Sunday, November 26, 2006

chicken xacuti

A heavenly dish originally from Goa - pronounced "chakooty". The chicken is marinated in freshly roasted spices and cooked slowly in sweet, fresh coconut juice. Perfectly Delightful!

1Kg chicken, cut into medium sized pieces
(substitute tofu, paneer or soya if veggie/vegan)
6 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
6 -8 onions
Juice of 2 limes
Coconut juice either tinned or fresh
1 fresh coconut - grate the coconut and roast with two of the onions (sliced lengthwise) and a little ghee.
The coconut needs to turn a pale brown

The key is to roast the whole spices before grinding them. This brings out the nutty, warm flavors. To roast, heat a griddle over a moderate heat, add the spices, and shake the pan for 20 seconds. A lovely aroma will be released.

Roast and grind (to paste with a little water):
- Toasted coconut/onion mixture
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 5 black peppercorns
- 10 dried red chilies (or less)
- 1tsp turmeric
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 inch piece cinnamon
- 1/2 nutmeg
- 3 tblsp aniseed
- 1tbsp poppy seeds

• Chop four of the onions and fry until light brown.
• Add the chicken and brown.
• Add the ground paste, fry for a minute and then add the coconut milk.
• Cook until chicken is tender.
• Cut the remaining onions and add to the chicken.
• Boil for a few minutes then lower flame
• Add the thick coconut milk.
• Add salt if required.
• Simmer until sauce has thickened.
• Sprinkle over some limejuice and fresh coriander leaves prior to serving.

Enjoy with naan bread, chappatis or rice.

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