Vindaloo Beef Curry Recipe – Instant Pot

2 hour 30 mins Cook
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Vindaloo is a traditional tomato-based totally curry gifted to the sector from Goa, a sunny pocket of paradise at the Western coast of India.

Ramsha Baig

Vindaloo is a traditional Indian curry that’s no longer for the faint hearted! Chunks of beef are slow-cooked to tender perfection in a fiery-red sauce full of big, ambitious curry flavours. Is it spicy? Heck yes, as it ought to be! For severe curry fans, it’s difficult to top this.

Serve with naan for mopping and yogurt to cool that fire. You can also try Indian Chicken Madras Curry, Beef Kofta with Saag Aloo or Chicken Tikka Masala. I’m sure you’ll love these recipes 🙂

Vindaloo Beef Curry Recipe - Instant Pot

Vindaloo Beef Curry

The origins of Vindaloo can be traced again to the time while Portugal dominated Goa inside the sixteenth century. In truth, the call Vindaloo comes from carne de vinha d’alhos, a Portuguese dish of red meat, wine, and garlic. neighborhood cooks brought a stack of spices, switched the wine for vinegar, and that’s how Vindaloo as we are aware of it these days happened (in a nutshell!)

A staple of Indian restaurant menus round the world, this curry is one for spicy meals fans!! Vindaloo is cherished for its fiery heat and excessive sauce, which packs a beneficiant mixture of spices and is sharpened with a good whack of vinegar. it is able to be made with most proteins, which include lamb, goat, beef, prawns, bird and you may even do a vegetarian variety.

Whilst beef is genuinely traditional, right here in Australia beef is the most famous model in Indian eating places in order that’s what I’m sharing these days. Chunks of meat are gradual-cooked for 2 hours inside the Vindaloo sauce till it’s so tender it effortlessly yields to the touch of a spoon!

What does Vindaloo taste like?

Not like the easygoing and luscious Butter chicken and Tikka Masala, Vindaloo is a swinging punch to the top! lots of Kashmiri chilli powder – a key spice in Vindaloo – brings flavour, warmth and the famously rich red colour to the curry. There’s additionally heat spices inside the shape of cumin, coriander, cardamom, a little cinnamon and a few others. ultimately, a wonderful tang from vinegar is a signature Vindaloo flavour that balances the curry and offers it spine.

It’s strong, hot and extreme! in case you’re wondering how spicy it absolutely is, I’d say it’s an 7 out of 10. folks that are accustomed to spicy food will no question scoff this down without breaking a sweat. I may additionally communicate a huge chilli-heat sport however i will’t without a doubt take care of very highly spiced food, and i don’t find this Vindaloo brutally warm.

So for you spice-wimps accessible? Don’t worry, see the recipe notes for how to lower the Scoville units on this dish!

Ingredients in Vindaloo

let’s undergo what you want to make this wonderful curry! First, the Vindaloo curry paste that’s used to marinate the red meat and help shape the sauce. (other proteins are blanketed inside the recipe notes.)

1. The Beef and the Curry Paste Marinade

Spices – Most of these spices are fairly accessible these days in the spice section of large grocery stores in Australia. The two exceptions are Kashmiri chilli and fenugreek seeds – see next points;

Kashmiri chilli – This is an Indian chilli that is a little smoky as well as spicy. The Kashmiri chilli gives the curry sauce its signature bright red colour and chilli heat.

Find at: Indian* and some Asian grocery stores (some have Indian sections). Believe it or not, it’s also sold at some Coles grocery stores (Indian section).

Also used in: Goan Fish Curry, Tandoori Chicken.

Best substitute: It’s a key ingredient (we use 6 tablespoons!) so I really urge you to make the effort to find it. But if you can’t and you’re desperate to try this dish (I don’t blame you!), substitute with a mix of sweet paprika + smoked paprika + chilli powder (pure chilli powder, not US Chili Powder which is a blend) / cayenne pepper.

Fenugreek seeds – Another Indian specific cooking spice that actually kind of smells like maple syrup, though doesn’t taste like it when raw.

Find it at some Harris Farms, or Indian* and some Asian grocery stores (some have Indian sections). Use leftover for Palak Paneer!

Can’t find it? Just leave it out.

Beef chuck– An economical cut of beef that is best slow cooked until tender. Try to get it in a block piece so you can cut the pieces yourself. Most butchers and grocery stores cut it too small so the pieces cook too quickly, before the sauce develops enough flavour.

Alternative beef: Boneless ribs will also work as would beef osso bucco (use 1.2kg / 2.4lb including bone, keep them whole, the meat will fall off in pieces once slow cooked). If you can get well marbled brisket, that will also work but I find a brisket a bit stringy cooked in stew-like form.

