Kombdi wade
Goan Chicken Curry

Health Benefits of Coconut are known to all. People from the coastal belt of India, use a lot of coconut in their food. The coconut used, can be either in fresh form or dry form. They use coconut oil for cooking as well as for massaging their body. Coconut water is had by all as refreshment. Its considered very healthy and generally given to ailing, old people and to pregnant women. Grated Fresh coconut is used regularly in food as garnishing be it poha, upma or any veggie. Veg and non veg gravies are mostly made of coconut along with dry whole spices.

As kids, it was a ritual in our house to oil our hair with coconut oil and leave it overnight. Whether we liked it or not, we were given a massage by my father every Sunday with coconut oil. Coconut oil was put in our ears. In todays fast paced life, we dont have time for these activities. But the craving for coconut based gravies is still there. These gravies are not usually a part of the restaurant menu, hence whenever such cravings set in, we make it at home. I never knew how to grate coconut, the traditional way, but over a period of time, have learnt that too 🙂

This recipe is one such traditional recipe made with grated dry coconut and whole spices. Instead of dry coconut, fresh coconut can also be used, the only difference being it will have to be roasted more and there will be a difference in the flavour. The whole spices used, add more flavour to the recipe. If whole spices are not there in the pantry, it can be replaced with garam masala powder, but the taste will obviously not be the same.

Level Medium


1 whole grated dry coconut or fresh coconut

900 gms chicken

3 medium onion

2 Black cardamom/badi elaichi/moti elaichi

5 Cloves/lavang

2 inch Cinnamon/dalchini

4 dry Red chillies/lal mirchi

5-6 Black peppercons/ kali miri

1 tbsp Cumin seeds/jeera

2 tbsp Coriander seeds/ dhania

2 Mace/javitri

1 tsp Fenugreek seeds/methi dana

1 tsp Turmeric powder

1 Bay leaf/tej patta

1 tsp Shahjeera or black cumin seeds

1 tbsp white Sesame seeds/ til

2 tsp Poppy seeds/khas khas

1-2 Staranise/ chakra phool

1 lemon sized ball of Tamarind/ imli

2 tbsp Ginger garlic paste

1 tbsp fennel seeds/ saunf

1 tbsp dagad phool/black stone flower

Chopped fresh coriander for garnishing


Coconut Oil or any other cooking oil


  1. Rinse and marinte the chicken with a tbsp of ginger garlic paste and turmeric for a minimum of half an hour in the refrigerator.
  2. In a wok, heat 2 tsp of oil. Add bay leaf, black cumin seeds, poppy seeds, white sesame seeds, mace, star anise, black peppercorns, red chillies, black cardamom,  cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, black stone flower, coriander seeds and roast it for few seconds.
  3. Add  2 sliced onions and roast till brown. Add grated dry coconut or frest coconut and roast it further till reddish brown.
  4. Allow it to cool and then grind to a smooth paste along with the ball of tamarind.
  5. Take a tbsp of oil in a wok. Once heated, add fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds. Add 1 chopped onion and let it brown.
  6. Add the ground paste and let it cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the marinated chicken and allow to cook for few minutes.
  7. Add the remaining ginger garlic paste. Mix well. Then add water to make a medium consistency gravy. Add salt and let the chicken cook.
  8. Once done, garnish with chopped coriander. Serve hot with wades, bhakris, chapatis or rice.
  9. This form of chicken is well known for having with wades ( fried puris made with muti grain flour) and is known as kombdi wade.