When you’re cooking the diced onion, don’t rush things. Cooking them until they’ve caramelized brings out SO much flavor and really makes a difference in the sauce. If you notice the onions start to burn, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to slow the process.
I mentioned before you can skip the cayenne entirely if you’re cooking for someone with a low spice tolerance. You can also serve your beef vindaloo with a dollop or two of plain Greek yogurt. It’ll help cut through the heat, and it adds a really nice creaminess to the dish. I also recommend serving it with a side of basmati rice and some warm naan, too.
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Prep: 20minutes minutes
Cook: 1hour hour 30minutes minutes
Total: 1hour hour 50minutes minutes
This delicious one-skillet curry delivers all the rich depth, flavor, and spice you expect from restaurant beef vindaloo. It’s almost hard to believe it’s homemade!
For the Beef
▢2 pounds beef chuck see Notes
▢1 teaspoon salt
▢½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
▢3 tablespoons neutral oil
For the Sauce
▢1 medium onion chopped
▢3 cloves garlic minced
▢2 teaspoons garam masala
▢2 teaspoons cumin
▢1 teaspoon paprika
▢1 teaspoon turmeric
▢½ teaspoon ground mustard
▢½ teaspoon cayenne pepper omit for more mild flavor
▢½ teaspoon ground ginger
▢½ teaspoon cinnamon
▢2 tablespoons tomato paste
▢¼ cup apple cider vinegar
▢1 cup low-sodium beef stock plus more as needed
To Serve (All Optional)
▢cooked basmati rice
▢plain Greek yogurt
Large skillet with lid or heavy-bottomed pot with lid
large wooden spoon or spatula
large plate or bowl
Use sharp kitchen knife to cut beef chuck into 2-inch thick cubes, then transfer cubed beef chuck to large mixing bowl.
Add 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper to mixing bowl. Toss or gently stir beef to coat thoroughly with salt and pepper. Set aside.
beef vindaloo step 1
Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot, add neutral oil and swirl pan to coat bottom with oil. Heat oil over medium-high heat until oil is hot and shimmery.
Once oil is hot and shimmery, add seasoned beef chuck to skillet. Sauté beef chuck until browned on all sides, approximately 6 minutes. Transfer browned beef to plate or bowl and set aside.
Reduce heat under skillet to medium. Do not drain skillet.
Add chopped onion to skillet. Cook 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion has browned and caramelized. Be careful not to burn onions.
Once onion has caramelized, add minced garlic to skillet. Stir to incorporate, then let onions and garlic cook together 2 minutes or until garlic has softened.
After 2 minutes, add garam masala, cumin, paprika, turmeric, ground mustard, cayenne, ground ginger, and cinnamon to skillet. Stir to fully incorporate all spices. Continue stirring, cooking 1 minute or until spices are fragrant.
beef vindaloo step 4
Add tomato paste to skillet. Stir just until paste and spices are fully incorporated.
Pour in apple cider vinegar to deglaze skillet. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly and scraping up any browned bits that might be stuck to bottom of skillet.
Pour in beef stock and gently stir to incorporate. Return browned beef to skillet and let mixture cook over medium heat until liquid begins to boil.
When liquid just begins to boil, reduce heat to medium-low. Cover skillet with lid and let beef and sauce simmer 60 minutes. While simmering, stir mixture occasionally and flip beef as needed to ensure even cooking. Note: if sauce becomes too thick, add 1 to 2 tablespoons beef stock as needed to thin sauce back out. Stir to fully incorporate stock before adding more.
When beef is fully cooked and tender, and sauce has thickened to desired consistency, taste sauce and adjust salt as needed. Note: if vinegar flavor is too strong, stir in ½ to 1 packed teaspoon brown sugar and simmer another 2 to 3 minutes.
When satisfied with flavor of sauce, remove skillet from heat. Divide beef vindaloo into equal portions and serve immediately over basmati rice with warmed naan and 1 to 2 dollops plain Greek yogurt if desired.
Beef Chuck: Lamb, pork, and chicken will all work in this dish. Chicken will need a shorter cook time.
Cayenne: For a more mild vindaloo, omit the cayenne entirely.
Vinegar: White vinegar can be used in place of apple cider vinegar. If the vinegar flavor is too strong after simmering the sauce for 60 minutes, stir in ½-1 packed teaspoon brown sugar and let mixture simmer another 2-3 minutes.
Greek Yogurt: If you’re sensitive to heat, definitely serve your vindaloo with 1-2 dollops of Greek yogurt. It’ll help offset some of the spiciness of the dish.
Basmati Rice: Check out our recipe for Instant Pot Basmati Rice! It works perfectly for this vindaloo recipe.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 550kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 46g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 21g, Trans Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 156mg, Sodium: 894mg, Potassium: 981mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 395IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 74mg, Iron: 6mg, Net Carbs: 6g