Other proteins – Slow cooking cuts of lamb (mutton), goat and pork. Chicken will work too but the cook time needs to be shortened. See recipe notes;

Sugar – Just a touch to balance out the vinegar; and

Garlic and ginger – Fresh, just roughly chopped because it’s blitzed up with the spices to make the curry paste.

2. Other Ingredients in the Vindaloo Sauce

A lot of the curry flavour of the Vindaloo Sauce comes from the Vindaloo Curry Paste (above) used to marinade the beef. however there’s a few extra ingredients we use to pep up the base of the sauce flavour:

Beef stock – Stock or broth rather than water to add greater depth of flavour into the Vindaloo curry sauce. I did try with just water, but found the sauce a bit lacking.

Ordinarily I’m an advocate of using the best quality beef stock within your budget because producers are yet to successfully mass-produce cheap beef stock to a decent level of quality. However in this case, average store bought beef stock or broth is fine because by the spices are the dominant flavour here! But you get bonus points if you use homemade beef stock. I use homemade when I’m making to impress.

Curry leaves – It smells like curry powder, but in fresh curry leaf form! (Though just so you know, curry powder isn’t derived from curry leaves ) Curry leaves add incredible curry perfume into anything it’s used in in a way that can’t be replicated with powders. Fairly accessible nowadays for Sydney-siders, sold at Harris Farms, most Coles and Woolworths. I have a plant!

Store leftovers in the fridge (several weeks) or freeze for months.

Also used in: Eggplant Curry, Dal, Vegetable Samosa Pie, Cabbage Thoran. Throw in 10 or so when cooking Curried Rice, or into this Indian Chickpea Curry or Vegetable Curry – it will really take it to a new level!

Substitute: dried curry leaves (not quite the same, but it’s the best sub) or Garam Masala powder;

Ghee (or butter) – The fat used in Indian cooking which adds an intense buttery flavour. Ghee is basically the same thing as clarified butter. This is simply normal butter but with milk solids and water removed, leaving behind pure butter fat.

You can either make your own Ghee (it’s cheaper, really easy and keeps for months), buy it, or just use normal butter;

Black mustard seeds – they look like poppyseeds but have a slight wasabi-like bite to them. And they smell Indian, not Japanese! Not spicy, more a fresh zing. It’s about $1.50 in small packs at Indian grocery stores – I go to Indian Emporium in Dee Why on the Northern Beaches, Sydney. Also sold in the Indian food section at some Woolworths (Australia) $1.70, and online – small, light pack so postage should be minimal!

Also used in: Eggplant Curry, Dal, Vegetable Samosa Pie, Cabbage Thoran; and

Ginger and garlic – It’s rare to see an Indian recipe that don’t include these, and Vindaloo is no exception!

How to Make Vindaloo Curry

Vindaloo starts with a curry paste made by blitzing or grinding a generous amount of chilli and spices, fresh garlic and ginger. This is then used to marinate beef before before slow cooking in a sauce until the meat is fall-apart-tender.

  • Vindaloo Curry Paste Beef Marinade
  1. Vindaloo Curry Paste – Place the curry paste ingredients in a small food processor or Nutribullet (pictured) and blitz until it becomes a paste. We use a bit of water which makes it easy to blend until smooth;
  2. Marinate beef – Pour the Vindaloo curry paste over the beef, then marinate for 2 hours minimum. Up to 24 hours is fine, but it doesn’t make the end result any better because the spice flavour is so strong it penetrates into the beef pieces during the slow cooking time.
  • Making the Vindaloo Curry Sauce Base
  1. Make sauce base – The Vindaloo curry sauce starts by sautéing garlic, ginger and onion before adding the black mustard seeds which will sizzle and pop dramatically. Then we cook off the tomato paste (this takes off the raw edge) before mixing in the beef stock;
  2. Transfer to jug – I then transfer the mixture in a jug so the mixture can be pureed with a stick blender. This is necessary because there’s not enough volume to do this in the pot because the head of the stick blender won’t be submerged. Trust me, I tried – and ended up with most of it on my face!!
  3. Puree – The use a stick blender to puree until smooth. You could do this step in a blender or food processor too. The purpose here is to puree the onion, garlic and ginger until smooth which releases flavour and makes the sauce smooth. I didn’t do this for earlier versions of the recipe (and many recipes online do not call for this) but once I added this step, the Vindaloo Sauce flavour noticeably improved;
  4. Back into pot – Then pour the sauce back into the pot, and we’re ready to proceed with slow cooking the beef!
  • Slow Cook Beef Until Tender

I like to do the slow cooking step in the oven because it’s entirely hands off. No stirring, no need to worry about the base catching. But if can also be done on a very low heat on the stove.

