Venison Vindaloo

Vindaloo is infamous for being the most fiery curry one can order at the curry house. However, traditionally this Goan dish of strong Portuguese influence is tangy, rich and warming. Using diced venison instead of typical lamb or chicken, this dish is packed with flavour rather than off-the-richter scale heat from chilli alone.


  • Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Cook time: 3 hours
  • Serves: 6 people

Ingredients for the spice blend

  • 14 cardamom pods
  • 1 heaped tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 heaped tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • ½-1 tbsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 10 cloves

Ingredients for the curry

  • 200ml Aspall Cyder Vinegar
  • 1 kg diced venison
  • 8 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 750 g onions (about 6 medium onions)
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 2 large thumbs of ginger
  • 2 red chillies
  • Small handful dried curry leaves (approx 30 leaves)
  • 4 tsp flakey sea salt
  • 3 tbsp tamarind pulp
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp mustard seeds, either black or yellow
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes


  1. If you have time, try making this curry a day ahead. It is even more delicious reheated the next day and much easier if you’re hosting friends and family. The spices will all mellow and harmonise wonderfully over 24 hours.
  2. Start with the spices. Crack open the cardamon pods and pick out the seeds. Tip the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom seeds and black peppercorns into a small saucepan and dry-toast over a low heat for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Grind in a pestle and mortar then combine with the chilli powder, turmeric, cinnamon and cloves.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the diced venison, all the spices, and the Aspall Cyder Vinegar. Mix well then allow the venison to marinate for one hour; this is a naturally lean meat so one hour is sufficient, any longer may toughen the meat.
  4. Meanwhile, chunky chop the onions. Heat 4 tablespoons of rapeseed oil in a large heavy based saucepan over a low/medium heat. Ideally use a saucepan or casserole dish which can be popped in the oven. Fry the onions for 14-16 minutes until fully soft, translucent and lightly caramelised. This sweet base is key to balance out the vinegary tang later on.
  5. While the onions are frying, peel and finely slice the garlic, peel and chop the ginger into thin matchsticks, and finely slice the chillies. After 14-16 minutes add these to the onions, along with the curry leaves and 2 teaspoons of sea salt, and continue frying for 6 minutes.
  6. After 6 minutes add the tamarind, light brown sugar and mustard seeds, stir well and keep the heat very low.
  7. By now your venison will have been marinating for one hour. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy based frying pan over a medium-high heat. Brown the diced venison in batches being sure not to overcrowd the pan. Deglaze the pan after each batch with a splash water and use a spatula to rub off any lingering browned spices then tip all this wonderful juicy flavour in with the onions. Repeat the process a few times until all the meat is browned and has joined the other ingredients in the curry. If there is any vinegary marinade left in the mixing bowl add this to the curry as well.
  8. Add 2 tins chopped tomatoes and 1 cup of water to the saucepan and stir well. Bring to a gentle simmer and preheat the oven to 150C.
  9. Once preheated, place a lid on your vindaloo and pop it in the centre of the oven to slow cook for 2.5 hours.
  10. After 2.5 hours remove from the oven and check the texture of your meat by gently pressing it with a wooden spoon. It should press apart easily. If you think your curry needs a little longer, pop it back in the oven for a further 30 minutes, perhaps with the lid off if it needs to reduce a little too.
  11. While the curry is cooking you have time to prepare the rice - or perhaps try East Anglian naked oats? Serve with greens, natural yoghurt and a sweet chutney.


Recipe created by Joey and Katy Cook. Thank you to Aspall Vinegar for sharing this recipe with us.

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