How To Make Lamb Vindaloo – An Indian Restaurant Favourite

I prefer my lamb vindaloo without the potatoes!

Lamb vindaloo

Spicy food fans will love this lamb vindaloo



When I first came to the UK, I was here on a student work visa. I worked in a pub near Croydon and was taken out for my first real British Indian restaurant curry after my first shift. I was told to order the lamb vindaloo and I loved it!

Growing up in California where Mexican food is very popular, I loved spicy food but I was not expecting the extreme heat that was introduced to me that evening. The flavours were new and exciting – like nothing I’d eaten before.

That was 25 years ago but I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was the beginning of my love affair with British Indian restaurant (BIR) cuisine.

Nowadays I make all the classic BIR meals at home so I am happy to be able to show you the king of them all: the lamb vindaloo.

But first, a bit of vindaloo trivia. Many restaurants include potatoes in their vindaloo curries. ‘Aloo’ means potato in Hindi so a lot of the original self-taught Indian chefs mistakenly added potatoes to this fiery curry and it stuck.

Vindaloo, however owes its origins in Portuguese controlled Goa in the fifteenth century where the dish was usually served with pork meat. The name vindaloo was most likely a mispronounceation of the similar Portuguese dish carne de vinho e albos or meat with wine and garlic.

British Indian restaurant vindaloo is not very similar to the authentic Goan version other than it is quite spicy. If you would like to read my authentic vindaloo recipe, please click here.

By the way, I don’t add potatoes to my vindaloo curries but have included instructions here just in case you want them.



Curry Sauce
I have written a large and small version of my curry sauce recipe which will need to me made before cooking this recipe. The large version is made just like they do in the best curry houses. Make a large batch for best results. It keeps in the fridge for three days and freezes well. The small batch version works well too though it’s not as authentic.

Pre-Cooked Lamb

There cook my lamb for this recipe in two different ways. The most common way that it is cooked in restaurants is for the meat to be slowly stewed with spices. Here is my recipe for this method. You may also like to try a more tandoori style lamb. Here’s my tandoori lamb tikka recipe if you’d like to make tandoori lamb vindaloo.

How to make british indian restaurant style meals

Illustrated with photographs of each recipe!

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How To Make Lamb Vindaloo - An Indian Restaurant Favourite
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
  • 800g pre-cooked lamb meat - See links to my cooking methods above.
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 fresh green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 3 tablespoons red hot chilli powder (be careful - less might be better)
  • 2 potatoes - pre-boiled (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 500ml (2 cups) heated curry sauce - See links to my recipes above.
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped coriander
  1. Heat the ghee/vegetable oil over medium heat.
  2. When the ghee is hot, scoop in the garlic and ginger along with the chopped chillies.
  3. Allow to sizzle for about a minute and then add the cumin, coriander powder and the turmeric. The curry will darken as the turmeric fries away.
  4. Now throw in the potatoes (if using) and the heated curry sauce. Stir to combine while adding the pre-cooked lamb pieces.
  5. Add the red chilli powder one tablespoon at a time while stirring. This way you can stop when it gets up to the heat you like.
  6. Add the vinegar and cook for a further minute.
  7. Scoop in the yogurt one tablespoon at a time stirring as you do.
  8. Then sprinkle with the chopped coriander and season to taste with salt and pepper. I like to shake a bit of chilli powder over the top too.

If you like the look of this lamb vindaloo, please be sure to share it with the share icons below.



  1. says

    This recipe is simply brilliant. We’ve made lots of homemade curries – but this was probably the best. It’s a vindaloo, so it was hot, but that didn’t take away from the flavours. I recommend giving this a go.

    • Dan Toombs says

      Thank you very much for that Martin. I’m really glad you liked it. i’ll be posting many more restaurant curries.


  2. Gary Burke says

    Hi Dan, you have saved my life!
    Here in Australia everything is dulled down and how I miss my curry from the uk, I have cooked this camping with friends on an open fire in a dutch oven (not the english version!) and it turned out fantastic. again many thanks for taking the time to bring this to x pats who just crave the taste of home. regards Gary

    • Dan Toombs says

      Thank you very much Gary for taking the time to comment. I’m really glad you liked the recipe. I have many more to share so please keep in touch.


  3. TammyB says

    Simply Amazing!!

    I have been searchign for years to find a Madras/vindaloo recipe to make my other half as we absolutely love indian takeaway. When I found this I wasn’t confident but thought I’d give it a whirl for easter.
    I must say that the whole thing came together at the end and tasted delicious, if not better than take out. My other half was so impressed that he wants me to make it again tonight so curry two nights in a row for us, but may ad prawns this time.
    Thank you for adding these recipes, as I said simply amazing!

    • Dan Toombs says

      Thank you very much Tammy. I’m really glad you liked the recipe. I’ve got loads more like that on the way. :-)


    • Dan Toombs says

      Hi Forrest

      Try about 500ml of curry sauce. It is a personal thing. 500ml is how I make it but you may prefer more or less. Experiment and have fun.


      • Forrest says

        I’m still confused lol. What do you mean by “curry sauce”? You listed 2 cups/500 ml of curry sauce as an ingredient. When I google curry sauce, I get recipes that are similar to your whole recipe. Was that a misprint, did you mean 500ml of water?



          • Russ says

            Forrest, Dan means the ‘curry sauce’ that you would pre-make and add to the above recipe. There is a link on this page above for both Large & Small batches of the curry sauce… Dan recommends the larger batch for a more authentic taste. Hope this helped.

  4. Frazer says

    Simply brilliant, a nice hot curry that isn’t all heat. lots of flavour and smells delicious. This will now become part of the monthly dishes. Five stars from me.

  5. James O says

    This recipe lacks the fundemental ingredient for Vindaloo….

    The Vin part for vindaloo comes from the word WINE. It was originally a Portuguese dish of meat cooked in wine!

    What you have here is just a hot mosalla style curry recipe. Not a real vindaloo!

    • Dan Toombs says

      Hi James

      I have authentic pork vindaloo recipes on my site too. This is the British Indian restaurant version which is the same only in name.


  6. Kelly Gerry says

    Wow… needed to find someone to check some of my homemade curry recipes… which I developed from my visits to Brazilian Pubs that served great BIR food (of which I am a huge fan).

    this is really good… and a great resource for my future curry adventures.

    thanks and let me know if you want to start a restaurant in Texas… they need curry here badly.


    • Dan Toombs says

      Thank you very much Kelly. I’m really glad you liked the recipe. Would love to visit Texan again someday. Happy cooking.


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