Chicken Urval: This Spicy Mangalorean Dish Is Finger Lickin’ Good
Image Credit: Instagram/@_take__a__bite_ and @aroundmangalore; a plate of chicken urval

Mangalorean cuisine is a class apart! And we are not simply talking about Chicken Ghee Roast, Goli Bajji, Anjal Masala Fry, Kori Rotti, Chicken Sukka, Mangalore Buns, Ambade, Neer Dosa and Sanna. This coastal paradise is home to the many hidden gems of Karnataka cuisine. Each of the local dishes you get here has a distinct taste and tradition behind it. The administrative hub of Dakshina Kannada district, Mangaluru takes pride in its people who belong to various communities. While those speaking Tulu, Kannada and Konkani comprise the major chunk of the population, who will also find people from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Maharashtra residing in this coastal town. It goes without saying that these cultures have a strong influence on the region’s culinary relics. 

Let’s turn the spotlight on one of the classic chicken dishes that is exclusive to Mangaluru’s food culture - Chicken Urval or Uruval. Mind you, this fiery red, super spicy and tangy chicken dish is not meant for the faint-hearted. The delicacy traces its roots to Kundapura - a coastal town located in the Udupi district, some 90 kms away from Mangaluru. You can enjoy it as a starter or as a side dish during lunch or dinner. Flavoured with ghee-roasted species and cashews, the dish exudes a unique flavour and aroma. 

The home-style recipe is often preferred to make Chicken Urval. The ingredients required for that include, chicken, coriander powder, cumin powder, Kashmiri chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin seeds, garam masala powder, ginger-garlic paste, dry Kashmiri red chilies, butter, curry leaves, lime juice or vinegar or tamarind, coconut oil and cashew nut. Did you know, there is also Prawn Urval, which is equally enticing when it comes to the taste and smell.  

Now, if you are wondering if this beloved traditional recipe has a vegetarian version too, the answer is there is! Paneer Urval is also a popular dish in the region, and so is Mushroom Urval. The ingredients and method for both these versions remain more or less the same, sans the chicken. 

Chicken Urval is basically a dry dish, and if you are a fan of dry chicken items cooked in the authentic South Indian style, especially dipped in coastal flavours, you must also try Kori Sukka. Low on the fiery-red quotient, Kori Sukka - popularly known as the Mangalorean-style Chicken Sukka - is rather flavoured by the subtle tanginess of tamarind and sweetness of coconut, spruced up by the unmissable notes of fried spices and dried chillies. In fact, this chicken delicacy has quite the fan following, if not as much as the great Chicken Ghee Roast. Like how cashews and dry red chillies are to Chicken Urval and ghee is to Chicken Ghee Roast, grated coconut is to Kori Sukka. The special dish is best enjoyed with neer dosa, rottis or sannas. This coastal belt of India nurtures very many fragrant delicacies that are worth giving a try the next time you are in town.