Chicken Sukka: Dry Chicken Curry

Chicken sukka dry chicken curry recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
330 Calories
20g Fat
8g Carbs
30g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 330
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 25%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Sodium 235mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 30g
Calcium 61mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chicken sukka from coastal, western India combines elements and ingredients of both the Malabari and Goan styles of cooking. It combines a very fragrant spice mixture with onions, ginger, and garlic, and the recipe is finished with coconut cream, creating a smooth, thick texture.

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 Indian rice cakes (sannas or idli) or flatbreads like hot chapatis or parathas. Complete the meal with a vegetable such as steamed broccoli or roasted cauliflower.


  • 6 cloves
  • 3 pieces (1-inch each ) cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 3 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable, canola, or sunflower oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions (chopped very fine)
  • 2 tablespoons ginger paste
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 1 pound chicken thigh fillet (boneless chicken thigh, cut into 2-inch chunks)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 (13 1/2-ounce) can coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for chicken sukka
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck  
  2. Grind the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, and peppercorns together into a fine powder in a spice grinder, clean, dry coffee grinder, or food processor.

    Grind cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  3. In a small bowl, mix the turmeric, red chili (if using), cumin, and coriander powders with the spice mixture and stir to blend. Set aside.

    Mix the turmeric
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  4. Heat the cooking oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan over 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.

    Heat the cooking oil
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  5. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and sauté until browned, for 2 to 3 minutes.

    Now add ginger and garlic pastes
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  6. Add the chicken and salt to taste. Mix well and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is well browned on all sides.

    Add chicken chunks
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  7. Add the prepared powdered spice mix 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.

    Add powdered spice
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  8. Cover the pan, lower the heat to simmer, and cook, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes to prevent burning. After 10 minutes, remove the cover and cook until most of the gravy has dried up, turned thick, and is a dark brown color, stirring as needed.

    Cover the pan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  9. Add the sugar and vinegar and mix well. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more and then turn off the heat. Check the seasoning and add salt if needed.

    Add sugar and vinegar
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  10. Garnish the chicken sukka with chopped cilantro and serve with plain boiled rice, if desired.

    Garnish chicken sukka
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck