I am back after another well deserved break :-) This time it was not illness (well, that came later) that kept me away from my blog but a wedding in the family. R's nephew, our close friend and the best man for our wedding got hitched! The wedding was very special and a lot of fun with a whole lot of people (family) who flew in from different parts of the world to be a part of the special occasion. So in other words, it was the Great Indian Wedding that unfolded day after day - the whole of last week.
Kombi Sukhi (Chicken Fugad/Sukka)
Preparation time: 15mins | Cooking time 25mins | Serves 4
Well, I've heard a lot about Mangalorean weddings in Mumbai not being as spectacular as those in Mangalore - I beg to differ because it just depends on the crowd and the mood. And plus the presence of family & friends who go that extra mile to make your day extra special. My boys and I used this opportunity to let our hair down & have some fun. We also got plenty of time to reconnect with relatives we hadn't met in ages and some new ones who we had never met before and all of us got on like a house on fire.
Coming back to our topic, the only catch about the weddings in Mumbai is that the wedding menu usually lacks the traditional & complete wedding spread. Most Roce (pre-wedding ceremony) & weddings that I have attended usually offer a North Indian fare replete with flavoured rice, rotis, vegetarian & non vegetarian curries, dals and sweet dishes. But I see that this is beginning to trend even in Mangalore with some part of our cultural and ethnic dining experience eroding away giving rise to a more contemporary feel. I guess I will touch upon this topic at length in another post. For now, it's the Chicken Sukka or the Kombi Sukhi as the Catholics call it in Mangalore.
The Chicken Sukka is a popular and much loved dish among Mangaloreans. Different communities make it differently with minor changes in the ingredients and method of preparation. I have already posted the recipe of the Bunt style Kori Aajadina
and I know that Protestants make it differently too. Chicken Sukka is nothing but a dry dish made with several spices ground into a perfect masala and mixed with roasted grated coconut. However, many Mangalorean households resort to the short cut method of using Bafat powder
instead of grinding spices. The result is not bad I must say as you can have a nice Chicken Sukka ready in no time. However, since I am always on the lookout for new recipes or new ways to make the things I have grown up eating, I think this recipe won't disappoint you. It's worth the extra time & effort taken to grind the masala. It tastes wonderful when paired with Panpolay (Neer Dosa)
or just plain white or boiled rice.
For those who are unfamiliar with this dish, well, its a moderately spiced dish compared to the Bunt recipe. The spice is balanced well with a bit of tang brought in by the tamarind. The roasted rice gives a nutty edge to the dish and the grated coconut adds to the yum factor - I would say that this dish is lip smackin' good!
This dish was one of the items on a Roce or a Wedding menu in Mangalore decades ago, but I am not sure it is a novelty or a specialty today. Many varieties of Chicken have replaced this traditional dish and so it is commonly prepared in many homes as part of the Sunday lunch menu.
For the masala
- 1 kg chicken on the bone
- 1 medium sized onion sliced
- 1 tbsp tomato puree (optional)
- 3 tbsp ghee
- salt to taste
- 8 long dry red chillies (Bedgi) (or to taste)
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tbsp cumin (jeera)
- 7-8 peppercorns (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp raw rice (white rice)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 1 marble size ball of tamarind or 1 level tsp tamarind paste
1. Cut the chicken into small pieces, wash & allow to drain on a colander for 15mins (this helps drain off any traces of blood). Boil the chicken with 2 cups of water & salt to taste till it is cooked halfway. Keep aside
2. On a skillet/tawa dry roast the rice till it puffs up slightly & turns reddish, remove & roast the red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin, peppercorns & rice - separately one by one - grind these ingredients to a fine powder and then add the coconut and pulse the mixer a couple of times - the coconut should remain coarse and not ground into a paste.
3. Heat the ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and toss in the sliced onions, fry until pale and then add the ground coconut & masala mixture. Fry on a slow flame for about 2-3 minutes till you get a nice aroma from the coconut that is frying. Add the tamarind paste or juice
4. Add the pre-cooked chicken and half its stock. Mix well, cover & simmer for 2 minutes. Check salt to taste & add more if required. Continue to cook until the chicken is done. You may need to add all or part of the chicken stock.
5. Serve hot with rice & dal