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Dry Masala Chicken

Dry Masala Chicken – An aromatic and delicious chicken recipe made using various spices. This is a lighter version of chicken sukka.
Dry Masala Chicken

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Originally this is a dish from Mangalore. It is a dry, aromatic dish made using grated coconut and a masala mix called Kundapar Masala. I don’t have that nor do I make it! I just work with what I have because I have not been able to locate the main ingredient – byadgi chilli.  Chicken Sukka basically means dry chicken. There are many variations. This is a version from my neighbour who is particularly health conscious and therefore misses out the ghee tempering. She also skips the coconut most of the time, like I do.

Basically, the standard masala of onion, tomato, ginger and garlic is prepared. The chicken is cooked in that masala and a bunch of spices.Then the recipe comes together very quickly. It works well with rice or roti but I prefer it with rice. These days i serve it mainly with brown rice which I make using some chicken stock to flavour it up. This is the perfect dish to prepare on busy weekdays. 

Every time I eat this dish, my mind is transported to my friends house. Her mum used to make this a lot. The smell of it was insane and would send my tummy rumbling all over the place. At which point she would ask ‘you hungry?’. I would pretend I wasn’t and that i wasn’t even that bothered about food but the rumblings would give my game away and before i knew it, I was sat at their kitchen table forgetting I was supposed to be acting like I wasn’t that hungry.  

I loved  this recipe the moment I tasted it and I have had the pleasure of eating it several times since. When I moved to Leicester, I found that one of my neighbours also makes it. Her version tasted slightly different but equally as delicious. 

Dry Chicken Masala

A lighter version of Chicken Sukka

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 large Onion diced
  • 5 cloves Garlic crushed
  • 1 inch Ginger grated
  • 2-3 Green Chillies pierced
  • 250 ml Tomatoes pureed
  • 6 -8 Chicken Thighs slit 3 times
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chilli powder (Optional)
  • 2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 50 grams desiccated Coconut (Optional)


  1. Heat oil in a large non stick pot over medium/high heat.

  2. Add onions, garlic, ginger, green chillies and fry till onions are golden. About 5-7 minutes.

  3. Add tomatoes and stir in. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes.

  4. Add the chicken, kashmiri chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder,  black pepper, turmeric powder, curry powder, chilli powder and salt and mix well. Cook for 5 minutes. 

  5. Pour in half a cup of water, bring to a simmer, cover the pot and turn the heat to low. Cook for 10 - 15 minutes, adding more water if necessary.

  6. Add grated coconut (Optional). Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with rice.

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