This flavorful and fiery lamb vindaloo is the ultimate Indian curry dinner. It has fork-tender pieces of lamb that are simmered in a deliciously rich vindaloo sauce. And it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare - the rest is just passive cooking time. Plus, you can make it on the stovetop, in the instant pot, or in a slow cooker!
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THE BEST LAMB VINDALOO
Lamb vindaloo can be found on practically any Indian takeout menu. And once you've tasted it, you'll see why. It's one of my favorite things to order from an Indian restaurant, so I decided to make my own homemade version!
And I wanted to make lamb vindaloo curry recipe that was not only super easy to make at home, but also one that didn't sacrifice any of the dish's fantastic flavor.
Spoiler alert, I think I succeeded with this recipe!
This vindaloo has tender bites of lamb marinated in a mouthwatering, flavorful vindaloo sauce that is seasoned to perfection.
And if you've never made curry or lamb before, don't be intimidated. The prep and active cooking time only come out to about 20 minutes total, and the rest is just letting your stove – or your instant pot or slow cooker – do its thing!
Now, the meat will have to marinate for a few hours, so just keep that in mind when you're planning out when you want to enjoy this delicious meal.
And while you're waiting for the meat to marinate, you can whip up these 5-ingredient biscuits that make the perfect side.
Oh, and if you want a traditional curry recipe, give this Instant Pot chicken curry a try!
INGREDIENTS FOR LAMB VINDALOO
So, you'll need quite a few ingredients to make this authentic vindaloo curry, but the restaurant-quality results are well worth it.
Plus, you can double or triple the sauce and save it to use for chicken, beef, or even vegetables. And trust me, this homemade vindaloo curry paste is a thousand times better than the store-bought stuff. It's what makes this one of the best vindaloo curries out there.
Anyway, here's everything you'll need for the lamb vindaloo:
- 1lb (0.45kg) lamb shoulder
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2-3 dried chili peppers
- Cinnamon sticks
- Bay leaf
- 3 cups water, add more if necessary
- Parsley for decorating
And for the vindaloo curry paste:
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 dried chili peppers
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp cloves powder
- 1 tsp sumac
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 3 tsp tomato puree
Most of these spices are staples in the kitchen, so if there's anything on this list you don't already have, go ahead and pick it up!
You can use many of the same ingredients to make our Instant Pot paella recipe next!
SUBSTITUTIONS FOR THIS RECIPE
Now, you should be able to find most of these spices in your grocery store or online. But for the ones that are a little tougher to track down, here are some swaps you can use:
- If you don't have whole cinnamon sticks, use ½-1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or ground allspice per stick.
- For sumac, swap it with ½ teaspoon of lemon zest or lemon juice.
- And for the clove powder, you can use an equal amount of nutmeg powder.
Making any of these substitutions will still give you a delicious and flavorful restaurant style vindaloo!
HOW TO MAKE LAMB VINDALOO
Ok, so this recipe may seem complicated at first, but when you break it down, it really only has three major steps: making the vindaloo curry paste, tempering the spices, and letting it cook.
And again, it only takes about 10 minutes of prep work and 10 minutes of active cooking time.
Sound good? Then, let's dive into the recipe!
STEP 1: PREPARATION
First, lightly toast the cumin and peppercorns in a pan, and then add to a blender or food processor along with the garlic, ginger powder, turmeric powder, cloves powder, sumac, olive oil, lime juice, and tomato puree.
Then blend all of these ingredients until a compact paste-like mixture forms.
Next, chop the lamb into large cubes, place in a bowl, and pour the vindaloo sauce over it, completely covering the meat. Then let it marinate in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
STEP 2: ADDING FLAVOR TO THIS LAMB VINDALOO
Once your meat is fully marinated, you can get started on the curry.
First, take out a thick-bottomed skillet and heat up your olive oil over medium-high heat.
Then add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until the onion has softened.
Next, add the dried chili peppers, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaf and lower the heat and let the spices simmer for a couple of minutes.
STEP 3: COOKING THE LAMB
Once your spices are tempered, add the marinated lamb to the skillet and turn it to medium heat.
