Friday, 11 January 2013

Khandeshi Chicken Curry / Kala Masala Chicken

This is my tribute to my Mother In Law, who introduced me to the world of "Khandeshi" style cooking!
Khandesh is a region in north Maharashtra, which includes towns and cities like Dhule,Jalgaon and so on. My Mother In Law was originally from a khandeshi family and later married into Nashik.
So I have the best of both the cuisines. Though there is not much of a difference in cooking , especially for a person ,totally new to the taste, the respective locals take pride in their own style and recipes!

Its a very simple cuisine,with Kala Masala ( Black masala, its so called,because the roasted spices and dry coconut , gives it a peculiar deep brown black colour) being predominantly used in most of the rassa or amti's (gravies). Its got earthy flavours , and a kick of spice, and most importantly, generous amounts of spiced oil or "Tarri" as they call , floating over each gravy! Its a matter of disgrace, if the guests are served curry without a generous tarri floating!
Served with mostly Bajari (Finger Millet flour roti) Bhakari or Jwarichi or tandalachi(Jowar or Rice Flour) Bhakari , the curries are mostly runny , unlike thick gravies served in northern India. The runny gravies are easily soaked in the bhakaris , and can also be eaten with steamed rice.

I have been getting requests for typical Khandeshi Chicken or Mutton Rassa(which is very famous here in Nashik), I decided to let the secret out for Khandeshi Chicken!


300 gms Chicken , cleaned and cut

For Marination:
1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Turmeric

For Ground Masala:
2 Medium Onions sliced
8-10 Cloves Garlic
1 inch Ginger,peeled and chopped
3 tbsp Grated Dry coconut
1-2 tsp Oil for roasting

1 1/2 tbsp Kala masala
2 tsp Red Chilly Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 small Onion finely chopped
2 tbsp Oil
1-2 cups water
Chopped Coriander for garnish

Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients for marinade and keep aside for atleast 30 mins.

Heat 2 tsp oil on a hot tawa or girdle and roast ginger ,garlic and sliced onions , till they turn brown , now put off flame and add dry grated coconut and brown it on the remainder heat .

Cool and grind to a fine paste , using little water if needed.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan or a pressure cooker( i used pressure cooker to cook my chicken faster, but you can use a pan also)
Fry chopped onions till translucent.
Add the ground masala and fry on a low flame, till it starts leaving oil.

Now add kala masala,red chilly powder and fry for another min.
Add marinated chicken and fry.

Add 1 1/2 cup hot water to it and mix.
Add salt to the gravy and cover the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for upto 2-3 whistles.

Serve garnished with chopped coriander,accompanied with sliced onions , chillies and Bhakaris!

Notes: Sometimes, i cook the marinated chicken in advance: Heat 1 tsp oil and saute 1 tbsp chopped onion till translucent. add the marinated chicken and 1/2 cup water and pressure cook for 2 whistles.
Use this cooked chicken with the stock ,after frying the ground masala and adding the spices.
This same process can be done when cooking with Mutton also, only difference,meat shall need extra whistles to cook and an added tsp of Meat masala , along with kala masala.



  1. Looks delicious. This is New to me.

    1. Its a different recipe, peculiar in northern Maharashtra , makes a spicy n flavourful curry!

    2. Hi, Can you post Kala masala recipe

  2. Hi,shall surely post the Kala Masala recipe shortly! Its a mix of lots of spices and dried coconut , slow roasted and ground.


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