Chilli Boava | Lonumedhu

Chilli Boava


We were really lucky this week; we got our hands on some octopus! Some might find our version of Chilli Boava to be too mild on the chilli, so just put in some more if you need to.

Serves: 3


  • 500 grams octopus tentacles washed and cleaned
  • 2 onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 tsp. tomato paste
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 3 inch piece of raanbaa
  • 3 tsp. ground cumin
  • 4 tsp. red chilli powder (or to taste)
  • ½ githeyo mirus (or to taste)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp. oil



  1. Add the octopus tentacles, 1 tsp. salt and 2 cups of water to a large pot and bring it to a boil. You might need to add more water depending on the size of pot that you use. You just need to make sure that the water covers all the tentacles.
  2. Let the octopus tentacles simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the tentacles and slice them into small pieces. Ours were around 1 cm.
  4. Mix the tentacles with 1 tsp. salt, red chilli powder and tomato paste and leave covered to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients. If you have the time, you can of course leave it for longer.
  5. Slice the onions and garlic thinly.
  6. Heat the oil in a large pot and add the onions, curry leaves and raanbaa, and cook until the onions begin to turn brown.
  7. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic softens. Shouldn’t take longer than 30 seconds.
  8. Add the ground cumin, mix well and cook until you smell the cumin aroma; this should take slightly over 30 seconds depending on the heat.
  9. Add the octopus, githeyo mirus and 1 cup of water to the pot and mix well.
  10. Cover and cook on low heat for 35 minutes or until the octopus is soft. You can test it by using a fork. If it goes through easily it is cooked. Before switching off the heat, remember to have a taste and add more chilli, salt or tomato paste if necessary.

Note: Our version is a dry curry. If you want it to be saucier, add ½ cup more water, 1 ½ tsp. more tomato paste, 2 tsp. more chilli powder, 1 ½ tsp. more cumin and salt to taste.

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