Chicken Xacuti is a popular recipe from Goa. Xacuti means curry which is prepared using spices and freshly shredded coconut. Most important and complex part of the recipe is roasting and preparing the curry base. This recipe has perfect blend of nutty and spicy flavours due to variety of spices used for the gravy. For this xacuti, we are not going to add dry spices separately, all the wholes spices will be blended along with onions and coconut to make thick curry paste. In Goa, same paste is used to make variety of dishes like mushroom xacuti or any other whole lentils. So, if you are vegetarian or vegan then you might want to try this paste with other legumes to make recipe of your choice.
In this post, I am going to share my tried and tasted recipe of Chicken Xacuti. It is mostly served with goan buns/ dinner rolls but I enjoy this curry with hot plain steamed rice as well.
Below proportion is enough for a family of 4-5 people.
1 kg chicken (cleaned and curry cut pieces)
1 finely chopped onion
2-3 tbsp oil
Fresh coriander for garnishing
Salt for taste
Water as required
For Chicken Marination:
- 2 tightly packed cup of fresh coriander
- 3-4 green chillies (adjust as per spice level)
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1 inch ginger
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1-2 tbsp water (just enough to make thick marination paste)
For Curry Paste:
- 2 tsp of oil
- 5-6 dry red chillies
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 10-12 peppercorns
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 8 cloves
- 1-2 star anise
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
- 1 large sliced onion
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 3-4 pieces of tamarind (without seeds)
- 100 gms shredded fresh coconut
- Water as required
First we will prepare masala for chicken marination. Add roughly chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies in grinder jar along with remaining marination ingredients. Make thick green marination paste. Coat chicken pieces with this green masala. Overnight marination is preferred else keep it for 3-4 hours for better results. In case don’t have enough time marinate at least for 30-60 minutes.
Next we will move to prepare curry base. Heat the pan on high flame, once pan is hot add oil into it. When oil is hot, turn flame to low and gradually start adding only whole spices into the pan. Stir spices for few seconds until it releases aroma. Don’t overcook these spices else it will give burnt taste. Once aroma is released, take off these spices from pan and let it cool down. On same pan, roast onions and garlic first. Once they gets charred, add coconut pieces into the pan. Roast everything together for couple of minutes (refer below images). Remove it from the pan and let it cool down. Once it cools down, grind it along with fried whole spices, powdered spices and tamarind into smooth thick paste. Grind it throughly to make a very smooth fine paste.
Next we will move to the last and easy part of the recipe. Heat the pan and oil on medium-high flame. In hot oil, add chopped onions and stir well. When onions turns translucent, add marinated chicken. Let it cook on medium-low flame until chicken is cooked almost 50-60%.
Then add curry paste into the pan. Either use entire curry paste or 80% of it. I generally do not use entire paste, since it makes xacuti too thick. So I save almost 30% of paste, store it in the freezer. And I use this paste to make mushroom xacuti or any gravy with legumes.
Mix everything, add water to adjust the consistency as per choice. Let it cook on medium flame until oil starts separating out. Check whether chicken is cooked and simmer for few minutes.
Garnish it with freshly chopped coriander leaves and chicken xacuti is ready to serve. Enjoy it with dinner rolls or bread and some salad.
If you like the recipe then let me know in the comments section 🙂 Happy cooking!!