The typical Sunday thaali

Simple pleasures on a Sunday - rice, dal and a really good chicken curry! Recipe here for a delicious Mangalorean Chicken Sukka that makes minimal effort. A must add to your recipe list!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 1 kg chicken on the bone washed and cleaned
  • 2 large red onions, sliced fine
  • 1 medium tomato chopped fine
  • 10 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp coconut oil sub with vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste

For the ground masala:

  • 3/4 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3-4 dried kashmiri red chili
  • 2 dry red chili
  • 2 sticks of curry leaves washed and dried off on a tissue
  • 8-9 black peppercorns
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic green chili paste for mairnation
  • salt as per taste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chili powder
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • coriander leaves for garnish or curry leaves if you love them like i do!


  1. Marinate the cleaned chicken in the ginger-garlic-green chili paste with turmeric and salt. Set aside for 20-30 minutes while you get the other things ready. 

For the masala:

  1. Start by dry roasting the whole spices (clove, cinnamon,black peppercorn). Remove to a plate. Add the cumin and coriander seeds, roast for 30 secs till fragrant and remove again. Finally add the chilies and dry roast. 

    Now dry roast the coconut till its fragrant and a light brown. Make sure not to burn it. 

    Please keep the flame at low while dry roasting and use a heavy bottomed pan. 

    Put all the above ingredients in a jar and grind it with just enough water to make a coarse masala. It should NOT be a fine paste. 

For the curry:

  1. Start by heating oil in a non stick kadhai. add the marinated chicken pieces to it and seal the meat for 5 mins on high heat. Remove to a plate. Keep aside. 

    Into the same kadhai, add the chopped garlic and saute till fragrant and golden. Add the slices onions (always crush onion slices using your hands to ensure they open up well). Saute till browned. Now add the chicken and saute for 5 mins. Add half of the ground masala, the red chili powder, little water (1/4 cup), cover the kadhai and cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Make sure it doesn't stick. 

  2. Now add the remaining masala, tomato, tamarind paste and fry the masala well. You can add a little oil at this point (1 tbsp if needed). Cook for another 7-10 mins on medium heat, covered. Before removing, squeeze lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves or more curry leaves if desired. 

    Serve hot with flaky parathas, rice, dal tadka and some simple green salad for a perfect comforting Sunday thaali.


Recipe Notes

The traditional Mangalorean chicken sukka doesnt use tomato or onions, or even tamarind. These are my additions. If you wish to try the authentic version, you can leave these out too. 

This recipe belongs to my dear friend Megha's granny and is a treasured piece. If you do make it, we would love you to tag us #Lapetitchef #MeghaPolali. 

The recipes has been adapted to suit our tastebuds and has been written in my own words. This is authentic to the best of my  knowledge. No where am I saying that I am an expert in this cuisine or regional preparation of this dish.