In this beef vindaloo recipe, the beef chunks are cooked in a homemade vindaloo sauce with plenty of caramelized onions until it reaches tender perfection. The dish packs a punch but still has a harmonious balance of sweet, savory, sour, and spicy.
You can prepare a large batch of this ultra-delicious vindaloo and save it for other days when you don’t feel like cooking. Once the meat and vegetables have some time to absorb spices from the paste, the flavors intensify, and it all becomes even more delectable.
Vindaloo vs. Curry
Indian cuisine is breathtaking in its diversity, but it can be very confusing to keep all the Indian stews straight in your mind.
Curry is a term used for any dish that involves cooking the meat and vegetables in coconut milk and a spice paste. The dish is then served over rice. Curry can be mild or pack serious heat, depending on your personal preferences and tolerance.
Vindaloo is a South Indian tomato-based curry that is known for the spiciness it gets from the signature vindaloo paste. It can be made with most protein options, including pork, beef, chicken, turkey, and shrimp.
Is This Recipe Healthy?
Our beef vindaloo is relatively healthy, and here is why.
It’s not calorie-dense: Though made with calorie-rich ingredients like beef, rice, and olive oil, our beef vindaloo contains only approximately 500 calories per serving. That’s a relatively low total for a filling rice dish, giving you ample space to add a side dish to the meal.
It’s low in sodium: Our beef vindaloo uses only a minimal amount of added salt (½ teaspoon) but still comes out flavorful.
It’s packed with protein: There are 27 grams of protein in each serving — up to 54% of your recommended daily intake. This means the dish can keep you feeling full longer, and you won’t have to deal with fast food or store-bought snacks later.
It’s rich in anti-inflammatory ingredients: With a host of different spices, including cinnamon, cumin, oregano, and chili, this vindaloo is a powerhouse of anti-inflammatory capability and offers a wide variety of other health benefits too.
Vindaloo sauce is a widely -used Indian spice that is famous for its deep flavor. The sauce tends to be fiery hot due to the chilies and generous helpings of Indian spices.
When making vindaloo, the most essential elements are spices. Chili powder — a vital component of the vindaloo — gives the curry sauce that pleasant heat, deep flavor, and velvet red color.
There is also some lovely warm spice from cinnamon, paprika, and garam masala, plus sweetness from brown sugar, and nutty aromatics from cumin, mustard, and coriander. The final touch of vinegar balances out the sauce, leaving the vindaloo with its signature taste.
Though the list of ingredients may look long and complicated, all of them are fairly accessible in the spice section of any large grocery store.
How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat
Curry is one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day after the meat and vegetables are given time to marinate in the spices. To store your cooked curry and enjoy it at a later date, we recommend letting the vindaloo cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container.
Refrigerated vindaloo should be consumed within 3 days or, if frozen, can be stored for up to 3 months. It’s a good idea to write a note on your container indicating the date you put it in the freezer, so you will know whether the food is still good months later.
Reheating beef vindaloo on the stove tends to be the easiest option. This takes a little more time and effort, but the stovetop allows more even heating and more delicious results.
If you’re using the microwave, you might want to add one or two tablespoons of water to prevent the curry from drying out. Also, it helps to stir the dish halfway through to ensure there are no cold spots.
We served this hearty beef vindaloo over a bed of steamed short-grain rice, though any plain rice will work here — feel free to try jasmine, brown, white, or even cauliflower rice. Accompaniment by a fresh salad like pico de gallo helps cool down the spiciness and cuts the richness.
Lastly, we paired the dish with a glass of honey and lemon juice for a touch of freshness. The drink completes your Indian feast, giving you a wholesome yet easy weeknight dinner.
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Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Emily Rogers is a California-based Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who specializes in Public Health Dietetics. She has had an eclectic career working as a health educator, nutrition counselor, recipe developer, clinical dietitian and outpatient dietitian. Emily is currently a full-time Public Health Nutritionist with the County of Orange where she teaches Nutrition Education and Community Nutrition courses.