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Chicken Ghee Roast

This chicken ghee roast is a rich and flavorful dish rooted in the Indian cuisine of Kataka, where it originates from a village called Kundapura. It features juicy and tender chicken roasted in a spicy and tangy masala coated generously with ghee. It’s perfect for those who love deep, aromatic Indian flavors.

Chicken ghee roast

Step by Step Video Instructions


Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks: Chicken thighs and drumstick stay tender when being slow cooked and are perfect for this ghee roast.

Byadgi Chillies: They offer a unique smoky flavor that pairs wonderfully with the ghee. If you can’t source Byadgi chilies, Kashmiri red chilies are also an excellent substitute.

Yogurt: Acts as a tenderizer for the chicken, its acidity balances the heat from the chillies and the richness of the ghee.

Ghee: The use of ghee is non-negotiable in this recipe. It imparts a rich, nutty flavor and facilitates the cooking of the spice paste to achieve the right consistency and depth of flavor.

Fenugreek Seeds, Coriander Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Cinnamon, Black Peppercorns: These whole spices are toasted and ground to form the aromatic backbone of the dish, each adding layers of flavor.

Garlic: Adds a robust depth with its pungent flavor. For the best flavor, use fresh garlic cloves over ready-made minced garlic.

Tamarind: Its sweet and sour flavor compliments the richness of the ghee and spices.

Salt and Turmeric: Salt enhances the flavors of the marinade and chicken, while turmeric offers its mild earthy taste.

Chicken ghee roast on a plate.

Expert Tips

Marinating the Chicken: Don’t rush the marination process. Allowing the chicken to marinate with yogurt, turmeric, and salt not only infuses it with flavor but also tenderizes the meat, ensuring it stays juicy and flavorful upon cooking.

Slow Cooking: The secret to a succulent Chicken Ghee Roast lies in the slow cooking process. Once the chicken is added to the pan with the spice and ghee mixture, resist the urge to rush. A gentle simmer allows the meat to cook evenly, soaking up the rich flavors and spices, resulting in tender, fall-off-the-bone chicken. Keep the heat low and give the dish time to develop its complex flavors.

Adjusting Spice Paste Consistency: If the paste is too thick or doesn’t blend smoothly, gradually add more soaking liquid until it reaches a smooth, spreadable consistency.

Storage and Leftovers

Allow the chicken ghee roast to cool, then transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate. It will maintain its quality and flavor for up to 3 days.

For longer storage, you can freeze the chicken ghee roast by transferring it to a freezer-safe container and then storing it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Reheating Your Chicken Ghee Roast:

Oven Method: Preheat your oven to 355°F (180°C). Place the chicken ghee roast in an oven-safe dish, and add a little water to avoid drying out. Cover with foil to retain moisture and reheat for about 15 minutes or until thoroughly hot.

Microwave Method: For a quicker option, the microwave can be used. Place the chicken ghee roast in a microwave-safe container. Cover with a microwave-safe lid or vented plastic wrap, and heat on medium power in short intervals, turning the chicken between each to ensure even heating.

Chicken ghee roast in a pot.


Can I use different cuts of chicken for this recipe?

Absolutely. While thighs and drumsticks are recommended for their flavor and tenderness, you can also use chicken breasts. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary, and breasts may cook quicker and can be drier than darker cuts.

How do I adjust the spice level of this recipe?

The spice level can be easily adjusted according to your preference. For a milder dish, remove the seeds and membrane from the chilies before using them in the recipe. This reduces the heat significantly while retaining the flavor and color. If you prefer a spicier chicken ghee roast, keep the seeds and membrane in. This allows for a hotter flavor profile that spice lovers will enjoy.

What side dishes go well with Chicken Ghee Roast?

Chicken ghee roast works with a lot of side dishes. I paired mine with a paratha but feel free to use Indian breads like nan or steam rice.

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Chicken ghee roast

Chicken Ghee Roast

This chicken ghee roast is a rich and flavorful dish rooted in the Indian cuisine of Kataka, where it originates from a village called Kundapura. It features juicy and tender chicken roasted in a spicy and tangy masala coated generously with ghee. It's perfect for those who love deep, aromatic Indian flavors.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Soaking Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 464 kcal


For the Chicken:

  • 800-1000 g Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks bone-in
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • 75 g Yogurt
  • 4 tbsp Ghee

For the Spice Paste:

  • 10 Byadgi Chilies / Betki Bombay or Kashmiri Red Chilies (about 20 grams), deseeded
  • ½ tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1 ½ tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 2 g Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Black Peppercorns
  • 15 g Garlic
  • 10 g Tamarind


  • In a large bowl, combine chicken, yogurt, turmeric, and salt. Set aside to marinate.
  • Soak chilies and tamarind in a bowl with boiling water. Cover and leave to soak for an hour.
  • Toast cinnamon, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, and coriander seeds in a sauté pan over medium-low heat until fragrant. Let cool.
  • Grind the cooled spices into a fine powder using a grinder or small blender. Add garlic, soaked chilies, and tamarind, including a few tablespoons of soaking liquid. Blend into a smooth paste, adding more liquid as needed.
  • Transfer the spice paste to a deep sauté pan or pot. Simmer on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until thickened.
  • Stir ghee into the spice paste and continue to fry on low heat for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add marinated chicken to the pan, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken pieces, then cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce has thickened.
  • Serve the chicken ghee roast hot, accompanied by paratha or your side of choice.


Calories: 464kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 29gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 192mgPotassium: 392mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 208IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 76mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Chicken Ghee Roast
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