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What is Xacutti? When I started researching recipes for our A-Z series, when I came to ‘X’ I hit a brick wall.
Stop and think for a minute. How many foods do you prepare that begin with the letter ‘X’?
It took me a couple of days to come up with one. Thanks to the country of India we have one.
So what is Xacutti (pronounced sha-kooti)?
It is a very rich chicken masala dish that is packed with spices, some that we don’t use on a regular basis in the U.S. This recipe will require a trip to an Asian market.
This recipe is not one that will be prepared in 30 minutes when you come home from work. It might be best done on a weekend. Prep time is 4o minutes with a cooking time of 1 hour.
- 1 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
- 1 (3/4 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 Tablespoon tamarind concentrate*
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon red chile powder
- 1 whole chicken, skin removed, cut into pieces
- 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1/2 Tablespoon poppy seeds
- 6 whole Kashmiri chiles*
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 Tablespoons coriander seeds
- 1 Tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 Tablespoon chopped unsalted peanuts
- 5 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 3 onions, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons freshly grated coconut, plus extra for garnish
- Kosher salt (I use No Salt)
- 1 Tablespoon tomato puree
- 4 ounces boiling water
- 4 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 lime cut into wedges
*can be found in Asian markets
Directions for the Marinade
- In a food processor, blend the cilantro, cloves, ginger, and garlic into a paste
- Add the turmeric, tamarind concentrate, and the chile powder to taste and stir until all is combined
- Rub this mixture all over the chicken parts. (Be sure not to touch your eyes)
Directions for the Xacutti Masala
- Heat a small frying pan over a medium heat and add the poppy seeds, sesame seeds, cloves, chiles, pepper, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and unsalted peanuts.
- Let them dry in the pan for about 30-45 seconds.
- Transfer the mixture to a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder.
Directions for the Sauce Base
- In a separate frying pan, heat 2 Tablespoons of the oil over a medium heat.
- When the oil begins to have little waves in it, add half of the chopped onions and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until they begin to brown.
- Add the grated coconut and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Stir frequently so the coconut will not burn.
- Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Directions for the Chicken
- In another large frying pan, heat 3 Tablespoons of oil and add the remaining chopped onions. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until they begin to brown.
- Add the marinated chicken pieces to the onions along with the marinade that is left in the bowl. Cook for 4-5 minutes stirring continuously, or until the chicken begins to brown.
- Add in the reserved coconut and onion mixture and stir.
- Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the masala mixture to the pan and stir it all together.
- Bring everything to a simmer and let it cook for 4-5 minutes or until the oil begins to separate from the mixture.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- After the whole mixture has cooked for 4-5 minutes, add the boiling water and tomato puree and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a low heat and let it simmer for 20 – 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened. Stir frequently.
- Spoon the xacutti onto serving plates.
- Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.
- fresh ginger
- whole chicken
- sesame seeds
- poppy seeds
- unsalted peanuts
- fresh coconut
- tomato puree
- fresh lime
- red chile powder
- black pepper
- fennel seeds
- cinnamon stick
- coriander seeds
- cumin seeds
- vegetable oil
Asian Market List
- tamarind concentrate
- Kashmiri chiles
This recipe is very involved and very spicy, as is most Indian food. This is not a recipe to put on to cook and go watch a movie.
I think a group cook with several friend would make this one even more fun, with everyone in the kitchen at once laughing and having a good time. Even clean up afterward wouldn’t be bad if it had been fun cooking.
Let us know if you give this one a try, especially since it is so involved. Tell us how you liked it. And as always, let us know how you liked any of the recipes from Moments With Myra.
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