Vegetable Vindaloo | The Picky Eater


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Mixed vegetable vindaloo is warm, comforting, and packed with flavor! Featuring homemade vindaloo paste and a medley of fresh vegetables, it’s a great hearty dinner option. Plus, it’s vegan and gluten-free! 

If you’ve never tried any vindaloo recipes before, you are in for a happy surprise! This is a simple dish full of spice and aromatic flavors, a bunch of fresh vegetables simmered in a rich tomato-based sauce. This is the best vindaloo recipe!

This authentic vegetable vindaloo recipe celebrates the rich heritage of Indian cuisine, combining an enticing array of spices and a colorful medley of vegetables. Serve it with rice or naan bread and a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves for a delightful vegetarian meal.

While there are lots of spices in this vindaloo masala, trust me, it’s actually really easy to make! Indian cooking and Indian food doesn’t have to be complicated – and this dish is one that will taste like you’ve been cooking it all day but it actually takes only 40 minutes total (including only 10 minutes of prep time)!

Whether you’re a vegetarian or simply seeking a hearty and satisfying meal, this vegetarian vindaloo curry recipe is sure to become a family favorite.

🍛 What Is Vegetable Vindaloo? 

Traditional vindaloo is a spicy Indian curry dish that blends Portuguese and Indian culinary traditions. Its roots can be traced back to a Portuguese dish called “Carne de Vinha d’Alhos,” meaning “meat marinated in wine and garlic.” As Portuguese explorers reached India, the tangy curry underwent a transformation, incorporating a lot of spices from Goan cuisine.

Over time, vindaloo expanded to include various proteins and adapted to different dietary preferences, just like this easy vegetable vindaloo! 

It’s a dish that showcases culinary fusion by combining a flavorful vindaloo paste with an array of colorful vegetables and represents the harmonious blend of Portuguese influences and Indian spices! 

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Flavorful Fusion: Embrace the vibrant blend of traditional Indian spices and Portuguese influences. 
  • Ready In No Time: This is a great recipe for busy days – you’ll have a delicious meal ready in just 40 minutes!
  • Healthier Choice: This vegan vindaloo recipe is packed with nutritious vegetables and a light curry sauce for a lower calorie, fiber rich meal. 
  • Easy To Customize: Adjust the spice level and the combination of veggies to suit your taste preferences. 
  • Plant Based: Perfect for vegetarians and veggie lovers, this spicy vindaloo showcases the delightful flavors that vegetables can bring to a curry. Even meat eaters will love it!
  • Meal Prep Friendly: Make a batch of vegetable vindaloo ahead of time for quick and satisfying meals throughout the week. It reheats well and can even be frozen for future enjoyment.

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

To create this recipe for vindaloo, check out our simple ingredients list below:

Ingredients for vegetable vindaloo recipe on a white background.

Vindaloo Paste:

  • Red Onion, Garlic, and Ginger: These aromatic ingredients are the flavorful base of the vindaloo paste, adding depth and richness to the dish.
  • Indian Spice Blend: Spices like dried red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, turmeric, ground coriander, cumin powder, cardamom, and ground cinnamon infuse the paste with a flavorful blend of warmth, spiciness, and a touch of sweetness. Don’t forget salt and black pepper! They help bring out all of the other flavors in this veg vindaloo recipe.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil: Vinegar and oil balance the flavors and contribute to the smoothness of the paste.
  • Cilantro: Fresh cilantro add authentic herbal flavors to the paste and a bit of freshness. 

Vegetable Vindaloo:

  • Coconut Oil: This is the perfect oil to use for this easy vindaloo recipe. Some vindaloo recipes will use ghee, but we use coconut oil for this vegan version.
  • Vegetables: Potatoes are hearty and filling, perfect for this healthy dinner recipe. Cauliflower, green beans, and bell peppers round out the rest of the veggies for this vegetable vindaloo. They add a tender crunch to this vindaloo vegetarian recipe!
  • Vegetable Broth, Tomato Paste, Canned Diced Tomatoes: These ingredients create a thick and rich tomato-based sauce for the cauliflower vindaloo, complimenting the spices with sweetness. 

🍲 Substitutions

  • Vegetables: Feel free to add any veggies you have to your vegetable vindaloo. You can add vegetables such as carrots, peas, spinach, zucchini, sweet potatoes, or mushrooms to create a unique combination that suits your taste and what you have on hand! 
  • Protein Options: Want even more protein? Add tofu, paneer, or chickpeas to the mix of fresh vegetables. These options will provide a hearty and satisfying texture to the dish.
  • Spice Level: Feel free to add chili powder or powdered Kashmiri chilis. Increase or decrease the amount of hot spices in the vindaloo sauce recipe to make it milder or spicier. But be careful! You can’t remove the spice once it’s added, so start small. 
  • Oil: You can use vegetable oil, olive oil, or any other cooking oil of your choice as a substitute for the coconut oil. If you don’t need this recipe to be vegan, you can also use ghee.
  • Fresh Spices: If you don’t have all the ground spices listed in the vindaloo paste, you can use whole spices if you have them like cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and cinnamon sticks. Toast them lightly in a pan, then grind them into a powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
  • Vinegar: Use of vinegar adds a subtle tang to the vegetable vindaloo. If you want to explore different flavors, try using white vinegar, rice vinegar, or lemon juice as for the apple cider vinegar. A little goes a long way so don’t use too much. Add a bit of brown sugar if you go overboard with the vinegars!

