Updated: Nov 2, 2020
Chicken Ghee Roast
This fiery red dish with its unmistakable taste of its spices roasted with ghee and its well rounded spicy flavors is a Mangalorean delicacy.
A classic dish in all dinner parties. And I was told by the elders in my family that it has its origins in my small hometown of Kundapur, close to Mangalore in Karnataka(Yaay for that). A quiet coastal town, but very big on their food and flavours. Going back to the roots with cooking these kinds of dishes every time makes me want to stay authentic and true to the original recipe.
True that each household and family would have their own little touches and adaptations but it’s never very far from the authentic taste.
Such is this. The family who was have said to make this particular dish many years ago had held on to their secret for a long time. But in a little town secrets are not easy to keep. This recipe that I have, I got it of course from my big storehouse of traditional food information, my mom. I have no idea how she got it, though.( Must ask one day for the story, there always is.)
Every Mangalorean restaurant has this on their menu. And now it’s been adapted to Prawn Ghee roast and Egg ghee Roast too.
Don’t be fooled but its simple looks. The hero of is this dish is the ground spice and takes its time to cook and is plenty temperamental too. I think it senses your fear and spits and splutter’s everywhere. I would certainly advice, to have an apron handy or you will have many spots of red to clean up later.
Another main and very important ingredient is, the Ghee. It is not Ghee Roast if there is no ghee. And NO you can’t mix oil and ghee or show the ghee to the chicken :P. I learnt it the hard way once upon a time, and it doesn’t work. Do not be stingy when it comes to ghee. I’m not saying you have to load it with ghee but you certainly need enough for the masala to get fried well.
Using a Non-stick pot helps and does speed up the process a little. Well happy cooking, and be prepared to lick your fingers.
Chicken 1 1/2 kg
Curd 1/2 cup
Salt To taste
Dry Red Chillies- Byadgi - or kashmiri - 25-30
Coriander seeds 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds 3/4 tsp
Black Pepper corns 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Onion 1 big
Ghee to cook 4 tbsp
Lemon juice 1/2 a lemon
Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder 3/4 tsp
So here we go.
First, the chicken needs to be washed and cut into curry sized pieces. Marinate with curd (yoghurt) and salt. keep aside for at least 30 mins. While it marinates you can get on with grinding the spices.
Take all ingredients that need’s to be ground, in a mixer grinder. Chop up the onion before you add it in. Grind to a smooth paste adding a little water at a time. The masala shouldn’t be watery.
Add all ingredients that need’s to be ground, in a mixer grinder. Chop up the onion before you add it in. Grind to a smooth paste adding a little water at a time. The masala shouldn’t be watery.
Once done, pour the masala into a bowl, add 1/2 cup water to the mixer and keep that water aside.
In a pot, take ghee and pour in the ground masala. Stir fry the paste. it will at first absorb the ghee then as you constantly stir it will start to release the fat, this and the aroma changes from raw to cooked you will know its done. This is important step, the masala has to cook well. At this point just fry it a little bit more till it’s a thick paste and darker in color from the time you started.
Add the chicken and the yoghurt marinade. Coat the chicken with the masala well, let it cook. If its too thick add a little water. The yoghurt and the chicken will leave some water out so don’t add too much.
Keep and eye on it and stir every once in a while. Check for salt and cook till the gravy is thick and you can see the ghee (Fat) on the sides. Add lemon juice and sprinkle cumin and coriander powder. stir it once and you are done.