Shrimp Vindaloo


One curry to rule them all.

My dad is from South India and our family history is loaded with Portuguese colonial influence. One of the regions that's very Portuguese-y and Catholic is Goa. It's a cousin to my family's turf in Mangalore. In addition to the family connection to this dish, I think I must've been feeling subconsciously sappy this afternoon, because I was just reminded by my travel pal that we were on a beach in Goa exactly three years ago.

Vindaloo is a Goan curry that's known for being super fucking spicy.

Here's the thing with curries—if you are measuring, you're doing it wrong. But for the sake of loose guidelines, here's an estimation of what I did for this shrimp vindaloo. I made a quickie cheater version, but also included instructions in case you want to do a longer, more authentic version with a lot more gravy.

Bonus: Vindaloo is a paleo, Whole30 compliant dish without any substitutions.

Shrimp Vindaloo

Paleo and Whole30


  • 1 lb Shrimp, deveined and peeled
  • Coconut oil for cooking
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • a sprinkle of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I use this all the time. If you don't have any on hand, it's just a blend of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, lemon peel)
  • Cayenne and/or crushed red pepper, to taste
  • SHORT VERSION: 1 T tomato paste; LONG VERSION: Can of diced tomatoes
  • SHORT VERSION: 1 tsp onion powder; LONG VERSION: 1 medium onion, chopped


Quick version (no fresh onions or tomatoes, a drier curry)

The cooking goes quickly once the shrimp are in the pan, so make sure you're set. Heat about 2+ T of coconut oil in a large pan on medium high. Coconut oil is important for this recipe, because coconut oil is important for all South Indian recipes. :) Throw in the garlic and then the shrimp. Once they are in the pan, sprinkle your spice mix on top, coating evenly. Once the shrimp are cooked on one side (3 minutes-ish), flip them over and add the tomato paste to an empty side of the pan, add the vinegar and a handful or two of water to the pan. Deglaze the pan to make a gravy with the bits and tomato paste. Then sprinkle with lemon juice and EAT.

Long version: (with fresh onions and tomatoes, a wetter curry)

Heat about 2+ T of coconut oil in a large pan on medium high. Throw in the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes. Then sprinkle your vinegar and spice mix into the pan for 30 seconds. Add the can of tomatoes and stir to deglaze the pan and make a gravy. Simmer on low for at least 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Depending on how much liquid you have, you may want to keep the pan covered or not. Add the shrimp and turn the burner up to medium. Stir and flip the shrimp as needed. They'll usually be done within 3-4 minutes.


  • Goes great with roasted carrots (recipe coming soon!), on top of a sweet potato or with cauliflower rice.
  • Top with coconut flakes. Not sure it would add much, but I forgot I was going to try that today...
  • Top with fresh cilantro for a different flave.
  • Add bell peppers or greens during the simmering process. Maybe some spinach or another green to make it a one-pot dish.

Any requests for future recipes? Let me know in the comments!