Easy Fish Vindaloo

By Published On: 24 Apr '23Last Updated: 14 Apr '24

Easy Fish Vindaloo is delicious and mildly spicy. Simply gather a few pantry staples, add them in succession before adding fish and finally simmer gently. Yummy!


"Definitely my go-to for a busy weekday dinner. Made mine with Ling fish fillets, came out just as tasty as a good Vindaloo should be, not to mention healthy too. A quick, easy way to get my sons to relish a fish dinner. Thank you, deliciouslyIndian.!"

- Astria

This Easy Fish Vindaloo is really easy. Don’t get put off with the deep red colour of the sauce. The Kashmiri chillies and paprika are added into this dish for that signature vindaloo look and colour. Although the dish looks spicy, the key spice in this dish is the Kashmiri chillies and they add very minimal bite to this special dish. The use of other spicy types of chillies is likely to result in a spicy vindaloo!

Any idea what happened when ‘Vin” (wine) and ‘dalho’ (garlic) reached Goa in the 1500s? Goa put its exciting twist to the original recipe and turned it into a Vindaloo that Portugal had never tasted before!!

Goa took the chillies in a way that Portugal never did!! Raise your hands up if you agree with me!!

Vindalho is a legacy left by the Portuguese in Goa and a its not surprising a vindaloo recipe was recorded in English in 1888.

‘Vin’ translates to wine and ‘dalho’ translates to garlic.

This speciality dish that was made with wine and garlic sauce was not at all popular until the 1960s. You have got to thank the Indian restaurants that spread this curry widely around England and the rest of the world.

Although it is taken to be the hottest curry, it was not so before the Portuguese explorers made their way to Goa in the 1500s.

The traditional Portuguese pork stew as we have come to know was made with wine, garlic, some pepper corns possibly and vinegar which acted as a preservative, so the stew could be eaten over several days.

With the arrival of the Portuguese colonisers in Goa, the converted Hindus and mixed race Catholic Goans began to consume pork as the meat of their choice.

As with many Indians, the Goans put their own exciting twist on the original recipe by adding new ingredients such as dried red chillies (for colour), cloves (aromatic), cardamom (aromatic), cumin and ginger.

The Vindaloo that we eat today is a marriage of what the Portuguese ate plus the ingredients added by the Goans to make it a palate teasing dish!!

ingredients for the FISH vindaloo

In most Indian takeaway shops and some Indian restaurants, you will almost always come across a dish called ‘Vindaloo’. Mainstream restaurants use the bottle vindaloo masala to make it economic and quick.

This recipe is quick and uses the simplest of Indian pantry staples. The best ever news is that it is a no-blend recipe that works for a weekday.

Continue reading and let me tell you what you need to get started!


Fish filletsSkin and bone free, firm white fish fillets with a mild fish flavour are great. I have used basa fish fillets as they are moist and tender. Alternative: Ling, dory or gem fish fillets also work well. Ling and dory fish are available in your local fish market, however, gem fish is rarely found these days in my local fish shop!

OnionAlmost all Indian curries kick off with frying some onion first with a little oil. Onion adds flavour, sweet depth and texture. That’s exactly what it does in this easy Fish Vindaloo. Use white or brown onion.

GingerStaple in Indian curries, ginger is essential to bring up the flavour of this vindaloo. Finely chop to bring out all of the flavour. How to use it? Finely chop/grate ginger and add when called for in the curry or if you could not be bothered, add bottled ginger paste. The flavour varies slightly when bottled ginger is used.

GarlicI have not cooked any curry without garlic and the same goes with this easy fish vindaloo. Add freshly chopped garlic. Can substitute with bottled garlic but the flavour varies. Alternative: You may blend ginger and garlic in the chutney attachment of your blender for a flavourful fresh paste. Add the paste along with other spices when called for in the recipe.

Kashmiri chilli powderVindaloo is a Portuguese influenced Indian dish and chilli powder is the key ingredient. Adds mild spiciness and a deep red colour. Available at your local Indian supermarket. Do not use hot chilli powders as we don't want this fish vindaloo to be too spicy!

Sweet paprika Creates a deep red colour when combined with Kashmiri chilli powder and a smoky flavour. It brightens the dish without the heat. If you are not a fan of this deep colour, reduce the amount of sweet paprika. I promise, it does not add extra spiciness! Alternative: paprika or sweet smoked paprika. All types of paprika are available at your local supermarket.

Turmeric powderMost commonly used ingredient in most Indian cooking. Added for a golden glow and a mild flavour. Do not overdo as the vindaloo will taste bitter. Freely available at supermarkets and Indian grocery stores.

White wine vinegarA kitchen staple, adds a unique taste to this vindaloo and perfectly balances the overall spiciness.


White distilled vinegar although harsher on the palate, its sharpness makes it a good alternative in this vindaloo. You will taste the white vinegar if you add white vinegar.

