How to Make Vindaloo at Home in 4 Easy Steps

Updated on January 7, 2018
Sara Krentz profile image

Sara loves preparing home-cooked meals for her husband and herself. When she's really busy, she chooses a one-pot meal that cooks slowly.

Vindaloo over Rice
Vindaloo over Rice | Source

Indian Cuisine

This is a healthful, flavorful, aromatic Indian-inspired dish. It's versatile: I added salmon the first time I made it, only because we had some in the fridge that needed to be eaten. Substitute lamb, chicken, beef, or whatever form of protein you prefer. Or, for a vegetarian meal, eliminate the meat and add more veggies.

Here, I will share my simplified salmon (remember, you can substitute any other meat) vindaloo recipe, and then I will give step-by-step instructions for making vegetable vindaloo. Choose whichever one appeals to you. Remember to adjust the amount of spiciness to suit your tastes. I recommend serving this dish over basmati or jasmine rice.

Fish is not traditionally used in vindaloo, and I was a bit worried that it would ruin it. However, we thought all of the spices complimented the salmon well, and the fish in no way overpowered the dish. The texture was nice, too.

Ingredients and Instructions Overview

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 dried red chili peppers
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. vinegar
  • Ground pepper, to taste

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour 45 min
Ready in: 2 hours
Yields: 8 to 10


  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 sliced zucchini
  • 1/2 head of broccoli cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 large sweet potato cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 salmon fillet (deboned and cut into chunks)


  1. In a blender, puree all sauce ingredients together.
  2. In a stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute broccoli and sweet potato. Stir in sauce, cover, and cook until potatoes start to soften.
  3. Add zucchini and fish, and simmer, covered, until everything is cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve over rice.

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Detailed Instructions

You'll Need a Large Pot to Cook Your Meal In.

The first time I made this dish, I used a crockpot. After that, I've used a stockpot on the stove. Neither one works better or worse; the meal comes out fine either way. It's a matter of preference, so use whichever one you're more comfortable with. If you opt for a slow cooker (crockpot), use the low setting, and cook for about 4 or 5 hours.

Helpful Hints, Tips, & Tricks

  • Naan (Indian flat-bread) is a nice complement to this dish. We buy it at Walmart. You'll find it in their bakery section, and it is pretty good. Some supermarkets may carry it, but I've never found it at any of our local grocers. If you are near an Asian market, that's another good place to pick up some naan.
  • Eastern markets are also good places to buy garam masala, which is a mix of commonly used Indian spices. We were unable to find any locally, so I bought some on
  • Substitute cauliflower for the broccoli, if you prefer (or use both). If you would rather replace the cruciferous vegetables with ones that don't take as long to soften up (zucchini, for instance), I suggest not adding them until the vindaloo is almost ready to serve. Otherwise they will be a mushy mess.
  • I always prefer using fresh grated ginger, whenever possible, because the flavor is just so much nicer. However, I do not always have it on hand; as a last resort, ground ginger is better than nothing.

Step One: Measure the Spices and Chop the Onion

Spices | Source
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (I used about 14 ounces of the 28 ounce can you see in the photo).
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 dried red chili peppers (I used about a tablespoon of Scotch bonnet flakes; we like it to have a real kick to it).
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. vinegar
  • Ground pepper, to taste

Step Two: Puree the Sauce Ingredients

Puree | Source

Garam Masala - Delivered to Your Door

If your supermarket doesn't have a large selection of ethnic foods, or you don't live near an Eastern market, this spice mix can be difficult to find. I purchase mine on Amazon because I don't like to go hunting around town for it.

Step Three: Prep the Veggies, Legumes, and Oil

Ingredients | Source
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 sliced zucchini
  • 1/2 head of broccoli cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 large sweet potatoes cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

Step Four: Heat Oil in a Stock Pot, Then Saute Potatoes & Broccoli

Broccoli & Sweet Potatoes
Broccoli & Sweet Potatoes | Source

Because the yams take longer to cook, it's a good idea to nuke them for a couple of minutes prior to cutting them up. (This also makes them easier to cut).

Step Five: Add Chickpeas & Zucchini


Step Six: Pour the Sauce


Step Seven: Give It a Good Stir


Step Eight: Cover and Cook Over Low Heat for an Hour and a Half to Two Hours

Vindaloo | Source

When the vegetables are the desired consistency, dinner is ready to serve. Hopefully, you remembered to cook your rice during the last half hour of cook time.

Step Nine: Prepare Rice Before the Main Dish Is Done

Rice | Source

Rice: The Perfect Side for This Dish!

I like to prepare basmati or jasmine rice to go with this dish, but plain old brown or white rice will work just fine. If your local supermarket has a bulk section, it's fun to buy different types of rice and try them out.

Remember, if you are using brown rice, it will need to cook longer, so adjust the time accordingly.

Also, if you make rice frequently, I highly recommend investing in a rice cooker. It doesn't get any easier than putting the rice and water into the appliance, turning it on, and forgetting about it until the timer goes off.

Ricer/Food Steamer - A Useful Kitchen Tool

Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker and Food Steamer, Stainless Steel
Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker and Food Steamer, Stainless Steel

This is the perfect size for my purposes (although they come bigger and smaller), it's digital, and it's less bulky than my old one. This one also has less parts, and it's so much more convenient. It truly is an upgrade; I've been thrilled with it since I got it. If you don't own one, and you cook rice on a regular basis, this really is an invaluable kitchen gadget. I use mine often, and I don't know what I would do without it.


The End Result: Serve With Rice and Naan

Complete Meal
Complete Meal | Source

© 2012 Sara Krentz


Submit a Comment

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    This sounds like such a tasty meal. I appreciate the fact that you've included a vegetarian version as well as a salmon version. Both sound delicious. I love spicy food!

  • YogaAngel profile image

    YogaAngel 4 years ago

    Yum! I'm going to try this! I've had a bunch of indian spices sitting around that I didn't know what to do with. :-)

  • sarasentor lm profile image

    sarasentor lm 4 years ago

    Great recipes.

  • profile image

    anonymous 4 years ago

    Interesting recipe ... for some ingredients I've never heard of before:), but I guess I'll try to make my own version of this dish. If it will be good, I'll let you know:). Nice lens, thank you for sharing.

  • heytoto profile image

    Karen Kolavalli 4 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

    I love vindaloo, but am having a hard time imagining your salmon version! Enjoyed your lens!

  • Snakesmum profile image

    Jean DAndrea 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

    HHmmmm, wonder if it would work without tomatoes, as I'm allergic. Probably would.......

  • joancol lm profile image

    joancol lm 5 years ago

    Looking forward to try this recipe.

  • eightieschild profile image

    eightieschild 5 years ago

    Love vindaloo, but have only ever made it with chicken or lamb. Never thought of using salmon, but your lens has inspired me to give it a try. :)

  • Melissa Miotke profile image

    Melissa Miotke 5 years ago from Arizona

    I'm going to try this recipe. Thanks!

  • profile image

    antoniow 5 years ago

    I enjoy reading your lens, nicely done!

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    Sounds yummy to me, I would love to try it sometime.

    Thank you for sharing, and introducing me to Salmon Vindaloo.

  • profile image

    julieannbrady 5 years ago

    You know, I don't believe I have yet tasted salmon vindaloo. I must expand my horizons and give it a try!