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a serving kadai full of kolhapuri chicken curry, with a plate of naan and kitchen towel on either side

Chicken Kolhapuri Recipe (Kolhapuri Chicken Curry)

step by step recipe for making kolhapuri chicken curry
Course Indian Curries, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Maharashtrian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 969kcal



For chicken marination

  • 3 pounds chicken leg quarters
  • 5 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried kasoori methi flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoon water or oil

For kolhapuri chicken curry

  • 11 tablespoon oil divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 8 cloves garlic roughly sliced
  • 2 whole dry red chillies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 5 green cardamom
  • 7 cloves
  • 7 black peppercorn
  • 1 mace
  • 2 tablespoon coriander seeds (dhania)
  • 4 tablespoon white sesame seeds (til)
  • 2 tablespoon white poppy seeds (khaskhas)
  • 2 cup chopped onion
  • teaspoon salt divided
  • ¾ cup chopped tomato
  • 2 teaspoon red chilli powder divided
  • ½ cup dry desiccated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon kashmiri chilli powder
  • ½ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 6 cup water divided, for making paste & curry

For making kolhapuri tarri

  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon kashmiri chilli powder


Marinating the chicken

  • Take 3 pounds of chicken leg quarters, wash it well, and drain out all the excess water.
  • In a bowl, take 5 tablespoon ginger garlic paste, 1 tablespoon red chilli powder, 1 tablespoon garam masala powder, 1 tablespoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon kasoori methi powder, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon water or oil. Mix everything together to form a smooth marinade.
  • Apply the marinade to the chicken, ensuring to coat all the chicken pieces very well.
  • Refrigerate the marinated chicken for 4-6 hours.
  • When done, ensure to thaw out the chicken for at-least 20-30 minutes at room temperature, before adding it to the curry.

Making the main roast

  • In a wide bottomed pan, heat up ½ cup of oil, and then add in 1 teaspoon cumin seeds.
  • When the cumin seeds start crackling, add in 8 cloves of garlic (roughly sliced), and saute for 2-3 minutes, till the garlic just about starts changing color and turning light red.
  • Then add in 2 whole chillies (broken in 2 pieces each), and lightly roast it for 30-60 seconds.
  • After which, it's now time to add in and roast the whole spices.

Roast whole spices in this order

  • Start with adding whole garam spices all together (1 bay leaf, 2 inch cinnamon stick, 5 green cardamom, 1 black cardamom, 7 cloves, 7 black peppercorns, and 1 mace), and lightly roast it for 1-2 minutes, till it starts giving off a light aroma.
  • Then add in 2 tablespoon coriander seeds, and lightly roast it for 1-2 minutes, till there is a slight change in color.
  • Next add in 4 tablespoon white sesame seeds, and lightly roast it for 1-2 minutes, till there is a slight deepening in color.
  • After which add in 2 tablespoon white poppy seeds, and lightly roast it for 1-2 minutes, till it starts slightly changing color.

Roasting onions and tomatoes

  • Once the whole spices have been roasted well, add in 2 cups of chopped onions, and 1 teaspoon of salt to brown the onions faster, and saute till the onions turn light golden brown in color. This might take about 15-20 minutes or so, but it's a crucial step, so best not to rush it. Using a wide pan helps speed up the process a bit.
  • Then add in ¾ cup chopped tomatoes, and 1 teaspoon of red chilli powder. Mix well, and saute for 5 minutes or so, till the tomatoes cook down a bit, and then turn off the flame.

Dry roasting desiccated coconut

  • Also, while you are roasting the onions and tomatoes - in another small pan on the side, dry roast ½ cup of dry desiccated coconut, till it turns light red in color. It will only take a couple of minutes to roast the coconut powder, but just ensure to do this on a low flame, and constantly stir the coconut powder around, so that it gets evenly roasted without getting burnt.
  • Then add the roasted coconut powder to the main roast, and mix it in. No need to switch the flame back on, just mix in the roasted coconut powder, and let the roast cool down.

Making kolhapuri masala base

  • When the roast has cooled down to about room temperature, transfer it all to a mixie, and grind it with 2 cups of water to make a smooth paste.

Making kolhapuri chicken curry

  • In a large heavy bottomed pan, lightly heat up 3 tablespoon oil, then to it add 1 tablespoon kashmiri chilli powder, and mix it in. Lightly roast the chilli powder for 30 seconds or so on medium low flame, ensuring that the oil is not too hot and the flame is not too high, else the chilli powder will burn.
  • Once the kashimiri chilli powder is lightly roasted, then add in the roasted curry paste from the mixer, 1 teaspoon of red chilli powder, the marinated chicken, and teaspoon salt, along with 4 cups of water, and mix everything together.
  • Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes on medium high flame, stirring intermittently, till the chicken is completely cooked.
  • When done, add in ½ cup of chopped coriander leaves, and mix it in.

For adding extra tarri (optional)

  • In a small tadka pan, lightly heat up 2 tablespoon oil, and lightly roast 1 tablespoon kashmiri chilli powder in it for 30-60 seconds, on medium low flame. Tarri is ready!
  • Add this tarri to the cooked chicken curry, and serve hot.



1. You can use any kind of chicken for making kolhapuri chicken, but preferably only go with bone-in chicken. I personally prefer leg quarters over drumsticks, but you can use either.
2. Use a wide bottomed pan for roasting the spices and onion etc, because it will significantly cut down on the time it takes for roasting the spices and browning the onion.
3. I have suggested the order of roasting whole spices based on the size. For instance relatively bigger dhania seeds will take longer to roast than the fine poppy seeds, so if we add dhania seeds first, and give it a headstart, before we roast sesame and poppy seeds, then they'll all get a relatively even roast.
4. Always let the roast cool down completely before blending it into a paste in the mixie. This will avoid the contents overheating and bursting out of the mixie.
Tarri - If you like only a very little tarri to be floating on the top of your curry, then you don't need to make and add the extra tarri I shared above. It will be taken care of by the kashmiri chilli powder roasted in oil in the pot before adding the paste from the mixie, and the chicken etc to make the curry.
Spice Level - Kolhapuri dishes are meant to be spicy, but if you want to tone down the spice level a little, skip the red chilli powder everywhere it is mentioned, or replace it with kashmiri chilli powder, which mostly adds color instead of spice. And needless to say, skip the tarri. :)
Please note: The nutrition values are best estimates provided as a courtesy. The exact values can vary depending on the exact ingredients or brands used. If you rely on them for your specific diet and/or health issues, please consult a registered dietician or nutritionist.


Calories: 969kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 82g | Saturated Fat: 34g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 28g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 189mg | Sodium: 1688mg | Potassium: 768mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1677IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 201mg | Iron: 5mg