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Chicken Xacuti

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Chicken Xacuti is one of my favourite Goan dishes!

chicken xacuti

Chicken xacuti is an easy curry to make at home


This Chicken xacuti recipe has been updated from its original version. As with many of my recipes, a little experimentation over the years has made them that little bit better, so I have updated it for you below. 🙂

If there’s one thing I would like you to take away with you from my blog, it’s that Indian food may be a bit time consuming to make but it’s also very easy.

Anyone can cook Indian food and cook it very well. If you source quality ingredients and follow a good recipe, it’s hard to go wrong.

Chicken xacuti is a great dish for getting to know your spices.

This Goan chicken xacuti is a tasty curry that – if time allows – will help you to really get to know many of the spices that are used in Indian cooking.

If this is of interest to you, I recommend roasting and grinding each of the spices individually and really getting to know what they taste like. This will also give you a better end result as different spices roast at different speeds.

Of course, you could just toast and grind the whole spices all at the same time as suggested in my following chicken xacuti recipe. It sure is a lot faster.

I absolutely love Goan food. Chicken xacuti is quite spicy but if spicy hot curries are not your thing, simply decrease the amount of chilli powder used or omit it all together.

The other spices and ingredients can carry this dish on their own!

The most important tip I can give you is to grind the whole spices to a very fine powder. This is easily done with a spice grinder though I have done it will a pestle and mortar.

I also had a very sore shoulder the next day so if you are considering grinding your own spices often, get yourself a coffee/spice grinder.

You will want to marinate the chicken for at least two hours though I often keep it coated in the marinade for up to 48 hours. This gives the chicken a spectacular flavour and makes it fall of the bone tender.

Making xacuti

For best results, always roast your different spices separately. You can cheat though.

Making Indian restaurant style chicken xacutti

Tempering the black mustard seeds and curry leaves in the oil.

Making British Indian Restaurant style chicken xacuti

Fry the onions until soft and translucent.

Making Indian restaurant style chicken xacuti

Stir in the garlic, ginger and chilies.

Making chicken xacuti

The amazing spice blend really makes this dish.

Making chicken xacuti

Add the chicken and enough water or stock to cover.

Chicken xacuti

Ready to serve! Though I did cook the sauce down a little more.

chicken xacuti

Chicken xacuti is normally served with rice. I had some dosa batter on hand so dosas it was!

If you would like to try making dosas, be sure to check out my dosa recipe here.

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Yield: 4 - 6

How To Make Goan Chicken Xacuti - A Great Indian Food Dish

How To Make Goan Chicken Xacuti - A Great Indian Food Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 900g (2 lbs) chicken breast or thighs cut into 2cm cubes
  • Juice of two limes
  • A pinch of salt
  • 100g dried coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 blade mace
  • 1 x three inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 6 dried Kashmiri chillies
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 20 fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 onions - finely chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic - smashed and finely chopped
  • 1 two inch piece of ginger - grated
  • 2 fresh green chillies - very finely chopped
  • 150ml tomato purée
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste


  1. Squeeze the lime juice all over the cubed chicken and add the salt. Stir well and set aside while you make your spice masala.
  2. Place the whole spices and coconut shavings in a pan over medium heat and roast until this spices become warm and fragrant. If the spices begin to smoke, remove them from the heat.
  3. Allow the spices and coconut to cool and then grind them into a fine powder in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.
  4. In a large frying pan or wok, melt the coconut oil over high heat.
  5. When visibly hot, add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, reduce the heat to medium high and stir in the curry leaves and fry for a further 30 seconds until fragrant.
  6. Stir in the turmeric, chopped onion and chillies and fry for about five minutes and translucent, soft and lightly browned.
  7. Add the garlic and ginger purees, the green chillies and and fry for 30 seconds. Then stir in the spice masala followed by the tomato purée. Stir it all up and add the chicken to brown.
  8. Add just enough water to cover and simmer for about ten minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Add the tamarind and continue simmering until the sauce is to your preferred consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with white rice.

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Your masterpiece is now finished. My chicken xacuti was made even better with the top quality coconut products supplied by my sponsor Cocofina. You can get more information about their fantastic range here.


Wednesday 11th of August 2021

Absolutely fabulous! Ground the spices with pestle & mortar, lol, but was so worth the effort. Did add third of a can of coconut milk so not too fiery for my partner Served with rice & Goan style baby corn & rice - Amazing!! Thank you!

Dan Toombs

Thursday 12th of August 2021

Great to hear and good adjustments. Thanks Dan


Sunday 25th of November 2018

Oh, this turned out wonderfully! My husband said it's worth the mess I made in the kitchen. High praise, indeed!

Dan Toombs

Thursday 29th of November 2018

Great to hear Genie! Thank you.



Saturday 11th of August 2018

This looks beautiful. If I was to use 1lb chicken instead of 2lb would I half the spices too for this recipe? I would probably cook in smaller quantities so just wondered about spices?

I’ve bought The Curry Guy and awaiting The Curry Guy Easy. I cannot wait to cook more. So far I’ve enjoyed your fluffy Naan bread from this site. Thank you for the recipes!

Dan Toombs

Monday 27th of August 2018

Hi Tracey

There are no real rules here. I would halve the spices at first. I always taste my food as I cook it. You could always add a little more of the different spices if the curry needs it.

Thank you for picking up my book. Really happy you like that naan recipe.

Cheers, Dan


Wednesday 6th of January 2016

Great recipe thanks Dan!

Dan Toombs

Thursday 7th of January 2016

Thank you Kate. Really glad you liked it.


plasterers bristol

Wednesday 15th of April 2015

Mouthwatering recipe. Thank for sharing this. My favorite.


Dan Toombs

Sunday 4th of October 2015

Thank you Simon. Really glad you enjoyed it.


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