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Beef Vindaloo Spicy Curry

Beef vindaloo a classic Indian restaurant-style curry with an atypical meat that works great with the hot & sharp flavours of this recipe.

My version of this Indo-Portuguese recipe is shamelessly Anglo-Indian and features instructions for both the stovetop and Instant pot or Pressure cooker.

Indian-inspired beef vindaloo curry with rice.

The Hot and Sour Vindaloo Curry

Despite the fact that most British Indian food is influenced by Northern India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, this dish is from the south, Goa to be precise.

Its roots lie in the Portuguese dish carne de vinha d’alhos which would have been a colonial introduction in the 16-17th century.

In Goa, Pork Vindaloo is relatively common but beef vindaloo is popular in the Christian communities in Kochi and Kerala.

I love using beef in curries, I think the flavours and structure of the meat are particularly good with Indian spices. I have loads of examples like my beef dopiaza, oxtail curry, methi gosht with beef and beef bhuna, I even have a minced beef and potato curry.

Rather than just using the traditional vinegar I use a combination of vinegar, tamarind and lemon juice.

Tamarind is the sour element in curries like my chicken pathia and minced pork curry.

It has a complex sweet and earthy tone as opposed to the comparative simplicity of vinegar that I use in my achari chicken recipe.

Indian-inspired beef vindaloo curry.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of beef should I use?

I typically use one of two cuts of beef for this vindaloo recipe, which is either neck or shin.

Both really do add a body to the sauce that other cuts simply do not, this accentuates the smooth mouthfeel of the ghee.

You could use cuts like rump and brisket or even a pack of “stewing beef”, they all work really well.

Can I use Tamarind concentrate?

Yes, you can, but I personally find that they all vary massively in their intensity. If you are going to use concentrate use your experience with your chosen brand.

How hot is a vindaloo curry?

I make a vindaloo that sits within the normal parameters of British Indian curries. As a result, this vindaloo is right up there on the scale of heat, you could scale this back if you wish.

Is this best cooked on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker?

This dish cooks equally well in both an Instant Pot and on the stovetop. I have provided instructions for both although I usually use my Instant Pot.

Close-up Indian-inspired beef vindaloo curry.

Serving Suggestions

When it comes to sides for this beef vindaloo curry I am a pretty simple guy, I favour simply boiled or steamed rice and a flatbread of some description.

My main curry flatbread squeeze is tandoori style naan bread, of course, you could opt for a chapati or roti of some description.

I also think that the sour flavours of this curry work with two other things, the first is potatoes.

As a result, Bombay potatoes or aloo methi make a great side dish if you wanted something with a little more oomph.

The second thing that is the perfect compliment to the hot and sour flavours of this beef vindaloo is a bit of sweetness, a spoonful of mango chutney on the side would be a perfect addition.

Indian-inspired beef vindaloo curry with tandoori naan bread.

Equipment Used

I only mention specific brands of equipment if I believe that they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop or pressure cooker, I use a 5.7L Instant Pot Duo.
  • Medium (24cm or 10″) saucepan with a lid.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Chopping board.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Large plastic bag or Tupperware bowl.
  • Mini blender.
Indian-inspired beef vindaloo curry with naan bread.
Yield: 2 Servings

Beef Vindaloo Curry Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Marinade Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours

This Beef vindaloo is hot with chilli and sour with tamarind, vinegar and lemon juice, heavily spiced this Indian-inspired dish really is a wonderful curry!


  • 400g (14 oz) Stewing Beef
  • 100g (⅔ Cup) Onion
  • 2 Green Chilli Peppers
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes
  • 125ml (½ Cup) Water
  • 2 Tbsp Ghee

For the Marinade:

  • 50g (1" cube) Tamarind
  • ½ Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ Tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 Tsp Amchoor
  • 1 Tsp Ground Turmeric
  • ½ Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 Tbsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
  • ½ Tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 50g (⅓ Cup) Onion
  • 8 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Ginger
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
  • 1 Tsp Honey
  • 3 Tbsp White Vinegar
  • 12 Cardamom Pods


  1. Cut the beef into 3cm (1¼") cubes.
  2. Add three tablespoons of boiling water to the tamarind and allow it to soak for 10 minutes, then pass it through a fine mesh sieve.
  3. Roughly chop the onion for the marinade.
  4. Add all of the ingredients for the marinade with the exception of the cardamom pods to a blender and blitz to form a paste.
  5. Add this paste with the cardamom pods to the cubed beef and allow it to marinade for at least 8 hours although it is better to do it for 24.
  6. Cut the onion for the curry into 8 wedges.
  7. Thinly slice the chilli pepper.
  8. Dice the tomatoes.

