How to Master Kundapura Chicken Sukka: A Coastal Delight Unveiled

Kundapura Chicken Sukka

Kundapura Chicken Sukka is a delicious and spicy South Indian chicken dish that hails from the coastal town of Kundapura in Karnataka. It’s known for its rich, aromatic flavors and can be enjoyed as a main course or a side dish. Here’s a recipe to make Kundapura Chicken Sukka:


For Marinating the Chicken:

  • 500 grams of chicken pieces (bone-in or boneless)
  • 1 teaspoon of red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of yogurt

For the Masala:

  • 1 cup of grated coconut (fresh or desiccated)
  • 2-3 dried red chilies
  • 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black peppercorns
  • 5-6 fenugreek seeds
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

For the Tempering:

  • 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves


Marinating the Chicken:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken pieces, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, and yogurt. Mix well to coat the chicken evenly. Allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes. You can marinate it longer for a richer flavor.

Preparing the Masala:

  1. In a dry pan, roast the grated coconut until it turns golden brown. Keep stirring to prevent burning. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, dry roast the dried red chilies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, and fenugreek seeds until they release their aroma. Be cautious not to over-roast as it can make the dish bitter.
  3. Allow the roasted ingredients to cool down, and then grind them along with the roasted coconut, ginger, and garlic to form a coarse paste. You may need to add a little water for a smooth consistency.

Cooking Kundapura Chicken Sukka:

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Allow them to splutter.
  2. Add cumin seeds and curry leaves to the pan and sauté briefly.
  3. Add the chopped onion and cook until it turns translucent.
  4. Now, add the marinated chicken and cook on medium heat until it’s almost done. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  5. Once the chicken is almost cooked, add the ground masala and stir well to coat the chicken evenly.
  6. Cook on low heat for another 10-15 minutes, allowing the chicken to absorb the flavors of the masala and turn slightly crispy.
  7. Adjust the salt and spice level according to your preference.
  8. Once the chicken is fully cooked and the masala is nicely roasted, remove from heat.

Your Kundapura Chicken Sukka is ready to be served. It pairs wonderfully with steamed rice, dosa, or paratha. Enjoy the rich, spicy flavors of this coastal Karnataka delight!

Is it a very hot dish because of the dried red chilies?

The dried red chilies provide flavor and some heat to the dish, but you can control the spiciness by using fewer chilies or removing the seeds if you prefer a milder flavor.

How long does it take to marinate the chicken?

It’s best to marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse. You can marinate it longer for a richer taste.

Can I make a vegetarian version of this dish?

Yes, you can make a vegetarian version of Kundapura Sukka by using paneer, tofu, or vegetables instead of chicken.

Are there any variations to this recipe?

Yes, you can customize the spice level and adjust the consistency of the masala to your liking. Some people also add tamarind pulp for a slightly tangy flavor.

Can I make it in advance and reheat it?

Yes, you can make Kundapura Chicken Sukka in advance. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave when you’re ready to serve.

How spicy is this dish?

The spiciness can be adjusted to your preference by controlling the amount of red chili powder used. This recipe offers a moderate level of spiciness.

What can I serve with Kundapura Chicken Sukka?

Kundapura Chicken Sukka goes well with steamed rice, dosa, roti, or paratha.

Is desiccated coconut a suitable substitute for fresh coconut?

Yes, you can use desiccated coconut if fresh coconut is not available. Just be sure to roast it until it turns golden brown.

Can I use boneless chicken for this recipe?

Yes, you can use boneless chicken if you prefer. Adjust the cooking time to ensure the chicken is cooked through.

Can I freeze Kundapura Chicken Sukka for later use?

Yes, you can freeze leftover Kundapura Chicken Sukka. Just store it in an airtight container and thaw and reheat when you’re ready to enjoy it again.

What is the best way to reheat leftover Kundapura Chicken Sukka?

To reheat, you can gently warm it in a pan on low heat or in the microwave. You might want to sprinkle a bit of water or oil to maintain moisture.

Can I use chicken breast instead of chicken pieces with bones?

You can use chicken breast, but chicken pieces with bones often impart more flavor and tenderness to the dish. If you use chicken breast, be cautious not to overcook it, as it can become dry.

How long should I roast the grated coconut while preparing the masala?

Roast the grated coconut until it turns a deep golden brown, which typically takes about 5-7 minutes on medium heat. Keep an eye on it to prevent over-roasting.

Can I substitute yogurt with something else in the marinade?

You can replace yogurt with buttermilk for a similar effect in the marinade, which helps tenderize the chicken and adds a subtle tangy flavor.

What should I do if the masala paste becomes too thick while grinding?

If the masala paste becomes too thick, you can add a small amount of water to achieve your desired consistency. However, keep in mind that you want the paste to be relatively thick and not too watery.

Can I use frozen grated coconut instead of fresh or desiccated coconut?

Yes, you can use frozen grated coconut as a convenient alternative. Just ensure that it’s properly thawed and well-drained before using it in the recipe.

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