Goan Chicken Xacuti

Goan Chicken Xacuti
Goan Chicken Xacuti
Xacuti (pronounced Shakuti) is a classic Goan dish that is not for the faint of heart. Fiery and loaded with flavour, it's absolutely delicious!

1 kilogram chicken (whole chicken or bone-in thighs)
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon tamarind (soak in 1/4 cup hot water)
salt to taste
pinch or two of sugar

Roast and grind to a thick paste:
1 onion (sliced)
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 - 2 tsp coconut oil
10 kashmiri chilies
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon peppercorn
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
8 garlic cloves
5 cloves
2 teaspoon poppy seeds
2 tablespoon coriander seeds
1" cinnamon
2 cardamom
1 star anise

1. Prep your spices before you begin to save time while cooking.

2. Clean, wash and cut the chicken. Apply salt and put aside for 30 minutes.

3. Roast the sliced onions in a pan on medium heat until golden brown. I find that roasting the onions before grinding adds to the overall flavour and colour of the finished product. Keep aside.

4. Roast the spices in the same pan. Do not let them burn or you will end up with a bitter note to the curry. Keep aside.

5. Roast the desiccated coconut along with a tsp or two of coconut oil. I find the addition of coconut oil enhances the overall flavour of the spice mix. Note: I've used Parachute coconut oil because I did not have any other coconut oil on hand. If possible, use a virgin or organic coconut oil for this process. 

6. Once all the spices are roasted, let them cool and grind them to a thick, slightly coarse paste.

7. Partially cook the salted chicken in a pan for a few minutes until it's juices dry. Do not cook it all the way through. We'll leave that for when we get it mixed with the spices. 

8. Heat a couple tablespoons oil and saute the chopped onion in it. Once done, add the ground spice mix to it and let it fry for a couple minutes. 

9. Add the partially cooked chicken to the onion and spice mixture and let it cook for 5 - 10 minutes.

10. Squeeze and drain the tamarind concentrate and add it to the curry mix. Let it cook for a few minutes and then add salt to taste.

11. Let the curry cook until the chicken is tender. Add a pinch or two of sugar a couple minutes before turning off the heat. 

12. The Xacuti tastes a lot better if eaten a day or two later as the flavours mature and the colour of the curry deepens. Enjoy with steamed rice and and a squeeze of lime.