This is one of those evergreen recipes that are passed on from mother to daughter or son and from there on to the next generation. I however happened to get it some 20 years from a chef, whose name I sadly can’t recollect anymore, but he worked at the Taj property in Periyar, Kerala. Of course he used the freshest produce possible (plucked off the tree and dried in his own backyard) whereas I had to go to the closest mall!
Since we don’t eat too much of red meat, for health reasons, chicken and fish is our go to protein. This entrée was made specially for a Kerala food get together. My friend made some appams, avial, sambhar, prawns curry, red rice and papaddams, and I took over the Kerala Black Pepper Chicken and a dessert! The combination of flavours was perfect. Except for the dessert, it was a cake I must learn to make more Indian desserts.
Kerala Black Pepper Chicken
Time taken: 4 hours
Marination time: 40 minutes to 3 hours
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Skill level: Basic
Equipment Needed: Thick bottomed pan or Skillet, Food Processor, griddle
- 1 kg chicken, cut into 16 pieces.
- 3 medium-sized onions, chopped fine
- 1/2 fresh coconut, grated
- 20-25 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon each cumin seeds, coriander seeds, sesame seeds, fenugreek seeds, aniseed
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons pepper corns
- 2 fresh green chillies, sliced
- 1 or 2 Kashmiri red chilli
- 1 Bay leaf
- 3 garlic cloves
For The Marination:
- 1/2 cup yoghurt
- 1/2 teaspoon each, chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder, turmeric powder
- 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic-chilli paste
1. In a bowl place the washed chicken and marinate it with the given ingredients. Place it in a cool place for anything between 30 minutes to 3 hours.
2. On a flat griddle in a little oil, saute the chopped onions till golden, then add the coconut and cook till it is golden in colour. Add 20 more green curry leaves. Grind when cold to a smooth consistency.
3. In a thick bottomed pan or Skillet, add the coconut oil, heat it till it’s really hot, add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, sesame seeds, fenugreek seeds, aniseed, Kashmiri chilli, bay leaf, garlic and curry leaves. When the seeds start sputtering. add the chicken and let it cook for 5 minutes on a low heat.
4. Turn it around and let it cook on the other side. When both sides are golden add the ground masala. When the oil stats to float on the sides, add the salt, mix and check the chicken. It should be done in 20 minutes. Take the pan off the heat. Add the crushed black pepper and mix well.
5. In another cast iron pan, heat some oil and add the split green chilli and some more curry leaves. Let it cook for a couple of minutes till the chilli and curry leaves look crisp. Pour on top of the chicken and quickly cover it with a lid. Serve with rice, dosa or appam.
Can be served with
Green Gram Dosa