Vindaloo Curry Powder Recipe

This Vindaloo curry powder recipe is an Indian spice often seen in curries and pork, lamb, and seafood dishes. It is not for the faint of heart, but heat lovers will adore the fiery and complex flavors of this homemade curry powder!

Vindaloo Curry Powder in a glass jar

If you’re familiar with the blog, you know how much I love to create my own ground spice mixes, blends, and powders. They tend to pack a lot more flavor, typically have less salt and they are easier to pull off than you may think! You’ll just have to start with a smattering of whole spices and seasonings that you’ll toast yourself and then grind using a special tool. 

Some of my favorites include lemon harissa powder, garam masala, Malaysian curry powder, and Ras el Hanout. Not only do I feel a lot better knowing exactly what’s in my blends, but they end up tasting a lot fresher too! 

You can add Vindaloo curry powder to your favorite Indian curry recipes — Indian chicken curry or cauliflower curry called gobi masala are just a few ideas! Be sure to look out for my Lamb Vindaloo Curry recipe coming next!

One thing to be aware of when it comes to this blend, in particular, is that it is hot, hot, HOT. You can play around with the heat if you’d like, which I’ll explain more in depth below! Think of this one as the top of the curry powder food chain, then Madras curry powder then my all-purpose curry powder.

jar with Vindaloo Curry Powder

INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Kashmiri Dried Chiles – Sweet, fruity, and mild, use these chiles to tone down the heat found in the other ingredients.
  • Cassia Bark – Another sweet ingredient, you can feel free to replace with a cinnamon stick or even ground cinnamon if desired.
  • Whole Green Cardamom Pods – Green cardamom is citrusy and a bit herbal. It’s milder than black cardamom. 
  • Black Peppercorns – For more added spice and heat! They are warm and almost woodsy in taste.
  • Coriander Seeds – Boasting floral, citrus, and curry flavor, coriander is a must for this spice blend.
  • Cumin Seeds – Would it be a curry powder without cumin? I don’t think so! It’s rich, earthy, and warm.
  • Fennel Seeds – Another sweet seed to add to the mix. Fennel seeds taste like licorice.
  • Fenugreek Seeds – Interesting name, excellent flavor! The aroma always reminds me of maple. I usually buy mine online.
  • Black Mustard Seeds – This spice is often seen in Indian cooking. They are spicy and really do taste like mustard!
  • Indian Bay Leaves – Not to be confused with other types of bay leaves, this Indian variation is more fragrant and aromatic (cinnamon scent).
  • Star Anise – Another spice that tastes like licorice, star anise is sweet and flavorful.
  • Dried Curry Leaves – This is yet one more must-have for this curry powder recipe! It’s another ingredient that I typically buy online.
  • Turmeric Powder – While you can use the ground versions of all of the spices and seasonings above, I definitely recommend that you stick with turmeric in powdered form. It adds flavor and a burst of color!
  • Cayenne Powder – Wondering where all of the heat in Vindaloo curry powder comes from? You found it! As a note, if you’re looking for a milder curry power, opt for the Malaysian variation linked above, or my simple all-purpose curry powder.
ingredients to make Vindaloo Curry Powder

HOW TO MAKE VINDALOO CURRY POWDER

  1. Toast The Chiles & Whole Spices. Add the Kashmiri chiles to a dry skillet and heat over medium for about 30 seconds, being sure to shake the pan as they toast. Add the cassia bark (or cinnamon stick), cardamom, and peppercorns, and toast the mixture for another 30 seconds. 
  2. Toast Some More. Add the coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, and black mustard seeds and toast for another minute. Next, add the Indian bay leaves and star anise and toast for 30 more seconds. Stir often!
  3. Grind The Spices. Remove the spices and seeds and place them on a plate to allow them to cool completely. Transfer them to a spice grinder, then add the dried curry leaves, turmeric, and cayenne powder. Grind to create a fine powder. Store in an airtight container. I recommend using it within 3 months for maximum freshness.
  4. A Note On Ground Spices. If you use mostly ground spices instead of seeds, simply toast the chiles in a dry skillet over medium heat for 30 seconds, then add the Indian bay leaves and star anise. Allow them to cool, then place them all in the spice grinder with the other ingredients and grind them into a fine powder as instructed above!
Vindaloo Curry Powder on a spoon

Can I substitute Laurel Bay leaf for Indian Bay leaf?

