m. c. de marco: The New Kitchen Cookbook

Instant Pot Chicken Vindaloo

This is my take on the instant pot vindaloo at My Heart Beets. Vindaloo is a Goan dish based on the Portuguese carne de vinho d'alhos (meat in vinegar and garlic), which is why it is traditionally made with pork or beef rather than Indian meats like lamb, chicken, or goat. The internet assured me that any meat would do, so I went with chicken. The other change I made (besides reducing quantities a bit) was to cook the chicken whole on the bone rather than chopped up, though I would have chopped it up if I’d had boneless thighs around.

This did not turn out spicy, so I’m planning to spice it up in the future.

Serves 2.



  • 1 ⅓ lbs chicken pieces, preferably dark meat, optionally frozen
  • 2 T. oil
  • ½ tsp. cumin seed, heaping
  • ½ tsp. black mustard seed, scant
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 hot pepper (e.g. scotch bonnet), minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced or sliced
  • 1 chunk ginger, diced or sliced (about 1 T)


  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. coriander, heaping
  • ½ tsp. turmeric (optional)
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon, heaping
  • ¼ tsp. ground cardamom, heaping
  • dash clove (optional)
  • black pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne, heaping


  • ¾ c. water
  • ¼ c. rice vinegar


  1. Start defrosting the chicken (just a bit) if it’s frozen.
  2. Dice onions.
  3. Heat oil in Instant Pot on sauté.
  4. Fry cumin and mustard until the mustard starts to pop.
  5. Add onions and pepper and cook until transparent (about 8 minutes).
  6. Meanwhile, dice the garlic and ginger.
  7. Add garlic and ginger once onions are cooked.
  8. Add chicken, skin side down.
  9. Brown on both sides.
  10. Mix remaining dry spices. Sprinkle about half on the chicken pieces.
  11. Cancel sauté and deglaze the pot with the liquid ingredients (just shoving the chicken aside if possible).
  12. Add the rest of the spices to the liquid and mix.
  13. Pressure cook on high for 20–25 minutes, depending on how frozen your chicken is at this point. Meanwhile, make rice or another side.
  14. Natural release for 10 minutes or so, then release pressure.
  15. Remove chicken to a hot plate.
  16. Sauté the sauce to cook it down to desired sauciness.
  17. Serve sauce over the chicken and rice.


Any other meat would work, too, though duck (dark meat) would work best. Cooked meat is also an option.

The aloo means alho, not potatoes, but some people do make vindaloo with potatoes for filler. It sounds like a handy way to make this a one-pot dish (if you also tossed in some veggies while cooking down the sauce), but I haven’t tried it yet.

If you don’t have the whole spices or don’t want to bother with frying them, you can instead add about a third of the quantity of ground spice to the spice mixture.

Some recipes add tomato or tomato paste, and/or fenugreek leaves or curry leaves. Some substitute chili powder for the paprika (reduce the quantity).

Marinating the meat is an option, but just for a few hours.

The instant pot has a way of neutering spices, so you may want to increase the hot pepper count and/or add the cayenne when cooking down the sauce.

The original recipe also called for white vinegar, tamarind, and a fresh cilantro garnish. Spices listed as optional came from various other vindaloo recipes. Some recipes use lime juice in place of vinegar, and all sorts of other vinegars than white.