Mangalorean Chicken Ghee Roast

How to make Chicken Ghee Roast (Mangalorean Style)

Chicken Ghee Roast is a popular Mangalorean dish which uses spices and clarified butter to roast the chicken.Chicken ghee roast has a fiery red, tangy and spicy with a flavor of ghee roasted spices.

Chicken Ghee Roast ( Mangalorean Style)

The Back Story

Everyone is cooking up a storm in their kitchens for the upcoming Thanksgiving meal tomorrow, I am doing my part !  

The big bird /turkey always scared the heck out of me, so I settled for the ever friendly chicken instead.Yes, I believe good things come in small packets!

Thanksgiving is all about being grateful and celebrating the togetherness with our loved ones with food and fun.

This dish is exclusive and authentic to Mangalore, a coastal town in South India and my native. Giving the Thanksgiving table a touch of culture is always in my opinion, a way of sharing a deep reverence to the food I have tasted across tables with laughter & joy in the past and merging it with gratitude for the new land that has adopted me as their own…. food , people and all!

In many ways our Thanksgiving table is a fusion of the east and the west and we feel blessed to have experienced both, the food and the culture.

Yes, like Hafiz the poet, so beautifully said “This place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you ” .

Chicken Ghee Roast Recipe

How to make Chicken Ghee Roast (Mangalorean Style)

How to make Chicken Ghee Roast (Mangalorean Style)

Recipe by Maya Shetty
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  • 8 -10 pieces Chicken Thighs

  • 6 tbsp Ghee/Clarified Butter

  • 3 -4 stalks Cilantro/Coriander leaves for garnish

  • 5 -6 Curry Leaves

  • 2 tsp Brown Sugar

  • For Marinating the chicken pieces ( 3-4 hours prior to cooking)
  • 1/2 cup Yogurt/Curds

  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

  • Salt to taste

  • 1 full Lime juice freshly squeezed

  • For the gravy/masala
  • 8 -10 Byadgi/ Whole red Chilies deseed to adjust the spice level as per your taste

  • 6 -8 Kashmiri Chili mostly used for color than heat

  • 8 -10 Black Peppercorns can substitute with Black Pepper powder

  • 1 tbsp Coriander seeds

  • 1 tbsp Jeera/Cumin seeds

  • 1/4 tsp Methi/Fenugreek seeds adding more will make the gravy bitter , so be cautious!

  • 10 -12 Garlic pods

  • 1/2 tsp Tamarind paste/Tamico


  • Clean & cut the chicken pieces according desired size
  • Marinate the clean chicken with yogurt/curds along with lime juice, salt and turmeric powder, mix it well . Place the marinade in a ziplock bag and refrigerate it for 3-4 hours.This lets the juices seep in and renders a delicious flavor.
  • Meanwhile heat a tawa or a thick bottomed vessel and add 6-8 tbsp of Ghee ( yes, for once forget dieting & relish the dish itself, I tell you , it’s so WORTH it!)
  • Now you may add all the dry roasted spice paste into the ghee & keep stirring until the raw smell disappears. Next add the marinated chicken into the mix.If you have the ‘Tal powder’ instead you can skip the dry roasting part & directly add the Tal powder instead.Once the raw smell disappears continue as above with the chicken.Cover with lid and allow it to cook in it’s own steam , as chicken liberates its own water as it cooks.
  • When Chicken is almost 3/4 cooked add the Tamarind paste/Tamico paste and mix all the pieces well so they are coated with the tamarind paste.This step adds to the tanginess of the recipe.
  • At this time you can add the brown sugar to this mix along with some curry leaves for flavor. Allow it to fully cook. Your kitchen would have a heady mix of sweet & tangy spices floating around at this time, indicating it is ready to be served and be off the stove!.
  • Garnish with Cilantro/Coriander leaves. Serve hot with brown rice or the classic Mangalorean crepe the famous “Neer Dosa”


  • One can grind all the ingredients for the gravy after dry roasting the spices and then grinding them fine with little water,
  • or
  • if you have the readymade “Tal powder/ Mangalore Chicken masala powder handy, you can use 2 tbsp of the powder, which basically contains all the above ingredients, mentioned for the gravy/masala.

Nutrition Facts

  • Amount Per ServingCalories64
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 2g 4%
    • Saturated Fat 1g 5%
  • Cholesterol 8mg 3%
  • Sodium 12mg 1%
  • Potassium 63mg 2%
  • Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
    • Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
    • Sugars 6g
  • Protein 2g 4%

  • Vitamin A 8%
  • Vitamin C 122%
  • Calcium 6%
  • Iron 6%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

The Bottom Line

Bring along the traditions that make you feel good, and leave the rest behind.Make the holiday your own. If turkey doesn’t entice you, substitute with a different protein instead. May I tell you, our Chicken Ghee Roast recipe will make you come back asking for more!

Try it for yourselves, you will know what i am talking about. Maybe you love your traditions – I do too!

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Vanita Amin
Vanita Amin
3 years ago

So beautifully explained & looks so inviting & yummmmmm. Thks for sharing the recipe dear. Stay blessed & safe 🙂