The classic Chicken Vindaloo Indian dish gets a simple Slow Cooker or Instant Pot makeover that is packed with the most flavorful spices and ingredients! A dish that is great for busy weeknights so you can set it and forget it.
Chicken Vindaloo you guys. My FAVORITE EVER Indian dish. You know how you can visit various ethnic restaurants, and still always pick the same meal? I do that with Mexican food (Chicken Enchilada Verdes) and I do that with Indian food (Chicken Vindaloo). If you haven’t tried Vindaloo before, it’s a definite must! It is pretty much the perfect Amy dish. Full of spice, tangy with vinegar and mustard seeds, and very spicy.
I decided it was time to try my own version. Cooking Indian food has always been a bit daunting to me, as I have a few Indian friends who claim that Indian food is best enjoyed cooking it over a few days.
Not doing that.
Nor am I buying expensive gadgets and clay pots, or traveling far away to find the perfect blend of mysterious spices.
I consulted one of my Indian friends to give me an idea on how to make Vindaloo with simple ingredients that I can find in any grocery store. This recipe only took me one try, we LOVED it!!!! All the taste and flavor of any Vindaloo from your favorite Indian restaurant, using the slow cooker or Instant Pot!
About this Chicken Vindaloo:
1. I added potatoes for texture, to break up some of the spice, and because I just like them. In some Indian restaurants, potatoes are served with Vindaloo so I went with that. Feel free to just leave them out if it’s not your thing, maybe add more chicken in it’s place.
2. It’s spicy. Did I mention that already? Like I’ve had Vindaloo that made my eyes water and sweat break from my forehead (a little Ben Stiller style from Along Came Polly). And I have a high tolerance for spice. Sooooo, what I really want to tell you is that you can easily adjust the spice in this recipe. I only used two red hot chili peppers. You can use 1, or only 1/2 or none at all. My kids thought it was spicy, I had to give them A LOT of rice to help with the spice. And some naan, but they certainly didn’t complain about that.
3. Although this recipe slow cooks to enhance the flavor, it’s even better the next day!! So you can try to be a bit more authentic and make it the day before you want to serve it. Or not, and just enjoy leftovers. Either way, you can’t go wrong!!
4. Don’t be turned off from the number of ingredients. It’s the perfect blend of spices!
Slow Cooker Chicken Vindaloo
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 4 inch piece fresh ginger chopped
- 6 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 red hot chili peppers de-seeded and chopped*
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup pureed tomatoes canned or fresh
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 4 yukon gold potatoes skinned and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1.5 lbs chicken breast
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch optional
- Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish optional
For the Slow Cooker:
- Mix together spices into a small bowl. Add spices, ginger, garlic, peppers, tomato paste, vinegar, and broth to a food processor or blender and pulse. Continue to pulse until a thin paste/sauce is formed pausing to scrape down the sides when needed.
- Place potatoes at the bottom of your slow cooker. Top with chicken, then onion. Pour sauce on top.
- Cook on low for 4-5 hours, or until the chicken is tender and can be easily shredded. Check on the sauce. If you want a more thick sauce, add 1 tbsp arrowroot starch with 1 tbsp water to the slow cooker. Stir and continue to cook for another 15 minutes, or until thickened.
- Serve hot and garnish with fresh cilantro (if using).
For the Instant Pot:
Select the saute function on the Instant Pot. Coat the bottom of your pot with oil once hot, then add onion, ginger, garlic, and peppers. Saute for 3-4 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned. Select cancel.
- Transfer the onion/garlic mixture to a blender. Now add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, chicken broth, garam masala, coriander, turmeric, mustard, cinnamon and sea salt. Blend all ingredients until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Clean your instant pot to ensure the onion mixture is not sticking to the bottom. Return the pot back to the base, and pour the sauce into the pot.
- Now add in the chicken and potatoes. Secure the lid and select manual or pressure. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Use quick release once cooking is complete, and remove the lid once steam is completely released.
Serve plain or over a bed of rice. Garnish with additional salt to taste and fresh cilantro.
You can adjust the spice level in this recipe. This version is pretty spicy, but you can add another pepper if you'd like, or cut the spice in half using only 1 pepper. You can also feel free to omit the pepper altogether for a non-spicy variation!