Chicken Sukkha

CHICKEN SUKKA – South Indian Style

My DH studied his engineering in Chennai and his taste buds often crave the food of the yore, this is my take on a chicken sukkha ‘varuval’ which he absolutely adores. We have Curry leaf shrub in the garden and its a delight to use it in our cooking – the aroma of fresh leaves is heavenly and it changes the whole feel and flavor of the dish elevating a simple chicken meal.

Prep Time: 10 Mins

Cooking Time: 15 mins
Recipe Level: Easy to Intermediate
Spice Level: Medium
Serves: 4 People
Shelf Life: 2-3 days if refrigerated
Serving Suggestion: With plain rice or with Jeera Rice or with Roti/ Paratha.


1 bowl and spoon, a wok and forked wooden spoon


  • Chicken (organic boneless) : 500 gms
  • 1 Tablespoon thick yogurt/ labneh
  • 2 teaspoon Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin seeds 
  • 1 medium sized (chopped) Onion
  • 2 Red chillies
  • 2 Sprig Curry Leaves
  • 4 cloves minced Garlic 
  • 1 inch long minced Ginger
  • 1Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • Salt  as per taste
  • 2 sprigs of Coriander leaves for garnish
  • 6 curry leaves for garnish


  • 2 Teaspoons Coriander seeds
  • 2 nos. Dried Red Chillies 
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Whole Black Pepper 
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds 
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds 
  • 3 nos. Cloves 
  • 1 stick of Cinnamon 
  • 3 nos. Cardamom


  1. Marinate the diced chicken (bite sized) in yogurt/ labneh, salt and ginger garlic marinade for 2 hours in the fridge.
  2. Dry roast the ingredients listed under ” For spice powder ” till it release slight aroma – don’t let it burn. Then let it cool and grind into fine powder.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, then add cumin seeds. When they sputter, add onions, red chillies and curry leaves and fry till onions turn translucent.
  4. Then add minced ginger and garlic and fry till raw smell is gone.
  5. Add the chicken, turmeric powder, required salt and mix well. Cover and cook in medium heat till chicken is cooked. No need to add water as chicken will release water.
  6. Then open the lid, add the spice powder, mix well and cook till the extra liquid evaporates and it reaches required consistency. Then turn off the heat. 
  7. Use the forked wooden spoon to press down the chicken pieces along with its grain lines so the edges become a little frayed.
  8. Garnish with cilantro and serve it warm.


  • The chicken when frayed is able to soak the masala in every bite to the core however if you wish to skip this step, it still tastes delicious.
  • Adjust the quantity of red chillies and black pepper, as per your heat tolerance level.

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