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Chicken Ghee Roast

We are just back from a nice and long holiday to Thailand. I am working on the travelogue in parallel but in the mean while thought of posting some recipes as well. As predicted by the meteorological department, the pre- monsoons have started bang on time in Pune making the weather pretty romantic. Small spell of rain accompanied by gusty winds are a welcome change from the sweltering heat we had this year.

In the first week of pre monsoon, I decided to be a bit creative with the chicken. I wanted to make something without turmeric. As I was browsing the net for a good curry recipe I came across the Chicken Xacuti Recipe by Sanjeev Kapoor. I liked the recipe but decided to do some customization as I didn't have tamarind and wanted to omit turmeric.

In the end after certain customization like adding ghee to bring out the robust flavors of coconut and dry roasted masalas I had something which resembled the taste of a Chicken ghee roast more than a Xacuti. It may sound strange but yes if you simply omit the ghee, bring down the sugar level and add the tamarind then you will get a xacuti curry instead of a ghee roast. Puritans might not agree to this but I felt that it is. Chicken Ghee roast is a signature Mangalorean dish.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes  

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 2

Cuisine: Mangalore


  • Chicken - 600 gm 
  • Curd - 100 gm
  • Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Masala Powder:
  • Cardamom - 1
  • Cinnamon - 2 inch piece
  • Clove - 2
  • Cumin Seed - 1 tsp
  • Coriander Seed - 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Star Anise - 1
  • Fennel Seed - 2 tsp
  • Poppy Seed - 2 tsp
  • Black Peppercorn - 8-10
  • Dried Red Chilli - 2
Chicken Curry:
  • Coconut (scraped) - 1 /2 cup
  • Garlic (whole) - 4
  • Onion - 2 Medium 
  • Fresh Ginger Paste - 1 tsp 
  • Red Chilli Powder - 2 tsp
  • Nutmeg (grated) - 1/4 tsp
  • Coconut Milk - 1/2 Cup
  • Refined Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Ghee (Clarified Butter) 2 tbsp + 1 tsp + 1 tsp
  • Sugar - 1 tbsp
  • Salt as per taste
  • Green Chilli (for garnish) - 1

1. Clean the chicken and pat dry. Add the curd and 1 tsp red chilli Powder and marinate for at least an hour

2. Cut the coconut in chunks. Heat 1 tsp of the refined oil and fry the coconuts till fragrant. The coconut pieces will take a slightly brownish hue around the edges Keep aside

3. Dry roast all the ingredients mentioned under Masala Powder.

 4. Take a mixer jar add the fried coconut, dry roasted masalas and garlic cloves. Add some water and grind everything into a fine paste.

5. Cut the onion into small pieces. Add the remaining oil to the oil used for frying coconut. Now saute the onions till they are finely browned. This will add color to the curry.

6. Shake off the extra marinade off the chicken and add the pieces to the onion one by one. Increase the heat. Add 2 tbsp of ghee at this point. Coat the chicken pieces with the fried onion and saute for about 3-4 minutes on high flame.

7. Add the masala paste to the chicken and fold in.Add the ginger paste. Adjust salt and sugar. Fry the chicken with the masalas till oil separates. You can add small amounts of water in between to keep the chicken from sticking to the pan. Keep stirring continuously.

8. Now add the coconut milk and extra marinade. Add 1 tsp of Chilli Powder and 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder. Add 1 tsp of ghee. Cook on medium flame till oil floats and the curry becomes thick. If you prefer a runny gravy you can add more warm water or coconut milk. I preferred a bit dry.

9. Adjust the salt and sugar level when the curry starts to dry up. I kept the preparation mildly sweet. Top off with remaining 1 tsp of ghee and keep the lid on till the time of serving. The aroma of the ghee will seep into the preparation.

Plate the dish and garnish with stilted green chillies. Serve it with steamed rice, pav, bread, roti or naan. Its a very versatile dish that pairs with anything.

Note: I didn't have whole coriander seeds hence I substituted it with 1 1/2 tsp of coriander powder while making the paste.

This post first appeared on Curries & Stories, please read the originial post: here

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Chicken Ghee Roast


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