If you’re a fan of spicy, pan-fried chicken dishes, then you’re going to love this Chicken Chukka / Chicken Varuval. This famous Kongu-Nadu-style dish is a staple at the Ponnusamy Hotel, and I was lucky enough to try it on my last visit. I fell in love with its bold and flavorful taste and knew I had to try making it at home.
So, I set out to recreate this delicious dish and now I’m sharing my recipe with you! This dish, which is a dry version of curry called “Varuval” in Tamil, is perfect for beginners. It’s easy to make, even for bachelors and it’s made with simple ingredients that you can easily find at your local grocery store. Plus, it goes incredibly well with curd rice or sambar sadam.
In this post, we will be exploring the delicious and flavorful dish of Chicken Chukka, also known as Chicken Varuval. This popular South Indian dish is known for its robust and aromatic flavors, making it a favorite among chicken lovers. The unique blend of spices and cooking techniques sets this recipe apart, making it a must-try for anyone looking to indulge in a tantalizing culinary experience. So, let's get ready to savor the delightful flavors of Chicken Chukka!
What Is Chicken Chukka?
- Chicken Chukka is a delicious South Indian dish that features succulent chicken breast combined with a blend of traditional Indian spices and unique seasoning. The tender chicken is marinated with ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, pepper powder, and salt, allowing the flavors to infuse before being stir-fried to perfection. The addition of fennel seeds, red chilies, and curry leaves creates a fragrant and aromatic dish that is a perfect accompaniment to a meal of curd rice or sambar.
Why You'll Love Chicken Chukka?
- Delicious Texture: The combination of marinated chicken, sautéed onions, and aromatic spices creates a bold and flavorful texture that will leave your taste buds craving for more.
- Health Benefits: Chicken chukka is packed with lean protein from the chicken breast, and the use of coconut oil adds healthy fats to the dish. The spices like turmeric, ginger, and garlic also provide anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.
- Quick and Easy: With a prep time of just 10 minutes and a cook time of 10 minutes, this chicken chukka recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner or a flavorful weekend treat.
- Versatile: This dish can be served as a main course with rice or as a side dish with other Indian delicacies like curd rice or sambar.
- Authentic Indian Flavors: The use of fennel seeds, curry leaves, and garam masala powder brings out the authentic flavors of Indian cuisine, making this recipe a must-try for any food enthusiast.
- Family Favorite: Whether you're cooking for yourself or for your family, chicken chukka is sure to be a hit at the dinner table with its irresistible taste and aroma.
Ingredients for Chicken Chukka
- Chicken breast: The main protein in the dish, chicken breast adds a juicy and tender texture to the dish, absorbing all the flavorful spices and seasonings.
- Ginger garlic paste: Adds a strong and aromatic flavor to the dish, enhancing the overall taste of the chicken chukka.
- Turmeric powder: Adds a warm and earthy flavor to the dish, while also giving it a vibrant yellow color.
- Red chilli powder: Provides a spicy kick to the chicken chukka, adding heat and depth of flavor to the dish.
- Black pepper powder: Adds a subtle heat and spiciness to the dish, complementing the other flavors.
- Garam masala powder: A blend of ground spices, garam masala adds warmth, sweetness, and fragrance to the chicken chukka, creating a rich and complex flavor profile.
How To Make Chicken Chukka?
- To make delicious Chicken Chukka, start by marinating the chicken pieces with ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, pepper powder, and salt. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes to absorb the flavors.
- Next, heat a pan with coconut oil and stir-fry the marinated chicken for 2 minutes over high heat. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
- In the same pan, sauté fennel seeds, red chilies, chopped onion, and curry leaves until the onions are transparent. Then, add the half-cooked chicken back into the pan and fry for a minute.
- Add red chili powder and salt if needed, and sauté for 2 more minutes or until the mixture is dry. Finally, add garam masala powder and fry for a minute before removing from heat.
Following these steps ensures that the chicken absorbs the rich flavors of the spices and coconut oil, resulting in a truly flavorful Chicken Chukka. Serve hot with curd rice or sambar for a delightful meal.
- Curd Rice: The cool and creamy texture of curd rice pairs perfectly with the spicy and flavorful chicken chukka. The combination of these two dishes creates a well-balanced and satisfying meal.
- Coconut Rice: The subtle sweetness of coconut rice complements the bold flavors of the chicken chukka. The combination of these two dishes offers a delightful mix of flavors and textures.
- Sambar: The tangy and savory flavors of sambar make it a great accompaniment to the spicy chicken chukka. The combination of these two dishes is a classic South Indian meal that is sure to please your taste buds.
- Roti or Naan: The soft and fluffy texture of roti or naan is perfect for soaking up the rich and aromatic gravy of the chicken chukka. The combination of these two dishes creates a comforting and hearty meal.
- Steamed Basmati Rice: The light and fluffy texture of basmati rice serves as a great base for the bold and spicy flavors of the chicken chukka. The combination of these two dishes is simple yet satisfying.
- Mixed Vegetable Salad: The fresh and crunchy mix of vegetables in a salad provides a refreshing contrast to the rich and flavorful chicken chukka. The combination of these two dishes offers a well-rounded and healthy meal option.
Tips for Making Chicken Chukka
- Prep Time and Cooking Techniques: The preparation time for this recipe is just 10 minutes, making it a quick and easy dish to prepare. When stir-frying the chicken, it's important to cook it over high heat for 2 minutes to ensure it retains its juiciness and flavor.
- Garnishing for Presentation: Garnishing the chicken chukka with a sprinkle of fresh curry leaves not only adds flavor but also enhances the dish's visual appeal. Consider serving the dish in a colorful serving dish for an extra pop of presentation.
