Chicken Xacuti


A uniquely flavored dish made from roasting a delicate blend of spices to form a thick paste with coconut and kashmiri chillies for an intense heat and delicious flavor.

Chicken Xacuti is actually pronounced as shakuti. It’s a unique South Indian dish from the Goan region that is made with poppy seeds and kashmiri chillies. It’s thought that ‘shakuti’ comes from the Portuguese dish ‘chacuti’ which has beed modified and to produce this dish.

It’s a dish that is cooked with some typical South Indian flavors in a typical South Indian style. The chicken is first marinaded and the spices roasted and ground to create a fragrant paste. It radiates a beautiful bright red color which comes from the lovely kashmiri chillies that are a key ingredient of this dish. If you are the mood to wake up your taste buds then this is the dish for your. Hot, fiery and delicious.


  • 8 chicken pieces on the bone skinless


  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)

 Xacuti paste

  • 120g fresh coconut, fresh grated/desiccated
  • 8 kashmiri chillies, broken
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 5cm sick of cassia bark, broken
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 6 garlic cloves


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely sliced
  • ½ tsp nutmeg powder
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste



  • Marinade the chicken in salt and turmeric for 15-20 minutes.

 Xacuti paste

  • Heat a dry frying pan on a low heat and roast the coconut for 5-7 minutes until just brown. Remove and set aside.
  • Dry roast the chillies, coriander seeds, cassia bark, peppercorns, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cloves and star anise in the same pan for 2 mins just till they release their aromatics.
  • Add the poppy seeds and roast for a further 1 minute.
  • Leave the spice to cool then grind in a spice grinder.
  • Blitz the with the garlic and toasted coconut and add the ground spices with about 20ml of water to create a thick paste.


  • Heat oil in a pan and add sliced onions. Fry for 10 minutes once browned add the spice paste and fry for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the chicken pieces and coat in the spice paste. Leave to cook on a low heat with the lid on the pan until the chicken pieces are tender.
  • Grate in the nutmeg and tamarind paste and leave for a further 5 minutes to cook.
  • Add some boiling water to create a little more gravy. Garnish with fresh coriander and whole red chillies.