Beef Vindaloo

My wife and I discovered beef vindaloo for the first time in a wonderful Indian restaurant near the Bahnhof in Rüsselsheim, Germany. This is one of India’s spicier curries but the taste is wonderful. Its a bit complex but worth it! This is restaurant style. Prep all your ingredients before you start.



Vindaloo Paste:

8 dried Kashmiri chilies, stemmed, seeded and rehydrated – if you cannot find these chillies you can used Tamed Jalapeños or some other fairly mild chili
1 large shallot chopped
2 Tbs each minced garlic, grated ginger
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbs water or a bit more – a little at a time, enough to get it to puree


2 Tbs vegetable oi
1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder or 1/4 tsp cayenne plus 3/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp kasoor methi dried fenugreek leaf
1/3 tsp cardamon powder (or mix equal parts cinnamon and nutmeg)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
~1 tsp hot Indian chili powder (optional) – 1 tsp is burning. 2 tsp is screaming.
2 Kashmiri chilis
1 medium onion diced
4 Roma tomatoes chopped
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Indian Spice Mix (recipe)
2 potatoes, peeled and diced to 1/2 in bites
1 1/2 Tbs Tomato paste diluted with water to pizza sauce consistency
1 Tbs Cilantro, stems and leaves, chopped
1-3 tsp brown sugar, as needed (optional)
1 Tbs tamarind paste
2 cups curry base (recipe)
1 1/2 Tbs each fresh ginger and fresh garlic, minced
2 1/2 – 3 lbs beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes, precooked in until tender
plain Greek yogurt for serving– it’s a great equalizer if the dish ends up too spicy for some of your diners, optional



  1. Do you prep. Curry base? Indian Spice mix + all other spices in a small bowl? Tomato paste diluted?
  2. Make Vindaloo paste: soak stemmed and seed peppers in hot water and repeat till softened; Puree all ingredients in blender, adding water as needed to get to the right consistency.
  3. Heat your frying pan (don’t use non-stick) briefly over medium heat. Add the oil.
  4. When the oil starts to shimmer add the garlic ginger paste and cook, stirring constantly, until it stops sputtering.
  5. Add the chili and cook on each side for 10 seconds. Just toast them not burn.
  6. Reduce heat to medium low and add the spice mix. This is the critical step. Stir it constantly for 30 seconds. If it starts to darken too much, lift the pan off the heat. You want the spice mix to cook in the oil but not burn.
  7. Raise heat under the pan to medium high and add onion. This is important. The heat is what caramelizes the onion in the curry base and gives the curry its Indian restaurant flavor. Add the diced potato.
  8. Add the Vindaloo paste and diluted tomato paste and stir until bubbles form (the oil will likely separate). This takes around 30 seconds to one minute depending on the heat.
  9. Add 3 oz of curry base. Stir until bubbles return ~30 seconds. A lively boil is ok but burning is bad.
  10. Now add 6 oz of curry base and stir for 1-2 minutes.
  11. Add the rest of the curry base and cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly.
  12. Mix in the vinegar, sugar and tamarind sauce.
  13. Turn the heat down to low and add the pre-cooked lamb, beef or chicken and the chopped tomatoes
  14. Let the curry simmer for about 15-20 minutes. If it gets too thick add a bit more curry base. Don’t add water. Taste for sweetness and adjust.
  15. Garnish with a bit of chopped fresh cilantro and serve.

Serve curry with basmati rice. Offer dinners plain greek yogurt and Nan on the side.