Khandeshi Chicken Curry / Kala Masala Chicken

  • Servings : 3-5
  • Prep Time : 15m
  • Cook Time : 30m
  • Ready In : 45m

This is my tribute to my Mother In Law, who introduced me to the world of “Khandeshi” style cooking!

Khandesh is a region in north Maharashtra, which includes towns and cities like Dhule,Jalgaon and so on. My Mother In Law was originally from a khandeshi family and later married into Nashik.

So I have the best of both the cuisines. Though there is not much of a difference in cooking , especially for a person ,totally new to the taste, the respective locals take pride in their own style and recipes!

Its a very simple cuisine,with Kala Masala ( Black masala, its so called,because the roasted spices and dry coconut , gives it a peculiar deep brown black colour) being predominantly used in most of the rassa or amti’s (gravies). Its got earthy flavours , and a kick of spice, and most importantly, generous amounts of spiced oil or “Tarri” as they call , floating over each gravy! Its a matter of disgrace, if the guests are served curry without a generous tarri floating!

Served with mostly Bajari (Finger Millet flour roti) Bhakari or Jwarichi or tandalachi(Jowar or Rice Flour) Bhakari , the curries are mostly runny , unlike thick gravies served in northern India. The runny gravies are easily soaked in the bhakaris , and can also be eaten with steamed rice.

I have been getting requests for typical Khandeshi Chicken or Mutton Rassa(which is very famous here in Nashik), I decided to let the secret out for Khandeshi Chicken!


  • 300 gms Chicken , cleaned and cut
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Kala masala
  • 2 tsp Red Chilly Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 small Onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1-2 cups water
  • Chopped Coriander for garnish

  • For Marinade
    1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Turmeric

  • For Ground Masala
    2 Medium Onions sliced
  • 8-10 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 inch Ginger,peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp Grated Dry coconut
  • 1-2 tsp Oil for roasting


Step 1

Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients for marinade and keep aside for atleast 30 mins.

Step 2

Heat 2 tsp oil on a hot tawa or girdle and roast ginger ,garlic and sliced onions , till they turn brown , now put off flame and add dry grated coconut and brown it on the remainder heat . Cool and grind to a fine paste , using little water if needed.

Step 3

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan or a pressure cooker( i used pressure cooker to cook my chicken faster, but you can use a pan also) Fry chopped onions till translucent. Add the ground masala and fry on a low flame, till it starts leaving oil.

Step 4

Now add kala masala,red chilly powder and fry for another min. Add marinated chicken and fry. Add 1 1/2 cup hot water to it and mix. Add salt to the gravy and cover the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for upto 2-3 whistles.

Step 5

Serve garnished with chopped coriander,accompanied with sliced onions , chillies and Bhakaris! Notes: Sometimes, i cook the marinated chicken in advance: Heat 1 tsp oil and saute 1 tbsp chopped onion till translucent. add the marinated chicken and 1/2 cup water and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Use this cooked chicken with the stock ,after frying the ground masala and adding the spices. This same process can be done when cooking with Mutton also, only difference,meat shall need extra whistles to cook and an added tsp of Meat masala , along with kala masala.

Comments (24)

  1. posted by Harshada Sandhan on April 1, 2013

    Hi! Great to see you after a long time! Treat is on us…you can visit us any time!

  2. posted by Smita Bhat on April 7, 2013

    Hi, Sonali.

    Read this recipe yesterday and tried it immediately today. Must say that it turned of really well and got over very fast. Also accept my compliments on the makeover of your site. I have just read your chicken burger recipe and was wondering if I could use chicken kheema instead of mincing boneless chicken. Also when I wash the kheema some just flows away with the water, if I strain it gets stuck in the mesh. Any other way of washing it ?

    • posted by Sonali Raut on April 8, 2013

      Thanx Smita…Yes the boneless chicken can also be used. You could add maybe a slice of bread while mincing. As for draining the kheema just put a muslin cloth over the sieve and then strain it…

  3. posted by vinayak on April 26, 2013

    Thanks for bringing these Khandeshi recipe on blog and exploring the possibility of whole different style of cooking originated from Khandesh.
    I always thought that Kolhapuri is overrated when it comes to chicken and meat in Maharashtrian cuisine.

    I was born and brought up in Jalgaon and after learning Punjabi food lately I’ve developed interest in khandesh style. So keep writing these unique recipes.

    • posted by Harshada Sandhan on April 26, 2013

      Thanks! Your words mean a lot for humble beginners like us! I’m glad my efforts to preserve Khandeshi Culinary Heritage are noticed! Keep posting your feedback as well as any specific culinary creation you would like to see on our site!

