Chicken Ghee Roast

Chicken Ghee Roast is a popular dish from the West Coast of India, specifically Mangalore. It is mild and flavorful with a subtle kick of Molasses. Flavored with onions, chillies, tamarind, jaggery and ghee, this dish is robust and pairs well with rice or any flat bread. 

Chicken Ghee Roast

Cooking Chicken Ghee Roast - let's get started.

Prepare the spice mix: Add fenugreek, cumin, fennel, and coriander seeds along with black peppercorns and chillies in a warm pan. Dry roast the spices on low heat till they are toasted (usually takes about 2 to 3 minutes). Remove from heat and let it cool down. Grind it to a coarse powder. 

Prepare the marinade paste: Prepare the tamarind paste by soaking tamarind in warm water or use the tamarind paste available from the store. Add the tamarind paste to the coarse spice mix in the mixer along with peeled ginger , garlic and little water - Give it a whirl till you get a thick paste.


Marinate the chicken: To the ground paste, add lemon, salt and turmeric and mix it well with the chicken. I have used bone-in chicken but you can use either bone-in or boneless chicken.  Mix it really well and let it marinate for about an hour in the fridge.


Prepare the ghee roast chicken: Bring the chicken out and let it come to room temperature. Heat up a large work or saute pan, add oil and ghee and let it warm up till it shimmers. Add the torn curry leaves and let it splutter, then add half a stick of cinnamon. Add finely chopped onions and saute on medium flame till the onions turn translucent. Next, add the marinated chicken and stir it in on high heat till the chicken loses its pink color outside.

Now, add the jaggery powder and adjust the salt as necessary, If you need a higher heat level, this would be the time to add some kashmiri chilli powder. Roast the chicken on medium heat, covered till the chicken is no longer pink and cooked three quarters of the way. Continue to cook uncovered till the water evaporates and you have the desired consistency. Add curry leaves in the end. 

Chicken Ghee Roast

Ingredients

For marination

  • Chicken - 1lb, chopped up, skinless (bone-in or boneless)

  • Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 teaspoon

  • Cumin seeds - 1.5 teaspoons

  • Fennel seeds - 1.5 teaspoons

  • Coriander seeds - 2 teaspoons

  • Black peppercorns - 1.5 teaspoons

  • Dried, whole red chillies - 3

  • Dried kashmiri chillies - 6

  • Tamarind juice from pulp - 2 tablespoon (or) Store bought tamarind paste - 1/2 teaspoon 

  • Ginger - 1 inch, chopped into large chunks

  • Peeled garlic - 8

  • Plain yoghurt - 1/4 cup, whisked 

  • Lemon juice - freshly squeezed from 1 lemon (reserve a teaspoon for garnish)

  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon

  • Salt - To taste ​

For Roast Chicken 

  • Olive oil - 1 tablespoons 

  • Ghee (Clarified butter) - 2 tablespoon

  • Cinnamon - 1/2 stick

  • Onion - 2 medium sized, finely chopped

  • Curry leaves - 4 springs, roughly torn (reserve some for garnish)

  • Jaggery powder (or) dark brown sugar- 2 teaspoons

  • Kashmiri chilli powder - optional, as needed

  • Salt - as needed

 

To Garnish

  • Curry leaves 

  • Lemon juice 

Preparation

  1. Prepare the spice mix: Add fenugreek, cumin, fennel, and coriander seeds along with black peppercorns and chillies in a warm pan. Dry roast the spices on low heat till they are toasted (usually takes about 2 to 3 minutes). Remove from heat and let it cool down. Grind it to a coarse powder. 

  2. Prepare marinade paste: Soak tamarind in warm water and prepare the tamarind paste or use the tamarind paste available from the store. Add the tamarind paste to the coarse spice mix in the mixer along with peeled ginger , garlic and little water - Give it a whirl till you get a thick paste.

  3. Marinate the chicken: In a large bowl, add the chicken, marinade paste, lemon, salt and turmeric and mix well. I have used bone-in chicken but you can use either bone-in or boneless chicken. Mix them really well, cover the bowl and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

  4. Prep the ingredients: After an hour, bring the marinated chicken out and let it come to room temperature. In the meantime, prep all the ingredients.

  5. Prepare the ghee roast chicken: Heat up a large work or saute pan and add oil and ghee to it. Add the torn curry leaves and let it splutter, then add half a stick of cinnamon. Add finely chopped onions and saute on medium flame till the onions turn translucent. Next, add the marinated chicken and stir it in on high heat till the chicken loses its pink color outside. 

  6. Now, add the jaggery powder and adjust the salt as necessary, If you need a higher heat level, this would be the time to add some kashmiri chilli powder. Roast the chicken on medium heat, covered till the chicken is no longer pink and cooked three quarters of the way.

  7. Continue to cook uncovered till the water evaporates and you have the desired consistency. If the chicken gets too dry before fully roasted, add a tablespoon of hot water at a time till the chicken is fully cooked and well roasted.

  8. Garnish: Add the reserved curry leaves in the end along with lemon juice. 

  9. Serve piping hot with steamed basmati rice or rotis. 

  10. Enjoy!

Did you try making this dish? I'd LOVE to see it! 

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