Chicken Ghee roast is an authentic Mangalorean style chicken dish, from Mangalore, a port city in the south Indian state of Karnataka. It is traditionally prepared with a special masala powder, tamarind juice, jaggery powder, and a generous amount of ghee. This chicken ghee roast is a tasty and tangy side dish and is usually served with neer dosa, appam, pulao, biryani, rice, and dishes for lunch and dinner.
What is Chicken Ghee Roast?
Chicken ghee roast is a delicious and spicy side dish that has its origin in Kundapur, a small town near Mangalore in Karnataka. The freshly prepared whole spice powder, tamarind sauce or tamarind paste, juice, jaggery, ghee, and curry leaves make this chicken roast authentic and unique from other chicken dishes in and around Karnataka.
This chicken roast is one of the top-selling dishes and you could find it almost in every Mangalorean nonveg restaurant. They typically serve this side dish for a soft neer dosa or appam. And it can also be a perfect combo with Matar Pulao, Biryani Rice , and similar rice dishes.
Chicken Ghee Roast Masala Powder
This authentic Mangalore chicken recipe is an easy-to-make dish if you prepare the ghee roast masala powder/paste ahead. Here in this section I share how to prepare/make ghee roast masala powder/paste and I hope it will help you to prepare easily at home. To make this powder all you need is few Indian whole spices which are usually available in Indian grocery stores around.
To prepare the paste, in medium heat add dry red chili, coriander, fennel, fenugreek, and cumin seeds, peppercorn, and cloves. And roast it until they turn aromatic. Make sure to roast all the ingredients in the suggested heat settings to avoid burning the dish.
Now transfer the spice mixture to the blender and add garlic cloves, ginger, tamarind juice, and water. Then grind it into a smooth paste. Adding tamarind juice here gives a traditional tangy flavor to this chicken roast recipe and I recommend you not to compromise on it. But if you really don't like using tamarind juice in your chicken ghee roast, you could use lemon juice instead. It gives a similar tangy flavor and taste to the dish.
Another important fact is that we are not going to add any extra spice powders for this dish, so feel free to increase dry red chilies if you really love hot and spicy chicken ghee roast. And the quantity that I have mentioned in the recipe card delivers a moderate spice to the dish.
You could also make this ghee roast masala paste into a dry version without adding ginger, garlic, and tamarind juice. And you could make a ginger, garlic, and tamarind into a separate paste. Personally, for me making it as the paste version altogether at once is easy than the mentioned dry version.
How to make Chicken Ghee Roast?
In this part, we will see how to make/prepare a Mangalore-style chicken ghee roast. And I hope the clear step-by-step procedure given below will help you to make tasty and flavorful side dishes.
To make this curry, Initially, I prepared the ghee roast masala paste with the process that I have mentioned above. Then I marinated the chicken with masala paste, curd, salt, turmeric powder and allowed it to rest for 30 minutes. You could also marinate the chicken overnight which helps the chicken to absorb all the flavors from the masala. Not only it adds a nice flavor to the chicken, but it will also save a good amount of time the next day!
After that, in medium heat, I poured ghee and sautéed the onions until it turned soft. Then I added the marinated chicken pieces and gave a nice mix. And then I closed the pan with the lid and cooked the chicken for 10 to 15 minutes.
Later, I opened the lid and allowed the chicken to cook for another 10 minutes. I made sure to give a stir on and off to get the chicken roasted nicely in the masala. This also helps to avoid the dish burning at the bottom. And roasting for a longer time gives a nice tempting color, flavor, and taste to the dish.
Following that, I added jaggery powder and gave a good mix. Adding jaggery really enhances the flavor and it gives a mildly sweet taste to the dish. It is common to use more spiciness in non-vegetarian dishes. But it is uncommon to add jaggery which is very popular in the state of Karnataka.
And they not only use it with non-vegetarian dishes but with vegetarian curries as well. I was even skeptical about adding jaggery to the curries until I explored different cuisine from Karnataka. So, definitely try this out. And to be honest, it tastes really good, and I believe you won't regret it.
Finally, I added curry leaves and gave a final stir. Then I served this authentic Mangalorean chicken ghee roast masala with jeera rice and curd raita.
Chicken ghee roast is a flavorful dish that has a lot of variations. Even though the making style of the roast is authentic to Mangalore, it got popular in the neighboring south Indian states for its rich flavor and taste. Whether it's Andhra, Tamilnadu, or Kerala style the taste, aroma, and flavor remain unique for this recipe.
Though the traditional recipe is made with roasted spice powders, jaggery, and tamarind juice, you could also make it without jaggery and tamarind juice. This particular version is popular in the state of Tamilnadu. And they call it Chettinad chicken ghee roast.
Typically, they use all the Indian whole spices in Chettinad chicken ghee roast that are similar to this Mangalore style dish but with an extra chettinad spice called Kalpasi. This kalpasi is one of the super aromatic spices that gives a unique aroma to any Chettinad non-veg dish. And if you are new to Chettinad Cuisine, you could also check on Chicken Sukka and Mutton Chukka recipes that are popular across Tamilnadu for their unique aroma and taste.
