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Xacutti chicken

Also known as Sha-kooti, this very fragrant and tender chicken curry is made with a spicy masala mix. Always served with steamed basmati rice and perhaps a side dish of dal (flavoured lentils). It is a specialty from the west coast Indian state of Goa and is delicious served with a spoon of the southern Indian tomato relish kasoundi.


  • 6 chicken thighs

  • 2 medium brown onions (finely diced)

  • 2 tablespoons ghee

  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)

  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

  • 4 tablespoons Xacutti masala mix (see below)

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 4 whole cloves

  • .5 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 3 tablespoons tomato puree

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • To taste lime juice

  • To taste salt & ground black pepper

  • .5 cup coriander leaves

  • .5 cup toasted dried coconut

  • Xacutti Masala Mix

  • .75 cup desiccated coconut

  • 4 dried Kashmiri chillies

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

  • .5 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • .5 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

  • .5 teaspoon chilli powder


  • 1.

    Remove any fat and skin from the chicken. Heat a deep heavy based saucepan and add the ghee, stirring until melted.

  • 2.

    Fry the garlic and ginger for 1 minute, then add the onions stirring well and cook for several minutes. Add the turmeric, cloves, cinnamon sticks and the Xacutti masala.

  • 3.

    Fry together until quite fragrant then add the chicken. When lightly coloured add the coconut milk, tomato puree, stock and cook with a lid on until tender. Season with the lime juice, salt and serve with coriander and rice.

  • Xacutti Masala Mix:

  • 1.

    Pan roast the first 9 ingredients until deep golden then grind in a food processor. Add in the chilli powder and when cool, place into an air tight jar and refrigerate.

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