  1. Add beef – Add the beef and every scrap of marinade into the pot with the pureed sauce;
  2. Stir and bring to a simmer;
  3. Slow cook – Then transfer to the oven and cook for 2 hours. This is the length of time needed to make 3cm / 1.2″ cubes of chuck beef “fall-apart-tender” and for the sauce to thicken, develop flavour and darken in colour to the signature vibrant red colour.The oven temperature is 190°C/375°F (170°C standard) which sounds higher than you might expect. But this is the temperature that replicates a low heat on the stove. If you take a peek in the pot midway through cooking, you’ll see that the surface of the liquid is barely bubbling – if at all – which is exactly what you want. I use this same temperature for other slow cooked stew-type things such as Beef Bourguignon, Massaman Lamb Shanks. For other dishes, I will cook for longer at a lower heat where they benefit from the longer cook times.
  4. Ready to serve! When you take it out of the oven, the sauce should be a deep red colour (as long as you didn’t skimp on the kashmiri chilli!), thickened so it coats the beef pieces, and the beef should be tender enough to cut into with a fork. If not, just cover and stick it back in the oven!

What to Serve with Vindaloo Curry

Serve over basmati rice which is the traditional rice for Indian meals, even though any sort of undeniable rice will paintings excellent here (white, jasmine, brown, or low-carb cauliflower rice). add a dollop of undeniable yogurt for you to cool the spiciness and a sprinkle of coriander/cilantro (for freshness).

Vindaloo Beef Curry

Vindaloo Beef Curry

Vindaloo is a traditional tomato-based totally curry gifted to the sector from Goa, a sunny pocket of paradise at the Western coast of India.
prep time
20 mins
cooking time
2 hour 30 mins
total time
2 hour 50 mins



  • 800g / 1.6 lb beef chuck , cut into 3cm / 1.2″ cubes (Note 1)

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt


  • 6 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder – TEST spiciness before using! (Note 2)

  • 2 tsp coriander seeds

  • 3 tsp cumin seeds

  • 4 cloves

  • 4 cardamom pods (green)

  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder

  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns

  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger , roughly chopped

  • 10 garlic cloves (yes, 10!)

  • 1 tsp brown sugar

  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds (Note 3)

  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

  • 7 tbsp white vinegar

  • 2 cups water


  • 50g / 3 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter (Note 4)

  • 1 onion , finely chopped (brown, yellow, white)

  • 2 tsp ginger , finely grated

  • 4 garlic cloves , finely minced

  • 1 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds (Note 5)

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 10 curry leaves , fresh (Note 6)

  • 2 cups beef stock , low sodium


  • 2 tbsp coriander/cilantro leaves, chopped

  • Tomatoes 3,4 large cut or whole (optional)



Salt beef

Toss beef in salt.
Check spiciness of kashmiri chilli powder and regulate if desired. See Spiciness note below.

Curry Paste

Area Curry Paste ingredients in a Nutribullet or small food processor with 1 cup of the water. Blitz until smooth. Pour over beef. Pour closing 1 cup water into Nutribullet, shake (to smooth out closing curry paste), then pour/scrape over beef.

Marinate beef

Blend beef in curry paste, cover, then marinate 2 hours. (observe: marinade in all fairness skinny – the water cooks down during slow cooking.)
Preheat oven to one hundred ninety°C/375°F (a hundred and seventy°C fan).

Curry sauce

Soften ghee over medium excessive. cook dinner onion, ginger and garlic until they grow to be translucent – about 3 minutes.

Mustard seeds

Add black mustard seeds then cook till onion is tinged with gold. Stir in tomato paste, cook dinner 1 minute.

Puree sauce

Add beef stock, stir. transfer into a jug then use a stick blender to puree till smooth. Pour back into the pot.

Add red meat:

Add beef and curry leaves, stir then carry to boil.

Gradual cook dinner

Cover with a lid, then place inside the oven for 2 hours or till beef is crumble soft and the sauce has darkened in coloration and thickened. (See be aware 7 if sauce hasn't reduced sufficient).


Garnish with coriander, then serve over basmati rice with a aspect of naan!


