I didn’t know whether a non-Goan would be aware let alone enjoy a Xacuti. So neons ago, when my husband’s ex-boss asked me “Do you cook Xacuti?”, I was stunned. My husband mentioned “Oh she’s too good at Goan dishes.”

Now again I received a request for my version of a Xacuti. I’m sharing my family’s recipe with you all to enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken, cleaned, skin removed and washed 1.2 kgs cut as desired (medium size is preferable)
  • Tumeric powder 1 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste 1 tsp.
  • 1 whole coconut grated
  • 1 small onion cut into quarters
  • Oil for cooking and roasting as required (I have used coconut oil)
  • 10-12 red chillies (mix of bedki and kashmir)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/8th tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2″ cinnamon sticks
  • 5-7 cloves
  • 7-9 peppercorns
  • 1 mace
  • 5 small cardamoms
  • 1 big cardamom
  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder (grated)
  • 3 tbs Coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2″ ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs poppy seeds/cashews soaked in warm water (Since poppy seeds are banned here I have used cashews)
  • 1 star anise
  • A small lemon size tamarind ball soaked in warm water
  • Water to facilitate grinding the masala
  • Salt as required (I have used 1 tsp.)
  • Jaggery as required (A pinch)

For sauteeing : 1 onion medium size (finely chopped )

Method: Start by marinating the chicken with salt, tumeric powder and ginger garlic paste. Keep aside.

Now start roasting the spices 1 by 1 at a time. Remove onto a wide mouth plate to facilitate faster cooling of the spices. (Many add oil while roasting but I prefer a dry roast to bring out the flavours). Add the onion which was cut into quarters. Roast till it becomes soft.

Last add the coconut. Add a little coconut oil and roast till golden brown. Remove and keep aside and allow to cool.

Now in a mixer add all the roasted dry spices and the roasted onion along with enough water to become a paste. Grind 2-3 times to make a smooth paste adding water little at a time. Now add the roasted coconut keeping aside 2-3 tbs of the roasted coconut. Add enough water to make a smooth paste. Grind again. Wash the masala and keep in a bowl. Add a little water and wash the masala and keep aside in another bowl.

Now in your vessel add oil and sautee the finely chopped onion. Keep stirring till the onion turns golden brown. Now add the ground masala and fry well. Once the aroma is released add the water with which the mixer was washed. Add the chicken and fry well to coat the masala to the chicken. Keep on a medium flame. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Open and fry for sometime. You will see that the chicken has left some of water.

Add water as required (depending on how thick you want your curry to be). Stir for 2 minutes. Cover and cook stirring, after regular intervals to avoid burning. After sometime you will see oil floating. Add tamrind juice and adjust salt if required add salt. Taste the gravy and add a pinch of grated jaggery. Close and let it cook till the chicken is completely cooked. Add the reserved coconut and mix well. Switch off and enjoy your Xacuti/Shakuti with pulav/ rice/ bread/sannas/chappatis.

Notes:. 1. The older the chillies you will get a brown masala.

2. Roast the spices and chillies to a golden brown colour.

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