Chicken Sukka (Sukha): 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
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
330 Calories
20g Fat
8g Carbs
30g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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. 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.


  • 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
  • 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
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish)

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 clean, dry coffee grinder or food processor.

    Grind cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  3. 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.

    Mix the turmeric
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  4. Heat the cooking oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan on 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. Now add the ginger and garlic pastes and sauté until browned or for 2 to 3 minutes.

    Now add ginger and garlic pastes
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  6. Add the chicken chunks 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 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.

    Add powdered spice
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  8. 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.

    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 seasoning and add salt if required.

    Add sugar and vinegar
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  10. Garnish the Chicken Sukka with chopped coriander and serve with plain boiled rice or Chapatis and a green salad.

    Garnish chicken sukka
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck