Traditional creamy, delectable, rich chicken curry made with roasted spices, onions, garlic, freshly ground coconut, coconut milk and tamarind from coastal Mangalore, Karnataka is one of the perfect curries to serve with Idli, Dosa, Rice, Parotta etc. “Kori” means Chicken and “Gassi” means Curry in Kannada. This is usually served with Kori roti, Neer Dosa or Idlis, but it tastes equally good with rice and parotta

Do not get daunted by the ingredients list, you need to just do the steps in parallel and you can have this delicious curry ready in no time. The beauty of the dish is that it does not require much marination time. Alternatively, you can dry roast the spices in bulk and store it in air tight container and then directly add it to the curry. You can substitute Chicken with lamb/cottage cheese or Tofu too, the cooking time will vary with the substitution

When I visited Karnataka for the first time, I came across this dish and I knew I had to try it out once. It was so rich and flavorful that this has become one of my Sunday curries. Byadagi (pronounced as Bay-da-gay) chilies lends right flavour to the dish, in case you are unable to find it, you can use Kashmiri red chilies. Byadagi red chilies lend fiery red colour to the dish without being overly spicy

Fresh grated coconut and tamarind pulp are equally vital for the right taste. You can use desiccated coconut as a substitute in case you live in places where it’s difficult to get coconut. You can use homemade or canned coconut milk to prepare this dish. There are quite many variations to this dish in Karnataka. I wouldn’t recommend adding lemon juice to this dish as tamarind adds the necessary tangy taste. Add lemon juice only if you do not have tamarind in hand. Overall, best stick to below ingredients list for lip smacking authentic taste of the dish

*You can use coconut oil instead of ghee. Veg oil can be used to prepare this dish but the real flavour comes from the coconut oil

**It’s best to dry roast the spices separately for the right flavour and do not burn spices while roasting it

*** Kashmiri red chilies can be used as a substitute for Byadagi red chilies. Increase the quantity of red chilies for additional spiciness in the curry

Do check the video for better clarity in preparation and share your experience once you prepare the dish

Preparation time: 20 mins Cooking time: 40 mins Total time: 60 mins

Servings: 4-5


  • 500 grams curry cut Chicken/Boneless Chicken cubed into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup Thick Coconut milk
  • 1 lemon sized Tamarind
  • 3 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 medium Onion, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup Second Coconut Milk/Thin coconut milk
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves
  • 1-2 tbsp Fried Curry Leaves to garnish

To Roast and grind

  • 2 tbsp Ghee/Clarified Butter
  • 1 medium Onion, sliced
  • 4-5 Garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup grated Coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
  • 7-8 byadagi or dry Kashmiri Red Chilli
  • 1.5 teaspoon Coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black Peppercorns
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 3 Cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon Cumin seeds

Steps to prepare

  • Soak tamarind in 1/3 cup warm water for 15 minutes. squeeze pulp and discard the waste  
  • Marinate chicken with turmeric and salt for 15-20 minutes  
  • Add Byadagi red chilies to the pan and roast for 1 min
  • Take the red chilies out and keep it aside. Add coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Dry roast until aromatic. Take it out and keep it aside
  • Roast fenugreek seeds until golden brown, do not roast them more else the curry will acquire bitter taste  
  • In same pan, melt ghee, add garlic. Saute until aromatic
  • Add sliced onions and saute until onions are tender  
  • Add coconut and saute for 2 minutes
  • Allow the mixture to cool completely  
  • Grind coconut mixture with roasted spices and adequate water to form smooth paste . Keep this aside
  • Heat oil in a pan, add onions and saute until golden brown  
  • Add marinated chicken. Stir fry on high heat for 2-3 minutes  
  • Simmer, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally  
  • Add ground paste, curry leaves and salt. Mix well  
  • Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally  
  • Add second coconut milk and tamarind pulp. Check for salt and adjust accordingly. Mix well 
  • Bring the curry to boil 
  • Simmer, cover and cook until chicken is cooked , do not overcook. Do stir the chicken occasionally while it’s cooking 
  • Add thick coconut milk and stir well. Just warm the curry, switch off. Do not cook after adding thick coconut milk  
  • Garnish with fried curry leaves and serve hot with rice, Neer dosa, Idli or chapati
Kori Gassi/ Mangalorean Chicken Curry
Posted by:Rekha Unni

Humble quirky soul embarking on beautiful journey of love called Life. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies and I love experimenting with different types of foods. it's the love of cooking for my family which has made this hobby as one of my passions