Let the meat and sauce come to a simmer, then pour in the water and cover the pan.
Next, let everything cook for 2 hours on medium heat, stirring occasionally and adding more water if it starts to look too dry.
Once the lamb is so soft that it falls apart when you stick a fork in it, it is done.
MAKING INSTANT POT LAMB VINDALOO
If you want to cut down on cooking time, you can also make your vindaloo curry in the Instant Pot.
To do that, follow the prep and sauté instructions as is, then put everything in the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes until the meat is tender. But make sure to only use 1 ½ cups of water instead of the 3 cups.
Then, set the Instant Pot to natural pressure release and serve once the pressure has fully released.
MAKING IT IN THE SLOW COOKER
You can also make this delicious vindaloo curry in the slow cooker!
Like with the Instant Pot, do the prep and sauté parts of the recipe first, then add everything to the slow cooker.
Then let it cook for 5 hours on high or 9 hours on low.
HOW TO STORE LAMB VINDALOO
If you're making this recipe with leftovers in mind, you're in for a treat because this lamb vindaloo tastes even better the next day.
And storing it couldn't be any easier! Just transfer the vindaloo curry to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
It's also a great recipe for freezing - you can easily make a double or triple batch of it and freeze individual portions to reheat whenever the craving hits. Use a freezer-safe airtight container, label it with the current date, and it'll stay good for up to 3 months.
And for the best way to reheat this dish, check out the lamb curry section here.
WRAPPING IT ALL UP
And that's how to make the best lamb vindaloo at home! This vindaloo curry is a flavorful, comforting, and unbelievably delicious meal with bold Indian flavors.
Whether you're a longtime curry fan or are trying it for the first time, this tasty authentic lamb vindaloo is sure to become a favorite at your dinner table.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. And if you make it, be sure to leave a comment below and let me know how it went!
By the way, if you're looking for another delicious and easy lamb recipe, give this flavorful Lamb Breast a try next!
More Dinner Recipes
If you liked this delicious lamb vindaloo curry, we have a ton of recipes that I think you'll like just as much!
Give one of these a try next:
- Braised beef shank
- Instant Pot Japanese curry
- Black pepper angus steak
- Cajun shrimp fried rice
- Chicken and shrimp alfredo
- Texas Roadhouse chili
- Mar Far chicken
Easy Lamb Vindaloo Recipe With 3 Cooking Options
This flavorful and fiery lamb vindaloo is the ultimate Indian curry dinner. It has fork-tender pieces of lamb that are simmered in a deliciously rich vindaloo sauce. And it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, and the rest is just passive cooking time. Plus, you can make it on the stovetop, in the instant pot, or in a slow cooker!
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Indian
1lb (0.45kg) lamb shoulder
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 chili peppers
3 cups water, add more if necessary
Parsley for decorating
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp black pepper
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp cloves powder
1 tsp sumac
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lime juice
3 tsp tomato puree
- Lightly toast cumin and peppercorns.
- Add garlic, ginger powder, turmeric powder, cloves powder, sumac, olive oil, lime juice, tomato puree and add toasted cumin and peppercorns to a blender.
- Blend until a compact mixture is formed.
- Chop meat into large cubes, place in a bowl, and pour mixture over it. Marinate for 3-4 hours in the fridge.
- When the meat is marinated, prepare the other ingredients for cooking.
- In a thick-bottomed skillet, place the olive oil, chopped onion and garlic. Once the onion softens, add the dried chili peppers, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaf and simmer for a couple of minutes.
Cooking On Stovetop
- Add the marinated mea to the skillet, return briefly to medium temperature to allow the meat to simmer, and pour in the water.
- Cover the skillet and cook at a medium temperature for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat becomes soft so that it falls apart when you stick a fork into it.
- Serve warm and decorate with parsley.
Cooking In An Instant Pot
- Add everything to the instant pot and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes until the meat is tender.
- Set the instant pot to natural pressure release and serve once the pressure is released.
Cooking In A Slow Cooker
- Add everything to the slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 5 hours or cook on low for 9 hours.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 491
- Fat: 36
- Carbohydrates: 4
- Fiber: 1
- Protein: 34
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