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top shot of chicken ghee roast in a pan, with a kitchen towel on the side

Chicken Ghee Roast Recipe

step by step recipe to make the famous mangalorean chicken ghee roast, that retains the authentic flavors of kundapur style ghee roast chicken
Course Indian Curries, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Karnataka
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 4106kcal



  • 2.5 pounds boneless chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces

For making ghee roast masala

  • 16 byadagi chillies
  • 2 tablespoon coriander seeds (dhania)
  • 2 tablespoon black peppercorn
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 cup water for grinding into paste
  • cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ghee

For making ghee roast curry

  • ½ cup ghee
  • 20 curry leaves (cadipatta)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoon jaggery powder


Roasting the spices

  • In a wide bottomed pan, dry roast the whole dry byadagi chillies for 3-5 minutes on medium-low flame till well roasted.
  • Then set the roasted chillies aside, and in the same pan, add in the coriander seeds, peppercorns, cumin seeds & fennel seeds, and roast them for 3-5 minutes on medium-low flame till well roasted.

Grinding the masala

  • In a mixie, add only the roasted chillies first, and give it a quick pulse to crush it.
  • Then to the crushed chillies, add the roasted whole spices (coriander seeds, peppercorns, cumin seeds, fennel seeds), and chopped ginger & garlic, along with water to grind the masala.
  • Grind till you get a smooth paste.

Marinating the chicken

  • In a large bowl, take the boneless chicken pieces, and to it, add the masala from the mixer, along with yogurt, lemon juice / extract, salt and ghee.
  • Mix well, and let the chicken marinate in this masala mix for a minimum of 4-6 hours in the fridge.

Making ghee roast chicken

  • In a wide bottomed pan, heat up the ghee, and add the curry leaves, and let it roast lightly for 2-3 minutes.
  • Then add the chopped onions, a little salt to cook down the onions faster, and roast on medium flame for 8-10 minutes, till the onions turn translucent. No need to brown the onions for ghee roast.
  • Next add the marinated chicken, mix well, and cook on medium flame (stirring intermittently) for 30 minutes or so, till the chicken is fully cooked.
  • At the halfway mark, or when the chicken is almost done, add in the jaggery powder, mix well, and continue to cook till the chicken is done.
  • At first the chicken will release water, but towards the end, you will have a dry-ish curry, with ghee leaving the sides.
  • Chicken ghee roast goes very well with rice, roti, and even neer dosa.



  1. I have used boneless chicken for this recipe, but you can use bone-in chicken too. Both versions taste divine! Just don't skimp on the ghee!
  2. This recipe calls for byadagi chillies, which are not as spicy as whole dry red chillies, and impart more color than the regular red chillies. Which is why regular spicy red chillies will not make a good substitute here.
  3. Even though byadagi chillies are not too spicy, if 16 chillies are too much for you, you can reduce it by a few, but then also reduce the quantity of jaggery powder you are adding to 1 tablespoon instead of 2. Even with 16 chillies, you can choose to add only 1 tablespoon jaggery powder instead of 2, if you prefer a spicier ghee roast.
  4. If you are refrigerating your chicken, remember to thaw it for at-least 30 minutes at room temperature before adding to the hot pan.
  5. It's not mandatory, but it's ideal to use a wide bottomed pan, as mentioned in the recipe, to get close to the dryish-consistency of the final dish.

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: 4106kcal | Carbohydrates: 146g | Protein: 210g | Fat: 303g | Saturated Fat: 118g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1391mg | Sodium: 6846mg | Potassium: 5708mg | Fiber: 26g | Sugar: 75g | Vitamin A: 8774IU | Vitamin C: 1465mg | Calcium: 748mg | Iron: 25mg