Similarly, in Andhra, chicken ghee roast is made hot and spicy as the people from the state love spicy foods a lot. They use poppy seeds, and coconut along with other spices while making the ghee roast masala powder/paste. This version delivers a spicy and different taste to the dish.
In Kerala style, there is no special spice powder is used to make this recipe. Instead, people from the state marinate the chicken pieces with chili, coriander, ginger-garlic paste, and lemon juice. Usually, they roast the marinated chicken in onion, green chili with garam masala, pepper powder, and curry leaves.
The key to getting a perfect chicken ghee roast is to use the right ingredients in the right quantity. As the name suggests, the whole unique flavor comes from spices that are roasted in ghee. Even though the authentic chicken roast recipe has a generous amount of ghee usage, you can always feel free to reduce it according to your family's needs.
In this recipe, I have used the regular long dry red chili which delivers a moderate spice to the dish. But you could also use Kashmiri or Byadgi red chili(popular in Karnataka) that gives a vibrant red color to this dish. And most of the restaurants in Mangalore use the Byadgi chili for the glowing red look.
This authentic Mangalore Style Chicken ghee roast recipe is a perfect side dish when you really crave restaurant-style food. And I believe you will enjoy this dish with your family and loved ones.
This roast tastes great with neer dosa, Appam, Biryani, jeera rice, white rice, or basmati rice. Even you could serve it with white rice, Pudina Rice, and Sambar along with raita for a lighter combo meal.
You could also find similar recipes below and more at Chicken Recipes.
Looking for different chicken recipes to cook for your next meal or a party? Then you could also check this collection of Indian Chicken Dry and Semi Gravy Recipes to enjoy with your family and loved ones.
Chicken Ghee Roast recipe video
I have also shared a video of the chicken ghee roast recipe below that I hope will help you to make a perfect tasty Karnataka style dish at home. For a quick reference, you could also find the recipe in story format.
Chicken Ghee Roast
- 8 Dry Red Chili
- ¼ cup Coriander Seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1½ tsp Fennel Seeds
- ¼ tsp Fenugreek seeds
- 4 Cloves
- ½ tsp Peppercorn
- 7 Garlic Cloves
- ½ inch Ginger
- ¼ cup Tamarind Juice, or 2 tsp Tamarind Sauce
- ¼ cup Water
- ¼ cup Curd
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2.25 lb Chicken, cut & cleaned
- ¼ cup Ghee
- 2 Onion, sliced
- ½ tsp Jaggery Powder
- 1 sprig, Curry Leaves
To Prepare Masala
- In a pan with medium heat, add dry red chili, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennels seeds, cloves, fenugreek seeds, peppercorn, and roast everything until it turns aromatic
- Transfer the spice mixture to the blender and add garlic cloves, ginger, tamarind juice, or tamarind sauce and water
- Grind the mixture to a smooth paste and reserve it for later use
- Take bite-sized chicken pieces in a bowl and add curd, turmeric powder, salt, and the ground masala paste
- Mix well until all the masalas are coated thoroughly on the chicken pieces and rest them for at least 30 minutes
To Prepare Chicken Ghee Roast
- In a pan with medium heat, pour ghee and add onions and saute until it turns soft
- Now add the marinated chicken and mix well
- Close the pan with the lid and cook for 15 minutes
- Open the lid and give a nice mix. And Allow the chicken to boil for another 10 minutes or until it turns thick reddish-brown in color
- Add the jaggery powder and give a good mix
- Finally, add curry leaves and mix well
- Now the Mangalorean chicken ghee roast is ready for you to taste and enjoy
- Serve the delicious Mangalorean Chicken Ghee Roast with biryani, jeera rice, or white rice
Chef's Notes and Tips
- Roasting the spices without burning them is an important step in making chicken ghee roast which gives a unique flavor and taste to the dish, so I recommend you follow the step to achieve the same
- Adding tamarind juice and jaggery give a tangy and sweet taste to the dish and I would suggest you follow the same to enjoy the authentic taste
- Even though ghee is an important ingredient that gives an authentic flavor to the dish, you could feel free to try this recipe in cooking oil according to your family needs
- Mangalorean chicken ghee roast can be served as a side dish with neer dosa, chicken Biryani, Pulao, white rice, and similar dishes
Disclaimer: We’re not nutrition experts. Nutritional info is estimated and should be used as a guide. For precise details, consult a professional.
Chicken ghee roast is an authentic Mangalore-style dish from the state of Karnataka, South India. It is usually prepared with freshly ground masala, tamarind juice, curd, jaggery that are roasted in ghee for a rich and tasty chicken dish.
To make chicken ghee roast gravy, follow the instructions mentioned in the recipe card above and switch off the heat once the masala starts to thick. This helps the roast to be in a gravy consistency. But roasting it for a longer time gives a slightly dry roast
Even though authentic chicken ghee roast is made with ghee, you could also make it using cooking oil if the ghee is not in your preferred ingredients list.
No, it is rich in calories and uses a generous amount of ghee and spices. So, having chicken ghee roast once in a while in a moderate quantity should be fine.
I really hope you enjoyed the recipe that I have shared here and I would love to hear from you on how it turned out for you. Please let me know
If you have any other questions, feel free to post them in the comment section below and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.
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