- Marinating the Chicken: When marinating the chicken, be sure to give it at least 10-15 minutes for the flavors to fully infuse into the meat. This step is crucial for a delicious end result.
- Balancing Spices: Adjust the amount of red chili powder and salt to your taste preference. Start with the recommended measurements and then add more if needed after giving the dish a taste test.
- Use of Coconut Oil: Coconut oil adds a unique flavor to the dish, so be sure to use it as recommended in the recipe for the best results.
- Pairing and Serving: Chicken chukka pairs perfectly with curd rice or sambar. The combination of these dishes will provide a balanced and satisfying meal for you and your guests.
Variations for Chicken Chukka
- Spice Level: For those who prefer a spicier kick, increase the amount of red chili powder or add some chopped green chilies for an extra punch.
- Vegetarian Option: Substitute the chicken with paneer or tofu for a vegetarian version of this dish. Make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Coconut Cream: For a creamy twist, replace some of the coconut oil with coconut cream to give the dish a rich and velvety texture.
- Vegetable Additions: Add your favorite vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, or peas to make the dish more colorful and nutritious.
- Citrus Zest: Enhance the flavors with a burst of citrus by adding some lemon or lime zest to the marinade for a refreshing twist.
- Fresh Herbs: Experiment with adding fresh herbs like cilantro or mint to the dish for a burst of freshness and aroma.
How to Store Chicken Chukka
- Once cooked, allow the chicken chukka to cool to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container. This helps prevent the growth of bacteria and extends its shelf life.
- Store the chicken chukka in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Be sure to label the container with the date it was made to keep track of its freshness.
- To freeze the chicken chukka, place it in a freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag. Properly stored, it can last in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
- When reheating frozen chicken chukka, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. This helps maintain the texture and flavor of the dish.
- To maintain the freshness of key ingredients such as curry leaves and spices, store them in airtight containers in a cool, dark place. This helps preserve their flavor and potency.
- Properly storing your chicken chukka and key ingredients will ensure that you can enjoy this delicious dish anytime without compromising on flavor or quality.
By following these simple storage tips, you can continue to savor the flavors of your homemade chicken chukka for days to come.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I adjust the spice level of the chicken chukka?
- If you prefer a milder or spicier flavor, you can adjust the amount of red chili powder and black pepper powder used in the marinade. Additionally, you can reduce or increase the amount of red chilies added during the cooking process.
Can I use bone-in chicken for this recipe?
- Yes, you can certainly use bone-in chicken instead of chicken breast. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure that the chicken is fully cooked.
Can I make this dish ahead of time?
- While it's best to serve chicken chukka immediately for the best taste and texture, you can prepare the marinated chicken in advance and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to cook, simply follow the cooking instructions provided.
What can I serve with chicken chukka?
- Chicken chukka pairs well with a variety of dishes such as rice, roti, or naan. It also goes great with traditional Indian sides like curd rice or sambar.
Is coconut oil essential for this recipe?
- Coconut oil adds a unique flavor to the chicken chukka, but if you prefer, you can use any other cooking oil of your choice.
Can I make this dish vegetarian?
- If you prefer a vegetarian version, you can substitute the chicken with paneer or tofu and adjust the cooking time as needed.
Prep Time: 00:10
Cook Time: 00:10
Total Time: 00:20
- 300 grams chicken breast
- 1&1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- Salt to taste (I used 1/2 tsp)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
- 4 tbsp coconut oil, divided
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 3 red chillies
- One handful of fresh curry leaves
- 2 medium sized onion, chopped
- Cut the chicken breast into small pieces.
- In a wide bowl, marinate chicken with ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, pepper powder and salt. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
- After 10 mins, heat a pan with 2 tbsp coconut oil.
- When the oil heats, add marinated chicken and stir fry for 2 minutes over high heat, then remove from pan.
- In the same pan, add remaining 2 tbsp oil and sauté fennel seeds until splutter.
- Then add red chilies, chopped onion and curry leaves and sauté until onions are transparent.
- Then add half-cooked chicken, fry for a minute.
- Further, add 1/2 tsp red chili powder and salt (if needed) and sauté for 2 more minutes or until dry.
- Finally, add garam masala powder and fry for a minute, remove from heat.
- Serve hot with curd rice or sambar.
By Santhi Therese The Indian Claypot https://theindianclaypot.com/
Cut the chicken breast into very small pieces. In a wide bowl, marinate the chicken pieces with ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, pepper powder and salt.
Set this aside and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
After 10 mins, heat a pan with 2 tbsp of coconut oil.
When the oil heats, add marinated chicken,
stir fry for 2 mins over high heat. Remove the chicken from the pan.
In the same pan, add the remaining 2 tbsp oil.
When the oil heats, add fennel seeds and let them splutter.
Then add red chilies, chopped onion and curry leaves, and sauté until the onions are transparant.
Further, add half-cooked chicken and fry for a minute.
Then add 1/2 tsp red chili powder and salt if needed. Sauté for 2 more minutes or until it becomes dry.
Finally, add garam masala powder
and fry for a minute and remove it from the heat. Serve hot with curd rice or with sambar.You may also like my other Chicken Recipes posts and recipes like Pallipalayam Chicken, Chicken Strips, Schezwan Chicken, Easy Chicken Penne Pasta Recipe, Chicken Schezwan Noodles, Chicken Curry Recipe, Chicken Fajitas Wraps, Methi Chicken, Chicken Meatball Curry, Chicken Salad Bowl Chipotle, Green Chilli Chicken, Recipe for Italian Chicken Cutlets, Chicken Hakka Noodles, Pineapple Chicken, Butter Chicken, Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta, Tacos with Mango Salsa, Sweet Corn Chicken Soup, Grilled Chicken Burger, Chicken Talumein Soup .