Margarita's International Recipes


Galina Xacutti

Chicken Xacutti

Galina Xacutti is a classic Goan dish, representing the Portuguese-Indian culinary tradition. It's peculiar in that it combines three different spice mixes. It also takes advantage of the ample coconuts of the region.

I followed the directions pretty closely, but did cut down significantly on the amount of pepper, both ground and whole. Goan cuisine is supposed to be fierce, but my kids don't like spicy food. This might have been a mistake, as the dish I was left with was bland. The many spices that I added seemed to cancel each other out, rather than add to each other's flavor. In all, it was a waste of ingredients, though the results were edible. I did like the fried potatoes, however.

The recipe below is the original recipe.

Note that you need to use an electric blender for this recipe. I tried it first with a food processor and, not only did it not work, but it made a mess.

Galina Xacutti


For the Paste

  • 3 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp ajwain seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 3 Tbsp. peanut oil
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 cloves
  • 2/3 cup chopped onions
  • 2/3 cup diced coconut
  • 6 dried red chilies
  • 5 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorn
  • 6 green cardamon
  • 5 star anise
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground mace
  • 1 1/2 cups water

For the chicken

  • 7 Tbsp. peanut oil
  • 1 cup sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2 lbs skinless, bone-in chicken pieces
  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • salt to taste.

For the side

  • 1 large potato
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 1/2cup coconut, diced
  • salt to taste


Make the Paste

Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add the poppy seeds, ajwain seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds until fragrant. Remove and set aside to cool.

Heat the peanut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks and cloves, saute for 30 seconds. Remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves from the oil and set aside to cool, leaving the oil in the frying pan.

Return pan to the stove and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and coconut and saute until golden brown. Add the chilies, coriander seeds and stir until the chilies start to crackle. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.

Put the poppy seed mix, the cinnamon/cloves and the onion/coconut mix in a blender. Add the peppercorns, cardamon, star anise, nutmeg and mace. Add the water and blend until combined into a smooth paste.

Prepare the chicken

Heat the oil in a handi, wok or saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until golden brown. Add the tomatoes and the paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and water, bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until cooked through - about 45 minutes. Add the coconut milk and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, mix, taste and add salt to taste.

Prepare the potatoes

Boil the potato until almost tender. Let cool, peel and slice.

Heat oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add the potatoes and coconut and fry until golden. Season to taste.

Serve the chicken with rice and the potato/coconut combination.

Adapted from a recipe in Prashad - Cooking with Indian Masters

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