Indian west coast has been influenced for centuries by trade, invasion and asylum seekers. This coastline, which spreads from Mumbai to Calicut, boasts of a vast range of dishes, from multiple culinary styles, which is an amalgamation of local taste and foreign influences. Dishes in south India used variety of local grown spices from time immemorial. Thanks to the arrival of foreigners they were the first to get introduced to ingredients like tomatoes, potatoes, chillies, ginger and vinegar. I will talk of history of Indian western coastal cuisine in later posts.
Geographically, Managalore is almost in the middle of the west coast and as expected its dishes are influenced by culinary flavours of Konkan, Goa, Malvan, Udupi and Kerala. Mangalorean cuisine is a delicate marriage of delicious dishes from a variety of communities who call the coast their own. This amalgamation of communities brings with it the nuances, styles and ingredients that retain their distinctiveness, while also coming together to collectively be known as Mangalorean food.
Mangalorean Chicken Sukka or Kori Sukka also known as Kori Ajadina in local language (Tulu) is an iconic dish native to Mangalore and Udipi region in the western coast of India. “Kori Sukka” literally means “Chicken Dry” in Tulu. You will find variations of Chicken Sukka in Konkani and Malvani cuisine too, but this dish is almost synonymous to the Managalore region. Like many other coastal dishes the gravy/curry of this dish is also coconut based.
You can have Kori Sukka both as a snacks or a dinner recipe. It tastes great as a starter and you can also have it with rotis for a proper meal. Any dry chicken dish tastes much spicier than curries. This is because the spices are much more concentrated in dry preparations. So if you are making Chicken Sukka at home, be prepared to taste a steaming hot Indian chicken recipe.
This recipe here is for 500 gms skinless chicken with bones.
In many of Mangalorean dishes the spices are roasted before grinding to a paste. The spices and other ingredients like coconut and garlic etc. are not roasted together or randomly. A sequence in roasting is followed based on the burning point of each ingredients. Lets start with making the spice paste for the dish. Please note roasting of spices is done in low or medium low heat.
Heat two teaspoons of oil in a flat pan. Coconut oil is used in this dish locally. You may use any other oil of your choice. Add two teaspoon whole coriander seeds and roast for 2 to 3 minutes. Push the coriander seeds to a side and add bout a spoonful each of fenugreek (methi) and whole black pepper and roast again for 2 to 3 minutes and push to the side of the pan.
Add a spoonful each of cumin seeds (jeera) and fennel seeds (saunf) and roast for two to three minutes. Mix all the ingredients on the pan, roast for couple more minutes and remove them to a plate. In the same pan add 5 to 6 dried red chillies. A local variety called Byadgi chilli is used in Mangalorean and Udupi cuisine . If you cannot lay your hands on Byadgi chillies use any other dry red chilli, but adjust the quantity based on the heat it generates. Roast the chillies for 4 to 5 minutes and remove to the plate.
In the same pan roast one onion sliced thin and seven to eight garlic pods until the onions turn golden. Push onion and garlic to the side of the pan and add two teaspoon of poppy seeds (khus khus). Roast the poppy seeds until they start getting a bit of colour on them. Mix the poppy seeds to the onion and garlic and roast for couple more minutes and remove to the plate.
In the same pan add one spoon oil and roast half a coconut freshly grated. Roast the grated coconut until it turns golden brown. Remove to a separate plate.
Put two-third of the roasted grated coconut and the roasted spices in a blender and grind to a coarse paste. Keep one-third of the roasted coconut aside.
Remove the spice and coconut paste to a bowl. Add two tablespoon tamarind paste. You may increase or reduce the quantity of tamarind paste as per your taste.
Put the roasted coconut you had kept aside in the blender, add little water and grind to a fine paste.
Take a deep flat pan. Heat 3 tablespoon oil and add five to six cloves (Lavang) and an inch of cinnamon (Dalchini). Add one medium onion sliced fine and fry until the sliced onions turn golden brown.
Add chicken and fry on high flame until the chicken pieces turn a bit brown on the outside. Add the spice paste, mix well, fry for few minutes, cover the pan and cook until the chicken becomes almost tender.
Once the chicken becomes tender add the fine coconut paste you had kept aside.
Mix well and cook uncovered until the liquid in the pan evaporates and the gravy becomes thick. Add half a cup of diced coriander leaves and mix well.
Your Mangalorean Kori/Chicken Sukka is ready. Garnish with fresh grated coconut, coriander leaves and a slice of lime. You can serve it a s a starter or with Neer Dosa or rice.