The typical Sunday thaali

The typical Sunday thaali is the stuff of all our childhoods. Rice, a delicious dal, some form of chicken curry made my mom and bliss! This meal is comforting and easy to make, its soul satisfying and even easier to enjoy. I take you through three simple recipes that you can make quickly at home, with minimal effort and turn your Sunday lunches into affairs that your kids will talk about fondly 50 years from now.

the typical Sunday thaali


Hi everyone! SO I am going to take you through this gorgeous meal in just a minute. But before that, I wanted to share something really special with you all.

I just signed my first cookbook deal!!! I am going to be a published author soon!!

OMG! Some one pinch me!!!!! It still feels like a dream. Thanks to everyone here who has supported and encouraged me, read and appreciated my words, loved my work and seen the effort behind my passion. This wouldn’t have been possible without you all. 🤞🏻I do you all proud!

Ever since I posted about this on social media, i have been flooded with messaged and wonderful comments. I am so thankful to God for this opportunity.

SABR. SHUKR. – Patience. Gratitude. It’s small moments like these that really give you the courage to do something new. Writing a book certainly feels scary! And exciting. And crazy. And about a 108367 other things I can’t put into words 😁🙈  While “sabr” or patience is not my natural instinct, I have and will always have a forever “shukr” heart. A heart filed with gratitude for everything that’s come to me in life. 

What this means for the blog ??

Well, since I have hardly 6 months to turn in the manuscript and all the pictures (which obviously I am shooting and styling) you can imagine the amount of work I have to do. I am going to be working like a maniac these next 6 months. And since I don’t believe in putting mediocre effort into anything, you can imagine the kind of effort i will be putting into writing a cookbook. So while there will still be recipes on the blog, they might be fewer. Also sadly they might not have so much writing. But what i do share here will be special and absolutely delicious! So dont worry about that. Just keep checking in once a week and get cooking! I promise to make the tastiest dishes for you guys specially here. Now that the big news is out, lets get down to the more important matter at hand. Food!!

the typical Sunday thaali

I used to follow my mum into the kitchen when she cooked our Sunday staple of chicken curry. Mom would chop the veggies at a speed that most seasoned chefs would be envious of. I would stand at the hob, throwing in the cumin, the onion and the pounded masala when she told me to. I would proudly think of myself as her little helper. Dad would peek into the kitchen every once in a while, talking to mum, trying his hand at “bhuno-ing” the masala and my siblings and I would get our fave pieces as soon as the dish was cooked, before we sat down to lunch. Mom would give us a few pieces straight from the Kadhai and the three of us would dig in together, eating from the same plate.

I don’t remember what we wore on those days, what we watched or anything else much. But I will forever remember the love I felt then and even today when I am with them. I am trying my best to create similar happy memories for D today. 🤞🏻

Today’s special lunch was an ode to the Sunday specials mom cooked for us, with a little twist. I swapped the good old curry for a Mangalorean chicken sukka that my dear friend Megha very generously shared with me today. Megha is a chef herself and a brilliant dosa queen. She is the sweetest friend to have, someone you can be goofy with and still be inspired by! I am absolutely honored that she shared this family recipe with me. And let me just say this, I sure hope I did justice to her beautiful recipe!! 

The chicken was lip smacking good!!! It’s spicy, tangy and oh God the aroma of roasted coconut…yum!! I did use a little less red chillies than the actual recipe keeping D in mind. I also changed things up a bit and added more onions, a little tamarind paste (as we like it hot and sour), and sealed the chicken pieces off first instead of poaching it.

Result though was absolutely delicious!! Lunch today was this simple desi platter – hing (asafoetida) wali dal, chicken sukka, paratha, rice and a basic green salad. With chicken this good, you really don’t need much else.

Thank you so much for this gem Megha! Our family just added a new favourite to the Sunday menu.Recipe for my favorite dal recipe – Dal fry.

The typical sunday thaali

5 from 9 votes

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. 

14 thoughts

  1. I’m so excited for you, and for my own copy of your cookbook Swayam! Take good care of yourself during these 6 months!
    This is such a gorgeous looking meal. I find myself missing Sunday afternoons cooking Indian food with my boys… I’m pinning, and hope to come back to it next month in New Mexico!

  2. Congrats on your book deal, that is so fantastic! And I definitely agree with you that this looks like the kind of very memorable meal that your kids would remember fondly decades later. Lucky people around your table! 🙂

  3. Congratulations on the cookbook, I look forward to seeing it! I can smell the coconut roasting in this curry and it is delicious. My little ones just tried Indian food for the first time this weekend and I’m proud to say they loved it, so I can’t wait to start adding it back into the international cooking rotation for our family!

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