Mutton Chukka or Sukka is an authentic and aromatic Chettinad dish from the state of Tamil Nadu. This mutton chukka is traditionally prepared with fresh goat meat or lamb along with masala powder prepared with kalpasi, javitri, star anise, and pepper which makes the dish flavorful and delicious. Chettinad mutton sukka is a tasty and tempting dish that can be either made in dry roast or gravy form and it is also called Mutton Chukka or Sukka Varuval in Tamil. And this dish can be a perfect side dish for biryani, ghee rice, white rice, parotta, and similar dishes for lunch and dinner.
What is Mutton Chukka?
Mutton chukka is a traditional and spicy side dish from the Chettinad cuisine of Tamil Nadu. It is prepared with freshly ground Chettinad masala powder which makes this mutton chukka recipe authentic and flavorsome. Most importantly, the ingredients like small onions(shallots), ginger-garlic paste, and sesame oil used in the recipe deliver a rustic taste and flavor to the dish. Usually, this dish tastes equally delicious when prepared with mutton(goat meat) or lamb.
While there are other Sukka dishes popular across India, this mutton or lamb chukka varuval is unique for its special aroma and taste. And it all comes from Chettinad spices like Kalpasi, javitri, cloves, and star anise. And also there is another such popular dish from the Chettinad region is Chicken Chukka which is also famous for its authenticity.
This Mutton chukka/sukka is one of the traditional side dishes of Chettinad restaurants in India and across their branches worldwide. And you can also find it as a top dish in their menu card as well. Overall, Mutton Chukka varuval is an absolute treat for Non-veg lovers especially when you want to try something different from a regular meal.
How to make Mutton Chukka?
The recipe I have shared here is traditional Chettinad Mutton Chukka with pepper. Even though the procedure for making this dish is slightly lengthy, it's definitely worth the effort. And this mutton pepper chukka is my family's favorite dish and here I share how to make /prepare it easily at home.
To give an overall idea, the following are the steps that involve in making this dish.
- Preparation of mutton chukka masala powder
- Cooking Mutton/Lamb in a pressure cooker
- Preparation of Chettinad Mutton Chukka/sukka varuval
1. Steps to prepare Mutton Chukka masala powder
To make this masala powder, first I have dry roasted the spices(mentioned in the recipe card) in a pan with medium heat. Then transferred it to the blender, and grind it into a fine powder. That's it! now the mutton chukka masala powder is ready for the sukka preparation.
2. Steps to cook Mutton
Cooking the mutton to the right consistency is one of the important steps to follow in making this chukka dish. If you are using lamb, this dish can be cooked directly in a pan or pot since the meat pieces are already tender.
In this recipe, I have used Mutton, so pressure-cooked the meat pieces along with turmeric and salt for four whistles. If the goat meat pieces are not cooked within 3 whistles, try increasing the whistle count and reserve the mutton for later use. The whistles count usually depends on the age of the goat, so we have to increase/reduce it accordingly.
3. Steps to prepare Mutton Chukka
To prepare this mutton sukka, first I poured oil and added fennel seeds, green chilies, and onions in a pan with medium heat. And then sautéed the onions until it turned soft. Next, I added the ginger garlic paste and the Chettinad chukka masala powder prepared in the previous step and gave a nice mix.
After that, I have included the cooked mutton pieces and gave a good mix. Then I closed the pan with the lid and cooked for 10 minutes. After the time passed, I opened the lid and gave a quick stir. Finally, I added curry leaves and allowed the mutton to leave oil from its sides. I switched off the heat, once it turned reddish-brown in color.
Personally, I wanted my mutton chukka to be slightly dry, so I roasted it until it looks like a dry fry. If you want to enjoy it as gravy, just switch off the heat once it reaches gravy consistency.
This Chettinad mutton chukka dry/varuval is a great treat especially when you are craving an authentic non-veg dish from Tamilnadu. And I hope you will try and enjoy it with your family and loved ones at home.
Chettinad Mutton Chukka/Sukka is one of the tastiest dishes that have a lot of variations. Even though the authentic dish is famous for using freshly ground Chettinad spices, this can be prepared without grinding it and add it directly while sauteing the onions.
On other hand, people also use pepper along with other Chettinad spices which are called Mutton pepper chukka. This variation can be a comforting dish when we really feel down with a cold and cough. And it makes a hearty meal with a bowl of rice and Rasam.
While the Mutton chukka recipe is mostly popular for its dry form, you can also try it in gravy form. For that, all you need to do is increase the quantity of water according to your needs. The gravy form of mutton chukka is a perfect side dish for biryani, parotta, chapati, or roti, and similar other dishes.
