Authentic Goan Chicken Xacuti recipe with detail instructions and a video. Chicken Xacuti or chicken shagoti is a traditional and authentic Goan chicken curry. This curry is made using a variety of whole spices and is very spicy, flavourful and aromatic. Chicken Xacuti is very famous amongst the tourists visiting Goa and is a must have on a Goan trip.
There are various different versions of preparing this tasty curry. But the basic ingredients used are almost similar. The recipe I have shared is the way this curry is made in Goan Hindu households. The process of making xacuti is slightly lengthy and cumbersome but the end result is definitely worth it!! The first most important step to making xacuti is to use whole chicken ie. chicken with bones. The presence of bones in the curry just enhances the taste of the dish. Using boneless chicken will not give you the same results.
Marinating the Chicken
First, the chicken pieces are marinated in a spicy green masala paste. This green masala is made using coriander leaves, green chillies, ginger, garlic, tumeric powder and salt. Water should not be used while grinding the ingredients for the paste. This thick paste is then applied uniformly to all the chicken. The marinated chicken then needs to rest for atleast 1 hour before we start making the curry. The xacuti will be even more tasty if the marinated chicken is allowed to rest longer or overnight.
Preparing the Xacuti Gravy
The gravy comprises of onions, fresh coconut, ginger, garlic, turmeric powder, whole spices and tamarind. The spices mostly used are cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, red chillies, mace, nutmeg, coriander seeds, poppy seeds, aniseeds and star anise. The spices are roasted in coconut oil or ghee to release its aroma. Onions and fresh grated coconut is also roasted in coconut oil/ghee till brown. This process of roasting the onions, coconut and whole spices gives a lovely dark brown colour to the xacuti gravy. All the above ingredients are then blended into a fine paste to make the gravy.
It is advisable to allow the chicken xacuti to rest atleast for 1 hour before serving. This allows sufficient time for the gravy to thicken and for the flavours of the chicken and the spicy gravy to blend well together. It is often said that the xacuti tastes even better as it ages. Leftover xacuti tastes awesome and more flavourful the next day.
In Goa, chicken xacuti is served with hot Goan pao or undo, sliced onions and a wedge of lemon. The sliced onions and lemon juice is sprinkled over the gravy to enhance its taste. Alternately, chicken xacuti can also be had with sliced bread, rotis or plain white rice.
You can checkout more of our traditional Goan food recipes here.
- 4 green chillies
- 1 inch ginger
- 15 garlic cloves
- 1 Tsp turmeric powder
- ⅔ cup coriander leaves
- salt as per taste
Spice List for the gravy
- 10 cloves
- 15 peppercorns
- 2 inch cinnamon
- 1½ Tbsp coriander seeds
- ¼ Tsp aniseeds (saunf)
- 10 red chillies (spicy variety)
- 2 mace
- 3 cloves of star anise
- small piece of nutmeg
Other ingredients for Gravy
- 1 Tsp poppy seeds
- 1 garlic clove
- small piece of ginger
- 1 medium onion (randomly chopped)
- 3 cup fresh grated coconut
- ¾ Tsp turmeric powder
- small ball of tamarind
- 1 kg chicken (with bones)
- 2 medium onions (finely chopped)
- coconut oil or ghee
- salt as per taste
- Wash the chicken and keep aside.
- Add all the ingredients listed under 'For marination' list above to a mixer jar. Without adding any water, grind into a fine paste. Apply this paste to the chicken. Allow the chicken to rest for atleast 1 hour.
- Heat 1/2 Tsp ghee or oil in a pan. Fry the whole spices listed under 'Spice list for gravy' above one by one in oil/ghee and keep aside in a bowl.
- Add 1 Tsp of oil/ghee to the same pan. Add the poppy seeds. Fry till the colour becomes a shade darker.
- Add ginger and garlic listed under 'Other ingredients for gravy' section above. Fry for a minute.
- Add randomly chopped onion. Fry for 2 minutes.
- Add coconut. Roast till coconut turns brown.
- Add turmeric powder. Roast for 2 minutes and switch off the flame. Allow the coconut mixture to cool down.
- Add the coconut mixture, roasted spices and tamarind to a mixer jar. Add water. Grind into a fine paste.
- Add oil/ghee to a separate large pan. Add finely chopped onions. Fry till onions are brown.
- Add marinated chicken. Mix well. Cook uncovered on medium flame till chicken leaves some water.
- Cover and cook the chicken on low flame till it is cooked.
- Add coconut paste and mix well. Add water to bring the gravy to desired consistency. Add salt as per taste. Mix well.
- Cook on medium high flame. Let it boil for 5 minutes and then switch off the flame.
Tips & Tricks
- Allow the marinated chicken to rest for atleast 1 hour before cooking. Xacuti will be even more tasty if the marinated chicken is allowed to rest longer or overnight.
- The xacuti gravy will thicken as it cools down. So do not cook the gravy to desired thick consistency. Leave it a little runny.
- Allow the chicken xacuti to rest for atleast 1 hour before serving to get the best flavour.
- Sprinkle some lemon juice on the xacuti before eating to enhance the taste.