Chicken Sukka (Sukha): Dry Chicken Curry

  • 45 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Ratings (27)

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.

What You'll Need

  • 6 cloves
  • 3 pieces (1-inch each ) cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder (optional)
  • 2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 3 tsp. coriander powder
  • 3 to 4 tbsp. vegetable, canola or sunflower oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped very fine
  • 2 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 1 lb. (1/2 kg.) chicken thigh fillet (boneless chicken thigh), cut into 2-inch chunks
  • Salt to taste
  • One 13 1/2 oz.-can (400 ml.) coconut cream
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 3 tsp. white vinegar
  • Chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) for garnish

How to Make It

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