There are also other mutton sukka recipes from Kerala, Mangalore, and other parts of India. And those recipes are unique in their own way and do not require Chettinad spices. These variations of the mutton chukka/sukka recipe are also tasty and flavorful. In fact, all the varieties are delicious and definitely worth trying to enjoy at home.
Mutton Chukka recipe tastes delicious when it is served fresh and immediate. But it also stays good in the refrigerator for up to 2 days in a closed container. And personally, I don't recommend it to store in the freezer as it is a dry recipe. Usually, dry dishes do not freeze well in the freezer like the gravy-based ones.
This Chettinad-style mutton sukka can be a perfect side dish for biryani, ghee rice, chapati, or roti. And it makes a festive combo with Chicken Biryani, Mutton Biryani, and Biryani Rice. It also makes a lighter meal with white rice and Sambar.
You could also find similar recipes below and more at Non-Veg Curries.
Mutton Chukka Recipe video
I have also shared a detailed video of this mutton chukka varuval below that I believe will help you to prepare this authentic dish at home. For a quick reference, you could also find this recipe in story format.
Mutton Chukka (Sukka)
- 1.7 lb Mutton, with bone
- ¼ cup Oil
- 0.55 lb Pearl Onion, sliced
- 4 Green Chilli, sliced
- 1 sprig Curry Leaves
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 cups Water
For Mutton Sukka/Chukka Masala
- 12 Dry Red Chili
- ¼ cup Coriander Leaves
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 tsp Fennels Seeds
- 2 Kalpasi Flowers
- 1 Star Anise
- 1 Javitri
- 3 Cardamom
- 3 Cloves
- ½ tsp Peppercorn
- 4 Cinnamon Sticks, small pieces
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Salt, as needed
To Prepare Mutton Chukka Masala
- In a pan with medium heat, add all the Chettinad spices like bay leaves, cardamom, kalpasi, javitri, cloves, peppercorn, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks dry red chilies, coriander seeds, and roast until they turn aromatic
- Now transfer the spices to the blender and grind them into a fine powder
To Cook Mutton in Pressure Cooker
- In a pressure cooker with medium heat, add the cleaned mutton pieces, turmeric powder, salt, water, and give a nice mix
- Close the lid of the cooker with its regulator on and allow it to cook for 4 whistles
- Once the pressure is released naturally, open the lid, and now the mutton should be cooked for the mutton sukka masala/varuval. Reserve it for later use
To Prepare Mutton Sukka/Chukka
- In a pan with medium heat, pour oil and add fennel seeds, green chili, small onions and saute until the onions turn soft
- Now add the ginger-garlic paste, reserved masala powder, and give a nice mix
- Add the cooked mutton pieces and their stock and give a good mix
- Close the pan with the lid and cook for 10 minutes
- Open the lid and allow the mutton gravy to change its color to reddish-brown
- Now add the curry leaves and mix well
- Now the Chettinad mutton chukka is ready for you to taste and enjoy
- Serve this delicious Chettinad Mutton Chukka with white rice, ghee rice, biryani, parotta, roti, or similar other dishes
- Dry roasting the Chettinad spices gives a unique authentic flavor and taste to the dish. But just make sure to roast them in low medium heat to avoid burning them
- I have pressure-cooked the mutton pieces for 4 whistles as it was tender. But feel free to adjust the whistles if needed. You could also use meat tenderizers to soften them
- I have used a pressure cooker to cook the mutton pieces to speed up the process but they can be directly cooked in a pan or pot after adding the masala which may take a little extra time
- This Chettinad style mutton chukka tastes great with white rice, biryani, ghee rice, parotta, and similar dishes
Frequently asked questions
Mutton sukka is a tasty and spicy non-vegetarian Indian dish made with whole spices and herbs. It is usually prepared in dry or gravy form and it is served as a side dish for lunch and dinner.
Chettinad mutton chukka varuval is different from other sukka dishes. It is unique in its taste, color, flavor, and aroma. And all come from the special Chettinad spices like Kalpasi, javitri, star anise, and small onions. This mutton chukka can be the best side dish for biryani, white rice, chapati, parotta, and roti.
Yes, you can make the mutton chukka varuval less spicy by adjusting the green and red chili according to your needs.
Mutton chukka fry tastes great with white rice, biryani, ghee rice, parotta, chapati, roti and similar dishes.
Mutton chukka tastes best when it is served immediately and it stays good in the refrigerator for up to 2 days in a closed container. On other hand, it won't freeze as it is a dry recipe. Usually, dry dishes do not freeze well like the gravy-based ones.
I really hope you enjoyed the recipe that I have shared here and I would love to hear from you on how it turned out for you. Please let me know.
If you have any other questions, feel free to post them in the comment section below and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.
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