The Indian Bay Leaf (Teja Patta), comes from the cassia tree and tastes more like cinnamon. I don’t recommend substituting it with the laurel bay leaf in Indian cooking. If Indian Bay Leaf is unavailable, it’s best to leave it out altogether, although you can substitute it with a little cinnamon, or an extra clove if it’s in the recipe.

Does Vindaloo Have Curry Powder?

To avoid any confusion, it’s important to note that Vindaloo is a curry dish that originated in the Goa region of India. It (of course) uses Vindaloo curry powder — in fact, that’s where this spice blend gets its name. 

Is Vindaloo The Hottest Curry?

Oh, yeah. I wasn’t joking when I mentioned that this curry powder is fiery! Vindaloo curry is considered to be the hottest curry in the world. Spice lovers, you’re going to enjoy it. If you don’t like hot foods, opt for a milder curry like the options I linked above.

What Does Vindaloo Taste Like?

Vindaloo curry powder is typically added to seafood, lamb, pork, or even chicken. It’s complex, bright, spicy, and a bit acidic. And don’t forget: it’s very, very hot!

Vindaloo Curry Powder Recipe

Make your own fiery Vindaloo curry powder at home. It’s filled with dried Kashmiri chiles, cardamom, and tons of other flavorful spices!
Servings: 1 cup
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 3 minutes
Total: 13 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 8 Kashmiri dried chiles (3 1/2 teaspoons ground kashmiri chili powder)
  • 4 inch piece of cassia bark or cinnamon stick (1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon)
  • 20 whole green cardamom pods (1 teaspoon ground cardamom)
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (1 teaspoon ground black pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds (4 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander)
  • 1 tablespoons cumin seeds (2 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin)
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds (1 1/2 teaspoons ground fennel)
  • 2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds (1 1/2 teaspoons ground fenugreek)
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds (1 teaspoon ground dry mustard)
  • 4 Indian bay leaves (See Note 1)
  • 3 star anise
  • 30 dried curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne powder

Instructions 

Whole Spices

  • Toast the chiles in a dry skillet over medium heat for 30 seconds, shaking the pan to move around. Add the cassia bark (cinnamon stick), cardamom and peppercorns and toast another 30 seconds.
  • Next add the coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek and black mustard seeds, toast for 1 minute.
  • Add the Indian Bay leaves, star anise and toast another 30 seconds, stirring often.
  • Transfer the spices to a plate and let cool completely.
  • Transfer to a spice grinder. Add the dried curry leaves, turmeric and cayenne powder. Grind to a fine powder.
  • Store in an airtight container and use within three months for maximum freshness.

Ground Spices

  • Toast the chiles in a dry skillet over medium heat for 30 seconds, shaking the pan to move around.
  • Add the Indian Bay leaves, star anise and toast another 30 seconds, stirring often.

Notes

  1. The Indian Bay Leaf (Teja Patta), comes from the cassia tree and tastes more like cinnamon. I don’t recommend substituting it with the laurel bay leaf in Indian cooking. If Indian Bay Leaf is unavailable, it’s best to leave it out altogether, although you can substitute it with a little cinnamon, or an extra clove if a recipe calls for it.
  2. Nutritional information is based on 1 cup total.
  3. HEAT ALERT!! This is not for the faint of heart. You can alter the heat by adding more or less cayenne, but this is supposed to be a spicy, hot curry powder. For a lesser heat version, try my Madras Curry Powder or my all-purpose Curry Powder.

Nutrition

Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 1443mg | Fiber: 30g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3599IU | Vitamin C: 620mg | Calcium: 589mg | Iron: 23mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Spice Blend
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
overhead shot of Vindaloo Curry Powder in a bowl

Kevin

I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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