Fiery Hot Beef Vindaloo

As soon as the nights begin to get cool at the change of season I begin thinking about this curry. Packed with chilli, loads of pepper and fragrant spices it’s a must try for curry lovers. 

It takes a bit of extra effort to portion and grind the spices from scratch but it’s totally worth it. For us, we make a batch then freeze it in portions making the time invested initially next to nothing when you consider it per meal. You’ll love this one!

Best Beef Vindaloo Recipe


  • 1.5kg diced beef (chuck steak or casserole beef)
  • 2 large brown onions chopped
  • 2 Tb oil
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 Tb fresh ginger grated
  • 6 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 Tb sea salt rocks* or ground
  • 1 Tb cumin seed*
  • 1 Tb dried chilli flakes*
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns* or freshly ground black pepper
  •  2 tsp fenugreek*
  • 10 cloves*
  • 10 cardamon pods* (shells removed)
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 Tb sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander chopped


  1. In a mortar and pestle or food processor crush salt, cumin seed, chilli flakes, black peppercorns, fenugreek, cloves and seeds from cardamon pods (all of the spices with the asterisk*) then set aside.
  2. Dry fry mustard seed in a medium fry pan on medium heat until mustard seeds begin to pop then add oil and onions to the pan and cook on a lower heat until onion is soft (about 10 minutes).
  3. Add in the crushed spice as well as the chilli powder, turmeric, ground coriander and stir for about a minute until all of the onion is coated and the spices begin to release their fragrance.
  4. Add the garlic, ginger, lemon juice, tomato paste, sugar and cinnamon stick and stir until the mix is hot.
  5. Place beef in a slow cooker and stir through the hot onion, spice mix.
  6. Slow cook as per your slow cooker. Eg old school slow cookers may take 8 hours or longer until beef is tender, newer models may take as little as 4 hours if set on high. The main rule of thumb with slow cookers is keep cooking until the meat is tender.
  7. Stir through the chopped coriander and serve with your favourite Indian accompaniments: rice, papadums, raita, chutney, or some simple mixed veggies or my favourite: Saag- spinach and cheese curry.

Tips and tricks

  • Potatoes work well in this curry although the finished result will not be as spicy so you may need to add more chilli.
  • Halve the amount of chilli if you don’t like extra hot curries.
  • We never eat this curry without its curry buddy: ‘Saag- Spinach & cheese curry.’ The two complement each other beautifully. 
  • A pack of defrosted frozen spinach stirred through in the last hour of cooking works well.
  • This curry also works well with Lamb pieces.
  • If cooking on a stove top instead of a slow cooker add 500ml water or more if needed and simmer on low for two- three hours or until meat falls apart.

Best beef vindaloo curry

And seriously! Try it matched with the Saag…. to die for!

Best spinach and cheese curry recipe

Enjoy xx

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Beef Vindaloo
Crushing spices
Vindaloo onions
Frying onion and adding mustard seeds
Vindaloo recipe
Adding in spices
Stirring spice mix through the beef

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Dylan Sigaty-Hawkes says:

    Vindaloo without vinegar?

    1. carlyriordan says:

      The lemon juice replaces that vinegar flavour. I like it more. Try it 🙂

  2. Paige says:

    Hi Carly

    Just wondering when you add the meat to the slow cooker… what makes the sauce? Do I need to add any water to the slow cooker?

    Thanks Paige

    1. carlyriordan says:

      As soon as it has browned (if you are browning it) you can just put into the slow cooker raw… and the sauce is made as the meat and onion mix slow cook down and release their juice. You’ll have to trust me on this one 🙂

    2. carlyriordan says:

      It is a thicker sauce/gravy. Hope the above comment made sense… what I meant was if you brown the meat first then lass liquid will come out but the result is tastier. And you can put the meat in raw with cooked onions and spices and more liquid will come out. Hope that helps. Let me know how you go! It’s honestly the tastiest curry ever! Not for the faint hearted. Ha! It’s a winter fave for us. ????????

      1. Paige says:

        Hi Carly

        Okay thankyou 🙂
        Yes it makes perfect sense! I will probably brown off the meat a little then.
        I have tried to make vindaloo before and it was a fail so I am very excited to try this recipe on Saturday 🙂

        Thanks Paige xx

        1. carlyriordan says:

          Sounds good. Definitely worth the extra effort when you go to all the trouble of grinding while spices. Hope you love it. It goes without saying when browning any meat that you hear the pan first then add the oil. Might seem obvious but it’s surprising how many people miss this essential step. Thanks for taking the time to ask questions! It’s a joy to share my most loved recipes xxx

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