Pepper Chicken

pepper chicken

Pepper Chicken is a hot family favorite and it just disappears the moment it is prepared. It is finger-licking good and can be enjoyed with a simple bowl of hot steaming rice, flatbreads, and even bread.

You can even serve it as a starter. There are umpteen recipes for pepper chicken available online. But this is my own version where I use only pepper for heat.

Compared to the other chillies, pepper is very good for health. Especially in the winter months, it can help fight or quickly recover from colds and coughs.

This recipe comes together quickly, with marination, roasting, grinding, and cooking, being the 4 preparatory steps. The major time required is for marination. I usually marinate for 1/2 an hour as I mostly use chicken breasts which marinate pretty quickly.

You can use chicken with bone too if you prefer. In that case, increase marination time accordingly.

Next comes roasting. Roasting whole spices in a bit of oil is called blooming*, and it makes the spices more fragrant. Add just enough water while grinding, and add more water as per need to cook the curry.

Adding water while cooking is up to you. If you want a watery curry add a cup of water. If you want it completely dry 1/4 cup or even one or two sprinkles should be enough.

We prefer a semi-solid gravy with hot rice, and so I add 1/2 cup of water. If you are using chicken with bone, increase water as much as needed for the chicken to cook.

Cooking in earthenware gives a unique taste to the preparation. Cook in medium flame and stir occasionally so that it does not get burnt at the bottom. You can add a bit more oil if it seems to stick at the bottom.

The flavor of pepper chicken is so tempting that you will drool as it cooks. Do give it a try 🙂  .

Let’s get to the recipe….

Pepper Chicken
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Marination time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 2
Author: Hema Magesh

For marination

  • 300 g boneless chicken
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper powder
  • a pinch of turmeric powder

For roasting and grinding

  • ½ tsp oil
  • 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
  • ½ tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 big cloves garlic
  • few curry leaves(finger full)
  • some coriander leaves(finger full)

Rest of the ingredients

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 big onion (sliced)
  • ½ cup water
  • a pinch of turmeric powder
  • a pinch of sugar
  • salt as needed
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice(or as needed)

For garnishing

  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • coriander leaves
  • curry leaves
  • Clean the chicken thoroughly and marinate with the items give under "For marination".
    Pepper chicken preparatory steps 1&2
  • Take ½ tsp of oil in a frying pan and fry the peppercorns, cumin and fennel seeds in medium flame without burning them.
  • Turn off the stove and add coriander powder and garam masala. Mix well and let cool.
    Pepper chicken preparatory steps 5&6
  • Grind this to a paste along with the garlic, curry leaves, and coriander leaves in a mixer, adding water as needed. Keep aside.
    Pepper chicken prep steps 7&8
  • Heat up 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and saute the thinly chopped onions. When it softens add the marinated chicken and saute till the meat changes color.
    Pepper chicken preparatory steps 9
  • Now add the ground paste, and toss to coat the chicken. Saute for a minute or two and add ½ cup of water. Adjust spices and cook for 5-7 minutes till the chicken is cooked.
    Pepper chicken preparatory steps 11
  • Turn off heat and squeeze the juice of half a lemon. Garnish with coriander leaves and curry leaves.

Hema’s P.S

  • By finger full I mean a big pinch of leaves, held with all your fingers together 🙂
  • If you prefer a very spicy curry you can add a few slit whole green chillies while sauteeing the onions.
  • Also, you can opt to add crushed pepper finally before switching off if you feel its less spicy. 
  • Add more or less oil as per preference. Adding  2 tbsp of oil initially and then topping with a tbsp of ghee works perfectly for us.
  • I normally do not add anything for tanginess. Lemon juice is most preferred. You can also omit the lemon juice and add a small pea-sized piece of tamarind while grinding. Tomatoes are best avoided as they tend to change the color of the gravy. 

Hema Magesh signature




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3 Responses

  1. kanchana says:

    Must try. I usually follow a different recipe that doesn’t require marination. This seems to be even better. Your variety in recipes is really appreciable. Good job 👍👌👌

  2. Mangai says:

    I will try, marinating chicken.

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