The coastal town of Mangalore in the West of India would not be as much fun if not for the influence of the Mangalorean Catholics who are believed to have descended from their Goan ancestors.Goa is the smallest state in India, along the western coast or the Konkan region, considered to be an area where the first Portugese traders who came to India in the 18th century landed , bringing in their culture & food and then blending with the spices of India.Vinadaloo is one such dish with a Portugese origin, where Portugese sailors used to preserve their meat soaked in wine and rubbed in garlic while they sailed around, perhaps the Indian spices enticed their taste buds to create this awesome dish called the Chicken Vindaloo.Pork is the most commonly used meat, but one can substitute with any meat chicken, beef etc.Vindalho is the Portugese word, where” Vinh” stands for wine “alho” stands for garlic…hence Vindalho.It is a spicy , tangy hot dish which gets better overnight and is a staple in the Goan festive food.There is something about the food, the people & the energy they transmit, it takes one instantly into a relaxed , merry making mood.I have tasted this dish among my Mangalorean catholic friends, whose Mom’s made the best vindaloos I have ever tasted in life & it was served with great affection & in a fun gathering that brings back fond memories.

Chicken Vindaloo
Chicken Vindaloo


Recipe by Maya Shetty
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Prep time

Cooking time


Total time



  • To marinate:
  • 6 -8 pieces Chicken thighs ( cut in preferred size)

  • 3 tbsp Vinegar ( substituted rice vinegar instead of wine)

  • 1 tbsp Chilli powder

  • 4 pods Garlic ( crushed fine)

  • 1 tbsp Ginger ( freshly grated)

  • Salt- to taste

  • Spice mix:
  • 4 -6 Dry red chillies

  • 2 ” Cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp Peppercorns

  • 1 tsp Cumin seed

  • 1 -2 Bay leaves

  • 1/8 tsp Fenugreek seeds

  • Rest of the ingredients:
  • 3 tbsp Oil

  • 1 big Onions

  • 3 Cardamom

  • 1 ” Cinnamon

  • 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste

  • 1 tsp Brown sugar

  • Coriander /Cilantro leaves- to garnish


  • Clean & cut the chicken pieces & marinate them in vinegar, chili powder,ginger garlic & salt for nearly 4 hours.
  • Then heat oil in a wok, add the onions & the spices one by one until the raw smell disappears & the onions turn light brown.
  • To this add the blended spice mix,( which has been dry roasted before being blended) & stir well.
  • Lastly add the marinated chicken to the mix, cover with lid & allow to cook in its own steam , once the water starts evaporating the gravy becomes thicker, add the brown sugar in & stir well.When the chicken is cooked, remove from heat & garnish with cilantro.
  • This dish goes well with flat breads or rice.Go easy on the spices if you like it less spicy.
  • Enjoy.

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