Spiciness of this dish – 7 to 8 out of 10 on the spiciness scale! Not blow-your-head-off but it’s pretty spicy! SPICE CONTROL: Spiciness in this comes from Kashmiri.Strongly advised to taste the Kashmiri chilli before using because not all kashmiri is created equal, some is spicier than others and brands DO NOT specify spiciness. Kashmiri chilli typically available in Australia is medium level of spiciness (about 1/4 to 1/3 strength of black pepper) BUT sometimes outliers are extremely spicy. If it is very spicy and you’re worried, reduce spiciness per directions below. Reduce spiciness by reducing Kashmiri. For every 1 tablespoon for Kashmiri you reduce, replace with 1 teaspoon of SWEET/REGULAR paprika + 1 teaspoon of SMOKED paprika (not spicy, has a smoky flavour like Kashmiri chilli). Stir in chilli powder (pure chilli, not US chilli powder mix) or cayenne pepper at the end if you want it spicier. Note: curry colour won’t be as red as redness comes from Kashmiri. Can compensate with a drop or two or red food colouring, if desperate! 1. Beef – Beef chuck works well because it’s a tough cut that becomes “fall apart tender” after slow cooking. Boneless ribs will also work as would beef osso bucco (use 1.2kg / 2.4lb inc bone, keep them whole, the meat will fall off in pieces once slow cooked). If you can get well marbled brisket, that will also work but I find a brisket a bit stringy cooked in stew-like form. Other proteins – Lamb shoulder and pork shoulder will work too. For chicken, use about 1 kg / 2lb bone in chicken thighs but remove the skin. Cut in half along bone (equal size pieces). Make recipe as written except cook in oven for 50 minutes. Remove chicken pieces (make sure they are pretty tender), then simmer sauce on stove (very low heat) to reduce and thicken sauce (see video for how it should look, ~ 30 min I think). Return chicken into pot, serve! 2. Kashmiri chilli – TASTE IT before using quantity per recipe. Wet finger, lightly press into Kashmiri and taste. Super spicy? Start with less – you can always add more at the end. The one I get is about 1/4 to 1/3 the spiciness of black pepper. Kashmiri is a spicy, smokey Indian chilli powder that gives this curry the red colour plus spiciness. Sub with 4 tbsp smoked paprika + 1 tsp chilli powder (not US Chili Powder which is a blend) or cayenne pepper. Pretty close flavour but, you won’t get quite the same red colour. Find at Indian store (I go to Indian Emporium in Dee Why, Sydney). Also used in: Goan Fish Curry, Tandoori Chicken 3. Fenugreek seeds – Available at stores that carry a decent range of spices. I found it at Harris Farms (Australia). Also, of course, at Indian grocery stores! Use leftover for Palak Paneer. 4. Ghee is clarified butter, one of the traditional fats used in Indian cooking. It is simply butter without the water and milk solids, so you have pure butter fat, it has a more intense flavour than butter. Either buy it, make it (easy and keeps for months) or just use normal butter! 5. Black mustard seeds – key ingredient for authentic flavour. Look like poppyseeds, wasabi bite, Indian aroma! ~ $1.50 in small packs at Indian grocery stores (my local is Indian Emporium in Dee Why, Sydney). Also sold in the Indian food section at some Woolworths (Australia) $1.70, otherwise try online. Also used in: Eggplant Curry, Dal, Vegetable Samosa Pie, Cabbage Thoran Substitutes (starting with best): Brown mustard seeds, yellow mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp mustard powder*, 1 1/2 tsp Garam Masala (different flavour, but is intended to make up for absence) 6. Fresh curry leaves – key ingredient for authentic flavour! Sub dried curry leaves. Fairly accessible nowadays for Sydney-siders, sold at Harris Farms, most Coles and Woolworths. Store leftovers in fridge (weeks) or freezer (months). Also used in: Eggplant Brinjal Curry, Vegetable Samosa Pie, Cabbage Thoran (seriously good!), Lentil curry Substitute: dried curry leaves, 1.5 tsp Garam Masala powder (add it with rest of spices, different flavour but compensates). 7. Sauce thickness – If the sauce is not darker and thicker at the end of the slow cooking time, then just reduce on the stove on low heat with the lid off. This can happen if you didn’t use a heavy based pot like a dutch oven (heat retention is better = sauce cooks as intended). 8. Slow cooker / pressure cooker / Instant Pot – Won’t work for this, I’m afraid. Really need the oven to caramelise the edges and surface of the sauce which makes it darken and adds flavour, plus some evaporation which helps thicken the sauce. Slow cooker just won’t taste as good. 9. Storage – Leftovers will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge. But I find with curries (unlike Western stews) they are best eaten on the day, or the next day. After this, the intensity of the spice flavours will start to fade. 10. Nutrition per serving, assuming 5 servings. Excludes rice.
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