  4. posted by Bhushan Borse on August 29, 2013

    Thanks to you for bringing up this khandeshi recipe. I am from nashik and my parents are from dhule i love khandeshi style non- veg, my mom cooks for me. Currently m in bangalore missing homade food. I was searching for this recipe or thaught of uploading it if it was not there. I am happy that people love this style of non veg though it is spicy.

    • posted by Harshada Sandhan on August 30, 2013

      Thank you so much! Im happy n proud to bring our heritage recipes to the world, and glad its relished by all! Do share some of your own favourite recipes with us..
      Happy cooking!

  5. posted by Prit on October 23, 2013

    Thanks for the recipe. I have been dying for some Khandeshi Mutton curry, will make it tonight. Unfortunately, I am in the office now and need to stop drooling.


    • posted by Harshada Sandhan on October 23, 2013

      Thanks Pritam, delighted you loved our recipe to the point of drooling, thats indeed flattering! Enjoy your curry, and Happy Cooking!

  6. posted by Mandar Shenai on October 28, 2013

    Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe which made my day! 🙂 I like the same dish served in a Pune hotel- ‘Lavangi Mirchi’ and couldn’t have it as I am staying in Hyderabad currently! Never thought I could prepare the same myself. Truly rocking, thanks again! 🙂

    • posted by Harshada Sandhan on October 28, 2013

      Hi Mandar, we are delighted you loved this traditional recipe of ours! And thank you for stopping by and letting us about the same! Do try our other Khandeshi recipes too, they are simple yet tasty and ofcourse fiery hot!
      Happy Cooking!

  7. posted by Suhan on April 16, 2014

    I’m new to cooking.. Can u pls tell me wats kala masala

    • posted by Harshada Sandhan on April 16, 2014

      Kala Masala is a traditional aromatic masala typically used in Maratha cuisine in Northern Maharashtra. Its made with aromatic spices that are slow roasted, chillies and dry coconut. All the roasting process gives a typical dark brown black colour,hence the name. Its what a garam masala does to curries in regular indian cooking. You can refer the link for recipe:

  8. posted by Mukesh Kapoor on August 17, 2014

    Is Kala Masala same as Goda Masala? I normally get this Goda Masala from some friends in Kolhapur.

    • posted by Harshada Sandhan on August 17, 2014

      Hi Mukesh, Kala masala is different from Goda Masala. Its a native masala you normally get in Nashik,n adjoining north Maharashtra districts .

  9. posted by Sandeep on August 22, 2014

    Hi, thanks for sharing khandeshi cuisine , can you please let me know reciepie for sukkah mutton with khandeshi kala masala .

  10. posted by praveen pawar on August 30, 2014

    Hi. .Thanks for bringing this recipe of kala masala .I am always think that kholapuri recipes , saoji recipes are over promoted .I’m from nashik and I am very happy to share with you that I have run 2 successful non veg restaurants at nashik. All our recipes. ..based only on kala masala. Thanks again for kala masala recipe.

    • posted by Harshada Sandhan on August 30, 2014

      Thank you so much! Feel great to have garnered attention from someone who’s always had expertise over traditional cuisine, and been delighting nasik kars with delicious authentic food for so many years. My in laws and relatives from nasik love the traditional thali from your restaurants and its been on my wishlist since long to relish delicious non veg thali from divtya budhlya. I ll definitely visit on my next trip to Nasik.
      You should open one more restaurant in Mumbai, lots of our followers n friends love kala masala curries n are on constant look out for restaurants serving authentic traditional food.

  11. posted by Vish on October 18, 2015

    I am from khandesh and i prepared this dish for first time today. It has turn out to be one of the best chicken curry so far and same as i eat at my gaon. Thanks a lot for sharing this!

  12. posted by Chornukopia on February 26, 2016

    Is the Ground Masala section of the recipe what makes the Kala Masala? I’m a little confused as the recipe asks you to add the ground Masala and fry it with the onions then in the next stage add the Kala Masala. Interesting looking recipe. I’d love to try it.

    • posted by Harshada Sandhan on February 27, 2016

      Hi, the ground masala isn’t tge kala masala. You can make your own kala masala using the recipe link
      Or alternately you can substitute it with regular garam masala,but make sure to use sufficient onions n dry khopra in the roasted groubd masala. The taSte will not be as authentic as original curry, but relatively closer. Do give it a try n let us know.

      • posted by Chornukopia on February 27, 2016

        Thanks for the prompt reply and link. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  13. posted by ritesh on April 27, 2016

    Can u share kala masala recipe

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