Instant Pot Chicken Vindaloo


instant pot chicken vindaloo

Chicken Vindaloo

Chicken vindaloo, a popular Goan curry, is known for being tangy, flavorful, and spicy. With this instant pot recipe + my onion masala shortcut, you can have a restaurant-worthy dish on your plate in no time at all.

Vindaloo has a rep for being “the spiciest Indian curry ever,” but oh my gosh, that is so not true… and it’s also kind of silly. You can transform any Indian dish into a spicy curry by adding more chilies or cayenne/red chili. Vindaloo is actually really flavorful – even without the heat. Spices like cardamom and cinnamon add a sweet and herbal/floral flavor and aroma to the dish. And then there’s the vinegar, which gives this curry a unique pickle-like flavor.

Now all of that said, if you prefer a super spicy vindaloo (like my husband), you can easily turn this into a dish that’ll make your eyes water. If you’re like me and prefer a flavorful but milder curry, you can have that too! Yes, yes. You can have your vindaloo and eat it too.

“This is OMG delicious!!!! So easy. Love having onion masala in the freezer. Thanks Ashley!”

Jacqueline G.
instant pot chicken vindaloo

A Goan dish with Portguese origins

Vindaloo is an Indian (Goan) dish of Portuguese origin. When the Portuguese got to India in the 15th century and colonized Goa (which was actually still a colony up until the 1960s…), they brought a dish with them called carne vinha d’alhos which translates to pork cooked in garlic and wine. That dish was doctored up with Indian spices and ingredients, and the name was shortened to vindaloo.

After trying Portuguese cuisine during a trip to Portugal a couple of years ago, I’m pretty confident in saying that the well-spiced, spicy vindaloo we know and love… likely tastes nothing like the original carne vinha d’alhos, which I have to assume (albeit based on my very limited experience with authentic Portuguese cuisine) is a milder dish.

If you’re looking for a more “authentic” vindaloo that’s made with pork, you’ll want to try this pork vindaloo.

instant pot chicken vindaloo

What if I want to use a different type of meat?

I already have a couple of vindaloo recipes on the blog: pork vindaloo and a more everyday recipe for ground meat vindaloo with potatoes. Eventually, I’ll share a meatless version too (maybe something along the lines of my butter chickpeas, but with vindaloo sauce? Oh! Or maybe a jackfruit version? Yes! That! Thinking of ideas as I type! I really need more time in the day to recipe test – if someone makes a meatless version before me, please tell me!).

Can I add potatoes?

I haven’t tried adding potatoes to this particular curry but don’t see why not. I have a chicken and potato curry on the blog, and it calls for the same cook time as this vindaloo. The only thing with this recipe is that you may need to adjust the spices at the end and possibly add an extra bit of onion masala if needed.

I know some people think vindaloo should have potatoes because vindaloo contains the word ‘aloo,’ which means potatoes in Hindi. The fact that ‘aloo’ is in the name is just a coincidence. Potatoes are nice for stretching out a meal, and they also cut some of the heat, so if you want to try, go for it. I’d cut them in half and toss ’em in.

Serve this chicken vindaloo with jeera rice and a side dish like aloo beans or arbi.

instant pot chicken vindaloo

Instant Pot Chicken Vindaloo

instant pot chicken vindaloo

Instant Pot Chicken Vindaloo

5 from 26 reviews
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  • 2 pounds skinless and boneless chicken thighs cut into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons oil of choice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 Serrano pepper or green chili minced, adjust to taste


  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼– ½ teaspoon cayenne adjust to taste


  • Press the sauté button, add oil and allow it a minute to heat up. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and serrano pepper. Once the cumin seeds brown, add the chicken and spices and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes to coat the chicken.
  • Add vinegar and onion masala.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 5 minutes at high pressure. 
  • Naturally release pressure or quick release after 10 minutes. 
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve.


  • Adjust the serrano/green chilies and cayenne to spice preference.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Bushra says

    Love this recipe! My husband has asked me to make it three times already. He’s picky so it’s def a compliment. I made your onion masala recipe and used up all that I had in the frozen stock on this recipe! I’m not much of a cook usually so this has been great way to get into cooking more regularly and get consistent results.
    One question though: we love the curry/sauce, but how can I increase the volume of the sauce in this recipe without messing up/changing the flavor? Thanks in advance

  2. Resh says

    5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe Ashley!
    I think a great meatless variation for this vindaloo maybe the eggplant and alloo(aloo baingan masala) recipe. The vinegar with eggplant might work really well

  3. Trista says

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I’ve made it three times in a very short period of time. I keep thinking about it!

  4. Kristen says

    This might be a dumb question but do you need to wait for the frozen onion masala to melt before securing the lid or is it ok for them to melt as it comes up to pressure? I’ve made this recipe before with fresh onion masala and it was amazing! Excited to make this a regular meal. Thanks for all the wonderful information and hacks!

  5. Manny says

    Just want to confirm which type of salt is used for the recipe? Table salt?

    I made a batch of the onion masala today since Roma tomatoes are in season. It is the only time of year that I make the onion masala. Will make another batch later on the week to freeze. Love the paneer green pepper recipe.

  6. Jackie says

    Ashley, this recipe got me through the early pandemic lockdowns. It’s so good I make it several times a month! I add potatoes (my mom used to make a chicken curry with potatoes that I had long been craving) and it works brilliantly. I add about a pound of potatoes diced small (~1/2″) with the chicken, and add an additional 1/4 cup of onion masala and tablespoon of vinegar, and a 1/4 cup of water. I also increase the spice mix by 25% or so.

    Thanks so much for your great recipes! My husband and I are big fans 😀

  7. Jacqueline Gibbs says

    5 stars
    This is OMG delicious!!!! So easy. Love having onion masala in the freezer. Thanks Ashley!

  8. Ankita says

    Hi! Looking to try this for the first time this weekend. In the list of spices, there is a bullet point marker but no text next to it. I wanted to see if something is missing from the ingredient list or if it’s just a typo. Thanks!

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Ankita, thanks for letting me know – it’s an error and I’ve fixed it! I recently switched the look/format of my recipe card and for some reason, empty bullet points are showing up where there should be a space. Appreciate you letting me know! Hope you love the vindaloo!

  9. Maneesha says

    5 stars
    Amazing recipe, Ashley! I made it two weekends ago for the Euros 2020 finals, with England vs Italy. I had just heard the British song “vindaloo,” (yes, it’s a real song!) and I thought to myself, “hmm why not make vindaloo for England? Let me see if Ashley has a recipe.” And of course you did, and of course it was amazing! Hit recipe! Too bad England didn’t win!

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