Chicken Ghee Roast is a popular Mangalorean dish, a thick masala Chicken preparation prepared in Ghee roasted spices. It’s a wonderful amalgamation of flavors-tangy, a bit of sweetness and generously spicy.
A lovely taste and aroma of fresh ghee gently caresses your taste buds all along while you are digging into this dish. Trust me if you haven’t tasted this dish yet then you are missing out a culinary gem.
If my memory doesn’t betray me then my first experience with any type of Ghee roast (you can make Chicken, prawns, mutton, Crab and there is even paneer for vegetarian brethren) was in a modest eatery in Pune (which has sadly closed down now). I am one of those customers who spends considerable amount of time reading through the menu and abhor the sight of a waiter towering over my shoulders to get my order. So the first thing I do is politely tell them I would call them as soon as I am ready for the order. So this one time, while reading through the menu card, what caught my fancy was a dish named Paneer Ghee Roast with two red chilies printed beside it. It was one of the Chef’s recommended dish and Chicken Ghee Roast being the other. The Manager who was lingering around our table came to our rescue and explained a bit about the dish. We had made up our minds by then and didn’t need any convincing at all. The dish was a pleasant surprise for us. We experienced a riot of flavors in our mouth as we tasted the masala coated paneer. As we had never experienced the taste of authentic Ghee roast until then, we couldn’t make any comparisons.
The first opportunity to taste Ghee roast came in 2016 when we visited Mangalore-Udupi on our food excursion. A detailed account of this visit can be read here.
During this trip, we tasted Crab Ghee Roast at one of the most popular restaurants in Mangalore and with the first taste of the masala we were awestruck. The freshness of Ghee was just unbelievable. Every bite of Crab meat was tingling our taste buds with all sorts of flavors. It was a wonderful amalgamation of flavors-tangy, just right amount of sweetness and generously spicy. This culinary gem had left a lasting impression on our taste buds and our minds.
The following year, when we visited Udupi, Kundapur and the much famed Shetty’s Lunch home was on our ‘places to visit’ list. We took a ride in a private bus service that plies frequently between Udupi and Kundapur and reached Shetty’s Lunch Home. We were escorted to a AC section of this eatery and the menu card was laid in front of us which seemed unnecessary. We had our order ready in our minds for months now- Chicken Ghee Roast with Neer Dosa. However, what followed thereafter left us in amazement.
The Manager politely explained us how one has to wait for 90 mins atleast if one choses to order Ghee Roast. They take pride in the fact that the Ghee Roast is a dish that gets made right from the scratch in their kitchen for every order, notwithstanding the fact that a customer will have to agonizingly wait for 90 mins for just one order. So then we decided to have a look in the menu card so that we can order few other dishes until our Ghee roast order gets ready.
While we waited patiently for our order, we witnessed some of the other patrons who arrived much later were served Ghee roast immediately on their arrival. We had to put our curiosity to rest so we decided to ask the Manager about this blatant discrepancy. To our amusement, he replied that many of their patrons place their orders through telephone so that when they arrive at Shetty’s Lunch home their order is ready to be served to them immediately. Such was the passion for this dish.
This week when we decided to finally make Chicken Ghee roast for our YouTube Channel and blog, we knew we have to cater to one of the toughest critic that is myself. I have tasted this dish several times in past 2 years at restaurants, some insanely delicious and some terrible. I cooked this dish quite a few times in my kitchen each time bettering my own effort. Finally, we have the recipe that we are sharing now. I have made this dish and served it to friends and family and each of them had rave reviews for this dish.
Do try out this Culinary gem from Mangalore in your own kitchen and you will be in for a culinary experience of your life.
- 500 gms Chicken (with bones)-washed and cleaned
- 4-5 tbsp Ghee
- ½ Cup Curd (125 gms)
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tbsp Tamarind
- 1.5 tbsp Jaggery
- 10-12 Curry Leaves
- Ghee Roast Masala: -
- 8 Byadagi Dry Red Chilies
- 6 Guntur dry Red Chilies (can be replaced with any spicy Chilies)
- ½ tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- ½ tsp Cloves (6-8 nos)
- ¼th tsp Fenugreek Seeds
- 1 tsp Whole Peppercorns
- 1.5 tbsp Whole Coriander Seeds
- 12-15 Cloves of Garlic
- We will start with Chicken marination. In a large bowl, add Turmeric Powder, Salt, Lemon juice and mix well. Add Curd and whisk well.
- Add Chicken pieces. Usually Chicken Ghee roast requires chicken with bones but you can use boneless Chicken also if so desired. Coat the Chicken pieces well. Cover and keep the coated Chicken for 2 hours in refrigerator
- Meanwhile, let's soak Red Chilies and Tamarind in some hot water. Pour hot water on Red Chilies. Soak Tamarind ball in 1-2 tbsp hot water.
- For roasting spices, add 1 tsp Ghee in a Pan. Let the Ghee melt. As Ghee melts, add Whole Coriander Seeds, Whole Peppercorns, Mustard Seeds, Cloves, Fenugreek Seeds and Cumin Seeds. Roast the spices in Ghee until it begins to release aroma.
- It's almost 1 and ½ mins. Let's take the masala off the heat and allow it to cool down completely.
- In a grinder jar, add roasted spices. Add soaked Tamarind and Tamarind water. Add Garlic. Finally, add soaked red chilies and grind into a fine paste. Fine and thick masala paste. We have used ½ Cup water for grinding
- We will now roast marinated chicken in Pan. We will use same Pan for roasting for maximum flavors. Add 2 tbsp Ghee.
- As Ghee melts, add marinated Chicken. Roast on high heat for 2-3 mins. After 3 mins of roasting, lower the heat. Cover and cook Chicken on low heat.
- We have cooked Chicken for 15 mins on low heat. Remove it from Pan. Ghee is an important ingredient in this recipe. Let's add 2 tbsp Ghee in the pan.
- Add Masala paste and add Salt to taste. Roast Masala in Ghee for sometime
- I have roasted Masala for 5-6 mins on low heat. Oil begins to ooze out from the sides. Add cooked Chicken and mix in masala paste. Do not add any extra water in Chicken Ghee roast. Cover and cook on low heat
- We have cooked Chicken for almost 10 mins now. Chicken Ghee roast is almost ready. Now add Jaggery and Curry Leaves.
- Chicken Ghee Roast is a thick masala preparation. We will cook for couple of mins on high heat to get rid of extra moisture
- After 2-3 mins, switch off the heat. Cover the Pan until Chicken Ghee Roast is ready to be served
Click to watch recipe video