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Recipe: Mangalorean Chicken Ghee Roast

Mangalore is famous for its Chicken Ghee Roast.

The dish’s origins can be traced back to the coastal town of Kundapur, just outside Mangalore — it’s also referred to as Kundapur-Style Chicken Ghee Roast.

Ghee is the hero of this spicy dish by Bethica Das — the medium-sized chicken pieces are fried in ghee, and then mixed in a spicy paste featuring a medley of ingredients. Makes your mouth water, doesn’t it?

Traditionally served with neer dosas, it also goes well with steamed rice, dosa, appams, idiyappams, plain biryani or chapattis. Replace the chicken with vegetables for a vegetarian version — please see the note below.

Bethica’s recipe range is considerable and very all-India. Have you tried her Shahi Paneer Matar In 15 Minutes or Saffron Mutton Curry or Raw Jackfruit Curry?

Chicken Ghee Roast

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients

  • 500 gm chicken, cut into medium-size pieces
  • Pinch haldi or turmeric powder
  • Pinch red chilly powder
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup yoghurt
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 6-7 tbsp ghee
  • Salt to taste, about 1½ tsp
  • 1-inch piece ginger
  • 3-4 or more garlic pods
  • 1 tsp gud or jaggery
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • Water

For the masala

  • 8-10 Kashmiri red chillies
  • 3-4 red chillies
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp saunf or fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp methi or fenugreek seeds
  • 1-inch piece dalcheeni or cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 green elaichi or cardamom
  • 4-5 laung or cloves

Method

  • Marinate the chicken with salt, turmeric powder, red chilly powder.
    Keep aside for an hour.
  • In a heavy-bottomed frying pan, dry roast all the masala spices until it gives off a nice aroma.
    Take off heat and keep aside to cool.
  • Transfer the roasted spices into a mixer jar and grind.
    Then add the garlic, ginger, jaggery, tamarind paste.
    Grind to a smooth mixture.
  • Heat 2 tbsp or more ghee in a heavy-bottomed kadhai.
    Fry the marinated chicken till it is lightly browned.
    Take off heat and keep aside.
  • In another saucepan, heat 2 tbsp ghee and saute the onions till light brown.
    Now add the ground masala-ginger-garlic-tamarind paste.
    Add the yoghurt.
    Mix everything well and continue to saute till the oil separates.
    Add the fried chicken.
    Add a sprinkle of water.
    Cover and cook till the chicken is tender and done.
    Add the curry leaves and give it a stir.
    Cook for 1-2 minutes more and when done, drizzle 2-3 tbsp ghee on top.
    Take off heat and serve hot with steamed rice, dosas, appams, neer dosas, idiyappams, plain biryani or chapattis.

Editor’s Note: Replace the chicken with 6-8 boiled eggs for yum dish of Egg Ghee Roast.

Or replace with 500 gm bhindi or okra or lady’s fingers or else 500 gm sliced baigan or eggplant and you will have Bhindi Fry or Baigan Fry with Kundapur masala.

Weight watchers should reduce the ghee and fry the chicken in the air fryer.

Bethica Das is a Sharjah-based food blogger.

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