Instant Pot Instructions:

  1. Place the Instant Pot in saute mode and when it is hot add the ghee followed by the onions and cook until they begin to colour.
  2. Add the beef with the marinade and stir to combine with the onions.
  3. Throw in the tomatoes, green chilli pepper, and water.
  4. Seal the lid and cook for 35 minutes on high pressure, then allow the pressure to release for 10 minutes before opening the valve.
  5. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon, set the Instant Pot to saute mode and reduce the sauce by 2/3rds
  6. Return the beef, stir and serve.

Stovetop Instructions:

  1. Heat a medium (24cm or 10") heavy-based saucepan over a medium-high heat.
  2. Add the ghee followed by the onion and cook until it starts to colour.
  3. Add the beef and stir to combine with the onions.
  4. Throw in the tomatoes, green chilli pepper, and water.
  5. Stir to combine and bring to a boil then reduce the heat and add a lid and cook gently for 90 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid and cook for a final 30 minutes on a gentle simmer.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 694Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 189mgSodium: 1546mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 8gSugar: 19gProtein: 73g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Thursday 7th of September 2023

Hi this recipe is amazing. Would you please share some recipe for shrimp as well. Thanks 👍

Brian Jones

Thursday 7th of September 2023

Hi Nooshin, glad that you enjoyed it, I already have many shrimp curries, although we refer to them as prawns in this neck of the woods. Hit search at the top of my site and type prawn curry and enjoy, but this is my current favourite :)


Wednesday 18th of May 2022

Hi Brian, I would love to make this curry but can’t find tamarind pulp anywhere nearby. Can I use tamarind purée instead, or is that not quite the same? Thank you!

Brian Jones

Thursday 19th of May 2022

Hi Candace... Yes, you can use any of the variety of tamarind purees or concentrates out there. I would add a word of caution though, they all vary quite considerably in my experience so it is difficult to give you an "amount" to use.

If I were you I would make it in a pot on the stovetop first and cook it slowly so that you can taste what you are adding once you have got the amount right you can add it to your IP roster of recipes :)



Wednesday 25th of August 2021

I just made this last night and it's one of the best curries I've ever made, both husband and daughter had a great time eating it. Thank you for the recipe!

Brian Jones

Friday 27th of August 2021

You are welcome Ida, glad that you and yours enjoyed it :)

Stephen Ayres

Sunday 12th of April 2020

Hi Brian, this is your best curry dish I’ve cooked to date - so delicious ?. Haven’t tried them all yet though. The mango powder (something I’ve never heard of) worked so well with the spices. I used chilli flakes (1 heaped tsp) instead of the chilli powder. Fantastic!

One thing I’m not sure of is the calories counting. The ingredients apart from the ghee doesn’t seem to add up to 1000 plus calories per person nor does the fat content? Is it correct? Many thanks ?

Brian Jones

Wednesday 15th of April 2020

Hi Stephen, glad you like it! Mango powder is a glorious ingredient that adds a great sour element!

On the calories, I've done some closer digging and the third party calculator that I have plugged into my site says it is correct. It claims that 500g of beef runs to nearly 1500 calories, my fitness pal puts it at half that.

I'm afraid I have no answers, the problem with all of these calory counters is that there are always outliers, this appears to be one of them.

Fiona Hayes

Saturday 28th of March 2020

Could you use chicken instead of beef. Love it with beef but need to use some chicken I have in the fridge

Brian Jones

Sunday 29th of March 2020

Hi Fiona... Yes, you could do this with chicken, I would reduce the cooking time to 12-15 minutes for thighs and 10-12 minutes for chicken breast, put them in whole and then break them down after cooking.

The spicing mat be a little bold though and you will lose the flavour of the chicken, if I were cooking this for chicken I would likely scale back the spicing a little, say a quarter and omit the armchoor. Then move to a slightly less pokey vinegar like apple vinegar to mellow it out a little. Adding some fennel seed to a chicken variant would also be delicious.

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