Fresh Planet Flavor - Paleo Vindaloo

Sometimes I get a craving for Indian food. Warm, thick, spicy, creamy… and vindaloo–a tangy, spicy curry from Goa, India that was originally brought to the region by Portuguese colonists–is a particular favorite of mine. There are plenty of great Indian restaurants in San Francisco, but the only way I really know I’m eating clean these days is to make it at home. Luckily, this recipe is huge fun and can be made in a series of steps.

I prefer starting with whole spices and grinding them myself for a richer flavor. If you’re like me, however, you have zero patience for spice grinders. So I adapted this to make it blender-friendly! Purée long enough that the whole cloves, peppercorns and fenugreek seeds are totally broken down (approximately five minutes or until the paste steams). 

One last note: this recipe has a bit of spice. The starchy sweetness of the Japanese sweet potatoes helps to alleviate some of the heat, but see recipe notes for suggestions on how to make a milder vindaloo. As for the meat, I made this recipe with chicken but lamb or goat meat is also a great choice. - Paleo Vindaloo

Paleo Vindaloo

Prep Time 24 hours
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hrs
Yields 6

This Paleo vindaloo with chicken and sweet potatoes is thick, spicy, tangy and delicious.


  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 head garlic
  • 1 3-inch piece ginger
  • 1/2 serrano pepper
  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in half
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 2 lbs Japanese sweet potato
  • 4 cups chicken broth


  1. Using the flat of a large knife and the heel of your hand, smash the garlic cloves, then peel.
  2. Core and roughly chop the half serrano (wear gloves or wash your hand thoroughly after handling, being careful not to touch your face). Peel and roughly chop the ginger.
  3. Combine the peppercorns, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon, cloves, paprika, apple cider vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger, serrano and ½ cup water in a blender. Puree until smooth.
  4. Roughly chop the chicken thighs, then combine with the spice paste (careful, may be hot) in a glass storage container. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  5. Heat the coconut oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Finely chop the onions and cook in the oil until translucent, approximately 10 minutes.
  6. Add the marinated chicken and any leftover paste to the onions, then peel and chop the sweet potatoes and add to the pot.
  7. Cover the contents with the broth, then bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, then boil covered for a half hour. Then uncover the pot and boil until thickened to your preference, approximately an hour and a half.
  8. Serve hot over cauliflower rice (optional) with decorative serrano peppers.


Recipe Notes

If you prefer a milder vindaloo, substitute jalapeño for the serrano or omit entirely.
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