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Chicken Sukka - Chicken Sukha - Dry Chicken Curry


Chicken Sukka from coastal, western India combines elements and ingredients of both the Malabari and Goan styles of cooking. Though it is a dry dish with very little gravy, Chicken Sukka tastes really nice served with just plain boiled rice! You can even team it with Sannas, hot Chapatis or Parathas. Add a green salad and you'll have a well-rounded meal. Another nice meal combination for Chicken Sukka is with Idli (south Indian steamed rice cakes) and Sambar!

Yield: Serves 4-6 people


  • 1/2 kg of chicken thigh fillet/ boneless chicken thigh cut into 2" chunks
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 pieces (1" each ) of cinnamon
  • 6 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 tsps coriander powder
  • 2 tsps cumin powder
  • 3-4 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions chopped very fine
  • 2 tbsps garlic paste
  • 2 tbsps ginger paste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 400 ml can of coconut cream
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tsps white vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh chopped coriander to garnish


  • Grind the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, fenugreek, fennel seeds and peppercorns together into a fine powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder or food processor.
  • Mix the turmeric, red chilli (if using), cumin and coriander powders with the above spice mixture and stir to blend. Keep aside for later use.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan on a medium flame. When the cooking oil is hot, add the onions to it and fry them till golden. Stir often to prevent them from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Now add the ginger and garlic pastes and sauté until browned or for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chicken chunks and salt to taste. Mix well and cook, stirring frequently, till the chicken is well browned on all sides.
  • Add the powdered spice mix prepared earlier and stir well. Cook till the spices begin to give off a cooked aroma ("raw" spices have a sharp pungent aroma as compared to "cooked" spices).
  • Now add the coconut cream and mix well.
  • Cover the pan, simmer the flame/ heat and cook. Check every 2-3 minutes and stir if required to prevent burning. After 10 minutes of cooking this way, remove the cover and cook open till most of the gravy has dried up and turned thick and is of a dark brown color. Check and stir as needed.
  • Add the sugar, vinegar and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes more and then turn off fire. Check seasoning and add salt if required.
  • Garnish the Chicken Sukka with fresh chopped coriander and serve with plain boiled rice or Chapatis and a green salad.
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