Chicken Xacuti from Goa – not your traditional Indian food.

cardamom chilli garam masala nutmeg recipes star anise turmeric

Food from Goa is not your usual indian fanfare of explosive spices. Owing to it’s portuguese heritage, much of the region’s cuisine is imbued with new sour-spicy and sweet flavours. It’s less about pure spice and deep warmth from garam masala. That said, Xacuti (pronounced Shakuti) masala is a fiery curry base, paired with sweet cool coconut giving a delicious fresh portuguese-indian blend of flavour.

xacuti chicken curry spices goa
photo: Pankaj Kaushal

Chicken Xacuti

Ingredients
1 kg chicken, cut into big pieces
5 grams turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
2 inches of ginger
10 flakes garlic
1/2 bunch fresh coriander
5 green chillies
2 tsp oil
2 sliced onions
2 slit green chillies
1/4 cup water

For the Xacuti masala:
1 tsp oil
2 sliced onions
2 green chillies
Grated coconut meat from 1 large coconut
5 grams ginger powder
10 grams garlic granules
cassia cinnamon stick
3 peeled cardamoms
star anise
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp white poppy seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
8-10 Kashmiri chillies
1/4 piece nutmeg
5 grams turmeric powder

Cooking method

 

1. Make a paste using the turmeric powder, salt, ginger, garlic.
2. Add it to the cut chicken, and marinate for 30-60 minutes.
3. Now to start making the Xacuti masala. First heat the 1 tsp nut oil in a pan.
4. Then gently fry the onions, chillies and grated coconut. Saute for 5-10 minutes.
5. Now add all the remaining ingredients of the Xacuti masala, and roast for 2 minutes.
6. Remove the Xacuti masala from the saucepan, and grind to make a thick, red paste.
7. Now to finish, heat the 2 tsp oil, and fry the remaining onions, green chillies for 2-3 minutes until softened.
8. Add in the marinated chicken and fry for a minute.
9. Finally add in the Xacuti masala paste and water.
10. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.
11. Serve hot on a bed of rice, or with bread.


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