• Or for a well-rounded taste, try equal quantity of distilled white vinegar and white wine vinegar.

All types of vinegars are available in your local supermarket.

Brown sugarAdds a touch of sweetness, balances the flavours and helps neutralise the spicy elements of this curry. Alternative: White sugar or palm sugar/cane sugar (jaggery).

Coriander leavesFinely chop and use both leaves and the stalk. Add immediately before serving as a garnish. I add it to enhance the look of this vindaloo. Also adds some colour, freshness and flavour. If you are not a fan, omit it!

step-by-step instructions

Take away vindaloo be it chicken, beef or lamb may be the easiest way to go for a cold night dinner but with a little effort, this Fish Vindaloo makes an easy and great family comfort dish.

Fish makes for an exciting twist on the pork counterpart, fish being healthy and a lighter dinner option. It’s quick to prepare on a weeknight as we are using fish fillets. It’s so easy, you can even make it while your rice is steaming away in the rice cooker. Dinner sorted!!

This Fish Vindaloo is not as difficult as the Pork Vindaloo. My vindaloo version is a no blend, no marination recipe and made with basic Indian pantry staples. Once you assemble the ingredients, add them in succession as called for in the recipe to make the vindaloo sauce, toss the fish in the sauce and there you are! The fish cooks in 2-3 minutes and no more!

It is important to remember not to overcook the fish. Test the fish after 2 minutes of cooking and if the fillets are firm, the fish is ready to be removed from heat. Overcooking the fish will render it to split in the sauce. Rest the fish uncovered for 5 minutes to absorb the flavours.

Let me show you hot to prepare this Easy Fish Vindaloo!

Remove fish from packaging. Cut into chunks or slice them as I have done. Dab gently with paper towels to remove residual water

Heat oil on medium in a heavy based saucepan. Add onions and sauté for 5-6 minutes

Or until golden as shown in the image

Add ginger, garlic, spice powders, vinegar, salt and sugar

Add a dash of water. Sauté for 3 minutes

Add water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3-5 minutes stirring from time to time

Add fish

Stir gently to coat with the sauce

Close lid and simmer for 3 minutes. You know the fish is done when it is just firm. Check a piece of fish if in doubt

serving suggestions

  • Delicious with hot steamed white, brown, or Doongara Clever Rice with your choice of vegetables.
  • Pairs well with roti, naan or paratha.
  • I love it with Panpolay or Neer Dosa too.

If you have tried this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback. Please be sure to rate the recipe and/or leave a comment below. If you want to see more recipe inspirations, you can follow me on Instagram @lavina_mendonsa.

Easy Fish Vindaloo

Catherine Lavina Mendonsa
A mildly spicy version of Fish Vindaloo, it is so easy and delicious.  There is no blending and no marination for this vindaloo!  Serve it on white, brown or Doongara Clever Rice for a great family meal. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Mangalorean, Goan, Portuguese
Servings 4


  • 500-600 g fish fillets I used basa fish fillets
  • 4 tbsp. oil
  • 1 large onion sliced 150g
  • 1 tbsp. ginger finely chopped 15g
  • 5 large cloves garlic finely chopped (20g)
  • 2 tsp. Kashmiri chilli powder or to taste 8g
  • 1 tsp. Sweet paprika or to taste 3g
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder 2g
  • 4 tbsp. white wine vinegar 35mL
  • tsp. salt or to taste (5g)
  • ¾ tsp. brown sugar 4g
  • 275 mL - 300mL water
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped coriander leaves for garnish


  • Remove fish from the packaging, cut into slices/chunks. Place pieces on paper towels and gently dab to remove residual water. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a heavy based medium size saucepan on medium. Add onions and fry for 5-6 minutes or until golden.
  • Add ginger, garlic, spice powders, vinegar, salt and sugar. Add a dash of water to avoid the spices from sticking and burning. Sauté for 3 minutes or until the colour of the paste turns slightly dark.
  • Add water, stir to combine, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3-5 minutes stirring from time to time. The curry should not be too watery. If it is, simmer for a little longer to allow more water to evaporate.
  • Add fish and stir in gently until the sauce is evenly distributed around the pieces. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes or until fish is just cooked. Remove from heat. Stand covered for 3 minutes.
  • Open lid, scatter with coriander leaves and serve immediately with hot steamed white, yellow, brown or Doongara Clever Rice. Pairs well with roti or chapati.


  1. Use firm textured white flesh fish fillets with a mild fish flavour. You may use ling fish fillets or dory fish fillets.
Keyword Fish, Fish curry, Vindalho, Vindaloo, Vindalu
Lavina with Deliciously Indian

Hi, I’m Catherine!

I’m all about creating tasty Indian dishes with whatever’s on hand, even when I’m short on time or budget. I love turning simple ingredients into flavorful delights. Join me on this culinary adventure where we’ll explore the magic of Indian cuisine, one delicious dish at a time!