Chicken xacuti

Shagoti is the word in Konkani language for the iconic Goan traditional preparation commonly known as the Xacuti, which in Portuguese becomes Chacuti. Whatever the pronunciation is, Shagotis are extremely popular both in Goa and across India, and together with dishes like Vindaloo or Recheado or Ambotik, form an indispensable core of Goan cuisine. It’s a coconut based curry and the blend of spices is very complex, making Shagotis texture rich and highly aromatic, favourite for festive occasions and celebrations for both the Hindu and Christian communities. The brownish thick gravy of the Shagoti is perfect with all kinds of meat, as it is traditionally made with, but other variations are also popular like the ones made with mushrooms or even paneer. Chicken Shagoti or Chicken Xacuti or Kombichi Shagoti is the most common of Shagotis and traditionally free range country chicken, known as gavti chicken, is used.

Our Pedne Shagoti masala is a meticulous blend of spices that follows the exact and original proportions used by the locals of Pedne, a taluka in Goa that borders the state of Maharashtra from where Shagoti originates. This preparation and the masala recipe pre-date the advent of the Portuguese, and has been in the cuisine repertoire of the Pednekar (person from Pedne) families for generations with very little variation. The following step by step illustrated method will show you how simple it is to arrive at this classic Goan preparation, the way it continues to be made in Goan homes generation after generation. Like all our other masalas, this masala too does all the hard work, needing very little added ingredients, and makes Goan food accessible, desirable and simple to make, allowing you to be not only an expert in Goan cooking without spending too much time in the kitchen but also a connoisseur of traditional Goan cuisine. Enjoy.

What you need –

  • Chicken on the bone: 1 Kg
  • Onions: 2 medium
  • Coconut Milk: 1 1/2 Cup (375ml)
  • Green Paste*: 2 teaspoons
  • Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • The Women of Fatorda Pedne Shagoti masala.

Green Paste – Green paste is a multi-purpose paste that is found in every Goan home, and is made to add in various preparations as and when needed. To make a simple green paste, Grind together 2 big bundles of fresh coriander leaves, 4-5 green chillies, 8 garlic cloves, 1/2 inch ginger and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder with a quarter cup of water. Make sure you add water a little at a time so that the paste is of thick consistency. Keep refrigerated and use as required.

Laxmi Waigankar

This classic Chicken Shagoti recipe comes from Laxmi Waigankar of the Hindu farming community of Borda, Fatorda. This is a richer version of the standard fare commonly available and is a family staple.

Step 1 – Take 1 kilo of chicken cut into bite sized pieces, thoroughly washed. Pat dry with kitchen paper to remove any excess water. Apply a half teaspoon of salt to the chicken. Mix well and keep it to rest for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes add 2 tablespoons of green paste.

Step 2 – Mix throughly, so that all the chicken pieces are coated with the paste. Leave it to rest for at least half an hour. The more the better.

Step 3 – Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a kadai, and add the onions, finely chopped, to fry. Coconut oil is traditionally used, but any refined oil will also do.

Step 4 – Sauté the onions, stirring continuously until the they become soft and translucent. There’s no need for them to be browned.

Step 5 – Now, add the marinated chicken into the pot, and stir it in well with the onions.

Step 6 – Let it fry for a couple of minutes, while stirring occasionally. Then add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and mix well.

Step 7 – Add 4 teaspoons of The Women of Fatorda Pedne Shagoti masala.

Step 8 – Mix and blend throughly so that the masala is mixed with the chicken pieces and coats them well.

Step 9 – Add a cup of water and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Add salt to taste. Give it a good stir.

Step 10 – Cover the vessel, and on a low flame let the chicken cook for about 10 minutes.

Step 11 – Remove the lid and cook uncovered to reduce too much water if any.

Step 12 – Now add the thick coconut milk. (Instead of just the coconut milk, you can make a puree of 1 ½ cups of coconut milk, 1 tomato, and 1 onion.)

Step 13 – Stir in the coconut milk so that the chicken pieces just about submerge. Replace the lid and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes.

Step 14 – Remove the lid and check the consistency of the gravy. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Step 15 – Remove from fire and set aside for a couple of minutes.

Step 16 – Serve with rice or poi (Goan bread) or even fluffy dosas.

Note – Shagoti like every other dish can be prepared with many variations. The use of tamarind or Kokum as a souring agent in the curry is a twist some prefer but not commonly used. Traditionally, chicken for shagoti is cut in small pieces known as shagoti cut or Xacuti cut, but those used to bigger pieces in regular curries would want to cut them in larger pieces. Also, many variations can be made in even the garnish, some preferring mint leaves that compliment excellently with the sweetness of the coconut milk. If you plan to make mutton shagoti, try browning the meat separately before you add to the onions. Do experiment with our masala and let us know how your personal recipes have worked out at [email protected] or else you can upload your recipe here and we will feature your preparations on our website.

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