Chicken ghee roast

First of all, let me be very clear. This is NOT THE AUTHENTIC RECIPE of this delicious dish. Since I have been getting a lot of requests for this recipe, I wanted to give it a try. Now, on to some background.

As I have mentioned before, my brother is a big foodie. He lives in Bangalore and he knows a lot about restaurants and their specialty there. I sometimes wonder how he gathers all the information.Because of him, I could get to know different types of restaurants/cuisines in Bangalore. This time when we visited India, he took us to a restaurant called “Coast to Coast”. He had all praises for this restaurant. He told us that the specialty of that place is the ‘Chicken ghee roast’. I went there half heartedly as I wanted to eat my favorite chicken hariyali - most of the restaurants in Bangalore serve this and I am a huge fan.

Anyway, V and I became instant fans of the ‘ghee roast’. As the name suggests, the prominent taste of this dish comes from the ghee :). You can taste the ghee in every bite. It is very spicy but just out of this world. He took us there once more, along with my parents and pachi(mom’s sister) before we returned to the US. This time around, the focus was to figure out the ingredients. Pachi guessed fenugreek seeds and probably coriander seeds.

After coming back, I got many requests for this dish. When I searched over the internet, I could gather following information:
-This is a Mangalore specialty.
– As this article says - It can’t be eaten everyday,” says the chef, with understatement, “but once in a while its great.”
They also mention, cinnamon is used in this. But I did not use it. I used normal skinless, boneless chicken for my version, but the article says, for best results, we have to use chicken with skin on.

When I googled, I got couple of recipes, but I stuck to what pachi had guessed. This requires loads of ghee to get the real taste, so you can’t eat this frequently. But I convinced myself saying – if I had made a pastry or a cake, I would have used loads of butter anyway, so whats wrong in indulging once in a while?. It is totally worth trying this.

Verdict – Just out of this world, awesome. I had no hopes that this would turn out so good. I could not believe when I tasted this. I don’t remember if it is exactly same as the restaurant version, but was very very good. The leftovers were better tasting than the freshly made version.

If you want to make it less in calorie, you can leave out or reduce ghee, but then it won’t be ghee roast anymore because that is the main ingredient for this recipe.

Updated on March 12 2010 : According to Lakshmi Shetty’s comment below – Ghee roast is not a Mangalore specialty, it’s been originally tried by late owners of the restaurant called ” Shetty lunch home ” in Kundapur(a part of Udupi).

1 lb chicken
2 tbl spn chilli powder
1 tbl spn coriander seeds
1/4 tea spn fenugreek seeds
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract
1 tea spn chopped ginger
1 tea spn chopped garlic
1 and 1/2 tbl spn ghee

I added all the spices by “andaaz“. So increase or decrease them according to individual taste. The chilli powder I used was not very hot but gives a nice color. The ghee quantity can be increased by another 1 and 1/2 tbl spn for better ghee taste and flavor.

Make a paste of coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, ginger, garlic, tamarind, chilli powder, ghee, salt. Do not add too much water, if needed, just add few drops.
Apply this paste to chicken pieces and keep it refrigerated for about 4-5hrs.
In a pan, heat a little more ghee and add the chicken along with all the masala. Fry till chicken is done. Serve hot.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 20mins (plus marination time)

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