Thursday, February 2, 2017

Recipes from Maharashtra, India: Kolhapuri Chicken

I have always loved spicy food, so I loved this super-spicy drumstick recipe from Maharashtra. It reminded me of Tandoori chicken, but much less kind. I do suggest if you're going to make it that you
test-drive the primary spicy ingredient before adding it--it's called "Degi Mirch," and it's a special blend of super-spicy Indian chili powder. I thought it was going to be hard to find, but I actually located it in 30 seconds or less on Amazon Prime (here's the link).

If you can get past the mouth on fire thing, this is a tasty recipe. Here's how to make it:

First, you marinade the drumsticks. Take the skin off, mix together the maranade ingredients and then rub all over the chicken. Put it in the fridge and let it sit for 30 minutes or so.

Now you have to mix up a bunch of whole garam masala ingredients: bay leaf, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, star anise and garlic.

Fry the seeds until they start to smell delicious, then add some sliced onion and dry coconut to the pan. Keep stirring until the onions start to brown.

Next, put the onion mix in a blender with some tomatoes and water and pulse to make a paste. Transfer back to the pan and cook in a little oil with the Degi Mirch and garam masala.

Now add the chicken to the pot, mix, cover and cook over medium low for  20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 175 degrees. Now give it to your family and laugh as their faces turn red and they all dive for a glass of water.

Actually as I said, I didn't give my kids the spicy version, at least not deliberately. My super-macho 11-year-old helped himself to some sauce and then sat there sweating while simultaneously complaining that it wasn't spicy enough. Haha, I am so on to you, dude. My husband liked the flavor, spices and all, but of course complained that it wasn't a boneless, skinless chicken breast. You know, the most flavorless cut on the chicken. Sigh. You can't please everyone.

Kolhapuri Chicken

from Madhuras Recipe
Kolhapuri Chicken


  • 1 lb chicken drumsticks

  • For the marinade
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala

  • For the sauce:
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 2 to 3 whole cloves
  • 4 to 5 peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp dry, shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp Degi Mirch powder*
*Degi Mirch is a spicy red Indian chili powder blend. I got mine on


  1. First pull the skin off the drumsticks. 
  2. Mix together the marinade ingredients and rub all over the drumsticks. Let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.
  3. Now heat up the oil and add all the various seeds and the chopped garlic. Keep stirring until fragrant. 
  4. Add the coconut and onion and keep cooking until the onions starts to brown.
  5. Now transfer the onion mixture to a blender with the chopped tomatoes. Add just enough water to make a paste.
  6. Now heat some more oil and add the paste, along with the  Degi Mirch and garam masala. Cook for 5 minutes or so.
  7. Drop in the chicken pieces and add a little water to make a nice sauce. Cover and cook on medium low for 20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 175 degrees.


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