🔪 How To Make Vegetable Vindaloo

This healthy vegetable vindaloo recipe comes together in a flash! Blend together the vindaloo paste and use one pan to bring the curry together with the vegetables. Here’s how to make it:

Make Vindaloo Paste: In a blender, combine all the vindaloo paste ingredients. Blend until a smooth paste forms, scraping down the edges as needed. Set aside for later use. You can also use a food processor for this step.

Vindaloo paste ingredients added to a food processor.

Mix Veg Vindaloo: In a large pot, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the vegan vindaloo paste for a few minutes to intensify the vindaloo flavor.

Add Vegetables: Add vegetable broth and diced potatoes.

Add Veggies: Simmer for 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, green beans, red bell pepper, tomato paste, and canned diced tomatoes.

Cook: Simmer gently for 20-30 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. 

Adjust Flavor: Sprinkle with garam masala and adjust the seasoning. Serve this vegetarian potato vindaloo recipe warm! Enjoy!

💭 Expert Tips

  • Adjusting Flavors: Adjust the spice level by increasing or decreasing the dried red pepper flakes in the vindaloo paste. Start small and work your way to your preferred spice level. 
  • Meal Prep Ready: This recipe is made for meal prep! Prepare the vindaloo paste ahead and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days in a sealable jar. Then it can be thrown together with the vegetables and lunch is ready in a flash! 
  • Cut Veggies Small: You want all the veggies to be roughly the same size for even cooking. Cut cauliflower into small florets for faster cooking and better flavor distribution. Also dice the potatoes no larger than ½ inch in size, this will ensure faster cooking.
  • Modify Consistency If Needed: Add water or more vegetable broth if the sauce thickens too much during cooking.

🙌 Other Cooking Methods

  • Slow Cooker Method: Transfer the sautéed paste and vegetables to a slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 4-6 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours.
  • Instant Pot Method: Sauté the paste, add remaining ingredients, seal the Instant Pot, and pressure cook on high for 3-5 minutes, depending on the vegetables you use. Perform a quick release.

📖 Variations

  • Tofu Vindaloo: Enhance the protein content by adding cubed tofu to the spicy sauce. You can also make a seitan vindaloo by substituting cubes of crispy fried seitan.
  • Roasted Vegetable Vindaloo: Instead of simmering the vegetables in the curry sauce, try roasting them in the oven until they are tender and slightly caramelized. Toss the roasted vegetables in the vindaloo paste and serve for a different texture and flavor. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Lentil Vindaloo: For a protein-packed option, add a cup of cooked lentils to the vegetable vindaloo when cooking, such as red lentils or green lentils. You can also make chickpea vindaloo by adding 1 15oz can of chickpeas instead of the lentils into this curry.
  • Paneer Vindaloo: Add cubed paneer to the curry paste during the simmering stage, allowing it to become flavorful and tender.

👨‍👩‍👧 Serving Suggestions 

I think this vegetarian vindaloo recipe is best served over rice, with a naan tucked in the side and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. Here are some other serving suggestions to try out! 

  • Indian Breads: A flavorful aloo vindaloo like this deserves some special side dishes! Why not try my super easy recipe for this vegan flatbread or my Guyanese roti, both pair perfectly with this spicy dish. You can also serve it alongside vegan dinner rolls!
  • Rice Sides: Nothing pairs better with spicy curry dishes like rice. Spice up your rice with my recipe for vegan biryani, a hearty side dish for this vindaloo curry recipe. Or you can quickly whip up a batch of my Indian fried rice, or “Khichdi” which is an amazing side dish for any vindaloo. 

🫙 Storage Directions

In the Fridge: Allow leftover vindaloo to cool to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container and then storing them in the refrigerator. Vegetable vindaloo curry keeps well for up to 4 days. 

In the Freezer: Freeze leftover Indian curry vindaloo in a freezer-safe, air-tight container for up to 1 month. Thaw completely in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. 

Reheating: Reheat individual portions on the stovetop or in the microwave the next day, adding a splash of water or vegetable broth if needed. 

❓Recipe FAQs

Is vindaloo very spicy?

Vegetable Vindaloo is known for its spiciness, but you can control the heat level by adjusting the amount of dried red pepper flakes in the vindaloo paste.

What is in vindaloo sauce?

Vindaloo sauce or paste typically consists of a blend of various spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chili peppers, combined with vinegar, garlic, ginger, and sometimes tomato. The sauce is known for its intense heat and rich flavors.

Can I use store-bought vindaloo paste instead of making it from scratch?

Yes, you can use store-bought vindaloo paste as a time-saving option. However, making it from scratch allows you to customize the flavors to your liking.

Vegetable vindaloo served in a bowl with naan and rice on the side.

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📋 Recipe Card

Vegetable Vindaloo

Mixed vegetable vindaloo is warm, comforting, and packed with flavor! Featuring homemade vindaloo paste and a medley of fresh vegetables, it’s a great hearty dinner option. Plus, it’s vegan and gluten-free! 

Prep Time10 minutes

Cook Time30 minutes

Total Time40 minutes

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Indian, Vegan

Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 6

Calories: 186kcal

  • Cut the cauliflower into small florets to help with faster cooking.
  • Vindaloo is known for being a spicy dish however you can simply adjust the spice in the recipe by increasing or decreasing the amount of dried red pepper flakes.
  • The vindaloo paste can be made ahead of time and stored in a sealable jar in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • Dice the potatoes no larger than ½ inch in size, this will ensure faster cooking.
  • Adjust seasoning and spiciness to taste.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Vindaloo can be frozen for up to 1 month.
  • Best served with rice, naan bread, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.
  • If you find the sauce is thickening too much and the vegetables aren’t completely cooked, add some water or more vegetable broth to the pot.

Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 826mg | Potassium: 1024mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g



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