Best Ever Chicken Ghee Roast (Ghee-less)

Chicken Ghee Roast is a South Indian Favourite Starter/Side Dish. It is known for its amazing spicy flavour. The spices are dry roasted to enhance its flavours along with the onions, garlic sautéed in ghee.  These two mixtures are ground to a fine paste & then it is sautéed with chicken until the chicken is cooked & the masala has caramelised. It is one of a kind recipe & dish.

Here in South India every family has their own spice blend in this recipe. The spice blend I have used gives delicious flavour with moderate heat, the oil required to cook this has been made moderate so we can enjoy this dish completely & go for seconds with no guilt.

Get ready to prepare & taste this finger licking delicious dish…

Do try this recipe, it goes great as a starter and as a side dish with Rotis, Phulkas & any Rice Dishes.

You can also watch my video on YouTube

Prep Work:

Ingredients (for the Marinate):

  • 1 Kg – Chicken (I used a whole chicken)
  • ¼ Cup – Curd/Yogurt
  • ¼ Tsp – Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Heap Tsp – Homemade Sambhar Powder or Curry Powder
  • 1 Tsp Table Salt

Ingredients (for the Masala):

  • 1 Inch – Cinnamon
  • 4 – Cloves
  • ½ Tsp – Whole pepper corns
  • ¼ Tsp – Fenugreek seeds/methi/menthya/vendayam
  • ½ Tsp – Cumin Seeds/Jeera
  • 1 Tsp – Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp – Coriander Seeds/Dhania seeds
  • 1 tbsp – Dry Coconut (grated) or you can also use *Fresh Coconut (grated)-2 tbsp (*but plz fry it in the end as they may burn if you fry it for long).
  • 8 – Dry Kashmiri Red Chillies/byadagi chillies (Cut it to 2 inch pieces so they fry easily)
  • 2 – Dry Red Chillies (Guntur)
  • 1 Tsp – Ghee to cook the Onions & Garlic
  • 10 – Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 – Medium Onion
  • 1 inch – Tamarind (soaked in water for 10 minutes)
  • ¼ Cup – Water ( to help the masala grind to a paste)

Ingredients (to prepare the chicken ghee roast):

  • 3 Tsp – Oil
  • 2 Tsp – Ghee (1 tsp for cooking & 1 tsp when the dish is done & before serving). You can add more as per your choice.
  • A few tbsp water
  • ¼ Tsp – Garam Masala – this ingredient is optional. (I use homemade Garam Masala).

Method (Marinate):

  • We need to mix all the ingredients (mentioned under Ingredients for the Marinate) nicely & let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for atleast ½ hour.

1.Method for the Masala:

  • Heat a heavy bottom kadai.
  • We dry fry the spices (mentioned under Ingredients for the Masala) Cinnamon, Cloves, Fenugreek seeds, Pepper, Cumin Seeds, Fennel seeds, Coriander seeds, grated dry coconut we fry them nicely in gentle heat & then add the dry red chillies fry until you can feel the heat in your hand while frying.
  • Finally turn off heat. (if you are adding fresh grated coconut instead of dry coconut, you can add it now, sauté it with the heat from the kadai).
  • Transfer the spices into a mixy/blender, set aside & let it cool.
  • Heat the same kadai, add 1 tsp of ghee. Add garlic, chopped onion & sauté.
  • Add salt sauté well, cover with a lid & let it cook. After a few minutes open the lid, once the onions have turned translucent turn off heat & transfer it to the mixy/blender jar along with the spices. Let it cool a bit.
  • Once it is cool, add the tamarind & ¼ cup water & grind/blend it to a fine paste. (you can add a few Tbsp of water if required, we need to make sure the masala is a thick paste like consistency).

2.Method for preparing the Chicken Ghee Roast:

  • Heat a heavy bottom, wide pan & add 3 Tsp oil, 1 Tsp ghee. (keep the heat on medium)
  • Now add the ground masala into the oil & sauté well until the oil has blended well into the masala.
  • Add few tbsp water in the mixy jar & remove all the yummy masala (also, few tbsp water will help masala cook well & we need not add too much oil).
  • Sauté, mix the water & masala together.
  • Add the marinated chicken & mix it well with the masala.
  • We need not add anymore water as the chicken pieces, curd/yogurt will release its juices.
  • Cover with lid & let it cook. (keep the heat on medium).
  • After 15-20 minutes open & check.
  • Now we let it cook well. We need to keep stirring as it cooks. (keep the heat on high).
  • As the chicken is cooking to help liquid to evapourate & to keep the chicken from breaking we shake the pan.
  • After a few more minutes, we check to see that the chicken is cooked, the liquid curry has dissipated & we are left with delicious thick masala coating the chicken.
  • Now we sprinkle the garam masala. It is optional, you can skip it if you wish. (I use homemade garam masala).
  • We finish off with adding 1 tsp of ghee, mix well. Turn off heat. (you can add more ghee as per your choice).
  • Ready to serve.

Please Note:

  • The masala that we prepared & the dish, gives moderate heat, if you want more heat you can increase the dry red chilli (Guntur) or increase the pepper. You can bring down the heat of the dish by reducing the chillies & pepper too.
  • Kashmiri red chilli does not give much heat, it gives a nice smokey, earthy flavor & beautiful deep red colour.

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