Mom's Goa homage to Chef Floyd Cardoz
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An iconic celebrated Goan dish bursting with complex flavor profiles of toasted ground coconut infused with spicy red chilis, coconut vinegar, star anise, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, fennel, Tellicherry peppercorns, turmeric, garlic, ginger, bay leaves, curry leaves, tamarind paste, onions, potatoes, oil and fresh cilantro.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Goan
Serves: 4-6
  • Xacuti
  • 2 pounds of boneless or boned in chicken
  • 2 white potatoes, each cut into ⅛ths
  • 2 large onions, finely diced
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut or freshly grated
  • 11/2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons refined coconut oil
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro - garnish
  • Masala Powder
  • 2 curry leaves, fresh preferred, or dry as substitute
  • 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 black cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2" piece, cinnamon stick
  • 8 cloves
  • ½ teaspoon peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri chili powder
  • Masala Paste
  • 10 dried red Kashmiri chilis
  • 4 teaspoons garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons ginger paste
  • ½ tablespoon tamarind paste
  • ¼ cup Goa Toddy Vinegar (Coconut or Heinz vinegar may be substituted)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  1. Xacuti Masala Powder
  2. In a cast iron skillet, dry roast the coconut on low heat until slightly brown, but not burnt. Set aside and allow the toasted coconut to cool down.
  3. In a separate cask iron skillet, dry roast the whole spices and the turmeric and Kashmiri chili powder on low heat releasing their essential oils. Add the dry spices to the coconut and allow to cool.
  4. Grind the coconut and the spices in a spice grinder to a fine powder.
  5. Set aside this mixture to cool down for 15 minutes.
  6. Xacuti Masala Paste
  7. Meanwhile in a glass bowl soak the dried red chilis in the vinegar for 30 minutes.
  8. Once the xacuti masala powder cools down, add the soaked red chilis with the vinegar to it and grind it all together making a wet xacuti masala paste in the blender.
  9. Now, in a dutch oven, on medium heat, add the coconut oil and saute the finely chopped onions and the curry leaves until translucent.
  10. Add the garlic and ginger pastes and cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
  11. Now, add the chicken and saute until the meat is browned, for about 5 minutes.
  12. Add the wet xacuti masala paste, tamarind, chicken broth, salt and sugar and stir well.
  13. Gently add the quartered potatoes, give it a good stir and bring to a boil.
  14. Turn down to a simmer, cover the dutch oven and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  15. Add the chopped cilantro and serve with steaming hot rice.
Recipe by Mumbai to Maine! at