I tend to be quite lazy about cooking on weekdays, especially after work. But sometimes hastily-rustled chicken and vegetables can depress me to an unimaginable degree, at which point I either eat junk or, more sparingly, make something different, which demands more effort.
Yesterday was one such evening, and as tired as I was, I decided to make something nice – spicy and flavourful and generally delicious. Usually, South Indian food ticks all these boxes, so I decided to make pepper chicken, Southy style (though frankly I was in 2 minds whether to try mom’s favorite, ladies finger).
You’ll find my recipe below. I haven’t added quantities because, to be honest, I cook by instinct and taste the dish along the way. This also gives you the freedom to alter the taste to suit your palate and enjoy it anyway.
Pepper chicken: Tastes best with rice and dal
- Fennel or saunf and whole jeera in equal amounts
- Whole black peppercorns, a little more in quantity than the fennel and jeera
- One dried red chilli
- Onion, chopped (half an onion for 200g of chicken. You do your own math)
- Ginger-garlic paste, in balance to the onion
- Chicken (with or without bones, though I think with bones will be much tastier)
- Turmeric powder
- Red chilli powder
- Salt to taste
- A pinch of garam masala powder
- Tomato, chopped (one whole tomato for 200g of chicken)
- Water as needed
- Chopped coriander leaves to garnish
- Dry-roast the fennel, jeera, peppercorns and dried red chilli until you get a spicy fragrance. Remove from heat and pound coarsely. It doesn’t have to be a fine powder.
- Deep-fry the onions in a bit of oil and add the ginger-garlic paste. Once fragrant add the chicken pieces and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and garam masala powder with water and simmer.
- When you see oil leaving the sides of the mixture, add the tomatoes and simmer on low heat, covered. Wait for the tomatoes to become a little tender before you add the pounded masalas.
- Add more water and simmer until the chicken in cooked and the water almost dried up. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Add the coriander leaves and give the chicken a quick mixing before taking off the flame.
- Enjoy hot with steamed rice and dal (in my opinion)!
Questions on this recipe? You’re most welcome. Do use the comments box below. Thanks.