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Lamb Vindaoo - Food Gypsy

Lamb Vindaloo Recipe

My first Lamb Vindaloo, will not be my last. Yes, it’s spicy. In Indian cooking a vindaloo is akin to a spicy stew and is a favourite in most curry houses, where you’ll often find it mixed with potatoes. No potatoes here my friend, just tangy, spiced lamb marinated and cooked to perfection.

I love a good vindaloo. The twist on this particular lamb vindaloo is the tomato, which balances the heat of the ginger, cayenne and chilis, and complements the richness of tamarind.

The Secret Ingredient

This is based on a vindaloo dish I had in an Indian restaurant, who refused to divulge their secrets. So I had to reverse engineer the flavour from sensory memory.  Of course, they’re entitled to keep their secrets.  Who doesn’t have a ‘secret family recipe’?

Best dam vindaloo I ever had.  Brought tears to my eyes.

Gypsy Cooking, Bollywood Valentine's
Sultan’s Rice, Mango Curry Chicken and Lamb Vindaloo, from the Gypsy Kitchen…


What made the difference was that layer of tomato flavour in the dish that was my inspiration when making this, my first Vindaloo, which according to to my official taster I “knocked it out of the park.”

“Best lamb vindaloo I’ve ever had Darling!” He didn’t just have seconds – he had thirds.  Then he complained that he ate too much. I’ll take that as a compliment.

It was later raved over by my gals when I took it along to a little afternoon girl-spa soiree. Here’s the recipe, it’s not a secret.

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Lamb Vindaoo - Food Gypsy

Lamb Vindaloo

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  • Author: Cori Horton
  • Total Time: 9 hours
  • Yield: Serves 4


Yes, it’s spicy! Lamb Vindaloo is an Indian stew and a favourite in most curry houses. Tangy, spiced lamb marinated and cooked to perfection.


Units Scale


  • 3 lbs boneless lamb
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
  • Salt – to taste

Vindaloo Curry:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee
  • 1 white onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or ghee
  • 2 cups onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 3 teaspoons turmeric
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red (cayenne) pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (or more)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • Hot water (to cover)



  1. Cut lamb into 3/4″ cubes. Place lamb in a non-metallic bowl (or zip lock bag) with the oil, vinegar, tamarind and salt. Marinade at room temperature for 8 to 48 hours.

Vindaloo Curry:

  1. Add two tablespoons oil, garlic and ginger in a food processor and puree.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup oil/ghee in large skillet (or oven-safe pot) over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until brown, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Add the garlic ginger puree.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and add your spices: cumin, coriander, cloves, bay leaf, turmeric, red pepper, and cinnamon, stirring regularly to avoid burning. When the spices begin to sizzle and turn dark (about 15 seconds), add the lamb ONLY – reserve the marinade.
  4. Cook lamb until lightly seared (about 10 minutes). Add tomato paste and cook slightly, stirring constantly to avoid burning.
  5. Add hot water to the marinade to make 2 1/2 cups liquid; add to pan and bring to a rapid boil. Add tomatoes, then lower the heat and simmer, covered – about 45 minutes. Or place, covered in preheated 350⁰F (180⁰C) oven for 30 – 45 minutes, until meat is very tender and aromatics are dissolved into the sauce. Remove from heat.  Allow to stand 10 – 15 minutes


For this recipe I used meat from a half leg of lamb. As a dryer (read less fatty) cut, it holds together well in a braised stew like this one. Serve with rice and naan for a great Eurasian meal along with our Mango Curry Chicken Recipe, or alone.  We finished with a drizzle of plain yogurt and chives to cut the heat and served with rice and naan.

  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Braising
  • Cuisine: Indian

Cori Horton

Fearlessly cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer, food marketing consultant, recipe developer and sustainability advocate. A Cordon Bleu trained chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and now shares all things delicious - right here.

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