo is usually prepared with meat. My lamb Vindaloo recipe is like a combination of the two!
What Makes Vindaloo So Spicy?
The spicy flavor in Vindaloo is mostly thanks to the addition of cayenne powder in the spice mix! Another way to ensure that it really brings the heat is to make the blend yourself. Toasting the spices before grinding them really brings out their authentic flavors.
What Makes Vindaloo Red?
Vindaloo’s bright red color comes from the Kashmiri chili powder. Not only does it add a pop of color, but it also adds a lot of flavor.
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Lamb Vindaloo Curry
- 5.5 lbs boneless lamb shoulder (See Note 1)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup Vindaloo Curry powder (or below blend)
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 4 inch piece of ginger skinned, divided
- 14 garlic cloves divided
- 2 tablespoon ghee or butter
- 1 yellow/white onion diced
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 3 cups beef stock
- 12 dried curry leaves
Vindaloo Curry Powder
- 2 teaspoons kashmiri chili powder
- 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground fennel (or ½ teaspoon ground clove)
- 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- ½ teaspoon ground dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Trim fat from lamb and cut into 1 ½ to 2-inch cubes. Toss with salt and place in a large tub to marinate.
- Remove the skin from the ginger root using a teaspoon, discard skin. Cut in half; keep one half whole and dice the other, set aside.
- In a blender add the water, Vindaloo Curry Powder ingredients, vinegar, 10 garlic cloves, whole 2-inch piece ginger and puree until blended. Pour over lamb and toss to coat. Cover and marinate 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Mince the 4 remaining garlic cloves.
- Melt ghee over medium heat in a dutch oven. Add onion, diced remaining ginger, garlic and saute until onion is translucent. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the lamb and curry marinade, beef stock, curry leaves and bring to a boil. Cover and place in middle rack of oven. Bake for 2 hours or until lamb is fall apart tender.
- Optional: while lamb vinadloo is baking, peel 3-4 white potatoes and chop into 2-inch pieces. Add to heavily salted water and cook until fork tender. Drain and add to finished lamb vindaloo, stirring to combine.
- Serve topped with chopped cilantro over steamed rice or as is with or without potatoes.
- I purchase a boneless 5.5 pound lamb shoulder, after trimming all the fat away it's a little over 3.5 pounds. You want that amount for this recipe. Discard the fat trimmings.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
when I lived near Boston MA we frequented an Indian Restaurant which made superb Vindaloo. I like spicy food but couldn't come close to their hottest Vindàloo. Still the best dishes I ever ate. and the hottest! I have been searching for a good recipe, thank you.
I will of course start with about 1/4 of the Kashmiri and cayenne you have listed in your recipe.
I also think Vindaloo is AKA Massaman Curry who introduced it to the region as "vinho d'aglo", they preserved their meat in salted wine with garlic. The locals heard Vindaloo and put potato's in it is since "aloo" means potato(the original did not have potato). Food history is fascinating to me and what happens to recipes as they cross borderlines. like I just described for Massaman Curry or Vindaloo. once again thanks.
Thanks so much for all this information and I hope you give this one a go John. I too love food history and how recipes change with cultural influences either to replicate or adapt.
This is my ALL time favourite meal - think death row meal 😂😂 I can’t wait to try your version, it looks amazing!
Mine would have to include a chocolate dessert, but I agree. Let me know your thoughts on my version. Thanks Bernice!
This was amazing and reminds me of the kind I used to eat from my mother-in-law who is from India. Outstanding!
Much appreciated Karl. 🙂