I bring you another popular dish from Goa after "Prawn Balchao". Its the famous "Xacuti" Curry. Xacuti is pronounced as Sha-koo-ty and its origin is from Portugal. As I have mentioned earlier that Goan cuisine is largely influenced by the Portuguese Culinary basics, so you can expect lots and lots of flavourful spices in any of the Goan curries.
"Xacuti" masala is prepared by dry roasting all the popular whole spices with grated fresh coconut and combining it with a tang of tamarind juice. You can add chicken, lamb, mutton, seafood or even paneer to this masala and make a delicious Goan Curry. Here I have used mushrooms in my Xacuti Curry to please both vegetarians & non-vegetarians. :)
- 8 whole cloves
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
- 1/2 tsp saunf (fennel seeds)
- 1/2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- 4 dried red chillies
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg (powder)
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 cup grated fresh coconut
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 3 tbsp oil
- 2 big red onions (finely chopped)
- 30 - 40 button mushrooms (quartered)
- lemon sized tamarind
- salt to taste
- Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of lukewarm water.
- Dry roast the cloves, peppercorns, ajwain, fennel, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, star anise, chillies, nutmeg powder & poppy seeds in a non stick wok or kadai. Roast until fragrant.
- Now add the coconut & ry roast again for 3-4 minutes until it is lightly browned.
- Let it cool & then grind it to a wet fine paste by adding 1 cup of water along with the garlic.
- Heat oil in the kadai & add the chopped onions & saute till golden brown. Now add the mushrooms & salt at this stage. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add the ground paste to it along with 1 cup of water.
- Remove the tamarind pulp & pour the tamarind juice to the gravy and allow it to simmer for 5-8 minutes more.
- Serve hot with Chapathis, pav, bun or even rice.