Sukha Chicken Masala

by Leena Kohli (@leenakohli)
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time

Looking for a chicken dish that is easy to make yet bursting with flavour? Sukha Chicken Masala is a perfect choice! The combination of spices and coconut creates a complex and delicious taste that will leave you wanting more.


6 Servings
  • 1kg
    chicken, cut into medium-sized pieces

For the Paste

  • 1/2cup
    Desiccated coconut
  • 1
    ” Cinnamon stick
  • 1tsp
    Fenugreek seeds
  • 1tsp
    Cumin seeds
  • 1tsp
    Fennel Seeds
  • 1tsp
    Black Peppercorns
  • 1tbsp
    Coriander seeds
  • 1tbsp
    Poppy seeds (optional)
  • 2
    Dry Red Chillies
  • 1tbsp
  • 1
    Onion, sliced
  • 4clove
  • 2in
    piece of Ginger

For the Gravy

  • 1/2cup
  • 1
    Onion, sliced
  • 2
    Green Chilies, finely chopped
  • 1/2tbsp
  • 1/2tsp
  • 1 1/4tbsp
    Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2cup
  • 3tbsp
    Lemon Juice
  • 1tbsp
    Dry Fenugreek Leaves
  • 1tsp
    Garam Masala


For Paste

  1. Roast the desiccated coconut in a dry skillet or frying pan over medium heat until golden brown. Remove it from the skillet and set aside to cool.

  2. In the same skillet, dry roast the cinnamon stick, peppercorns, cloves, fenugreek seeds, cumin, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, poppy seeds, and dry red chillies until fragrant. Transfer to a plate and let them cool.

  3. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the same pan on medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion, garlic, and ginger and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened. Remove from heat and let cool.

  4. Grind the roasted coconut, spices and cooked onion mixture to a smooth paste. Add a little water if needed.

For Gravy

  1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed wok and add the chopped onions. Fry until golden brown, then add the green chillies and fry for a minute.

  2. Mix the chicken pieces well on high heat and cook until the chicken lightens its colour.

  3. Add salt, turmeric, and kashmiri red chilli powder. Mix well and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

  4. Mix the ground paste well until the spices coat the chicken.

  5. Pour in the water, stir and bring to a boil. Cover the wok and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the chicken is tender.

  6. Mix the lemon juice, dry fenugreek leaves, and garam masala into the wok. Cook for 2-3 more minutes.
    Check seasonings and adjust to taste.

  7. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves or fried onions.

  8. To balance the flavours, serve hot with roti, naan or rice and a side of raita (yogurt dip).

Tips & Tricks

  1. I prefer using bone-in chicken for better flavour and texture for this recipe. You can use boneless chicken breast instead of bone-in-chicken and reduce the amount of oil while cooking.

  2. Use freshly grated coconut instead of desiccated coconut for a more authentic taste. You can also dry roast the grated coconut.

  3. To prevent burning, dry roast the spices and desiccated coconut on low to medium heat. Burnt spices can ruin the flavour of the dish.

  4. Adjust the number of green chillies according to your spice tolerance. Kashmiri red chilli powder adds colour to the dish without adding too much heat.

  5. Add lemon juice towards the end of cooking to brighten the flavours and balance the heat.

  6. The serving size can differ depending on your guests' hunger levels and whether you are serving it as a main dish or as a part of a larger meal.

Leena Kohli
Recipe by

Leena Kohli


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