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Pepper Chicken Gravy



Lip-smacking peppery chicken in a thick spicy gravy of onion, grated coconut and buttermilk. I developed this south Indian flavoured pepper chicken recipe for my gravy sucker lover, Mr F. It is usually a dry item which is served as a side along with some curry but if you know me, I am very minimalistic even on what is served on the table. Call me lazy 😂. Therefore, this was my attempt to reduce my task in the kitchen and still have a finger-licking good pepper chicken gravy.

Pepper Chicken Gravy
I have been playing around with this recipe for quite some time now. When I finally loved the outcome, I made again to capture step by step and measurements for you all. As usual, I first shared on Instagram stories and on popular demand highlighted too. A few of you tried and shared that it is indeed lip-smacking! One budding Youtuber made this and asked my permission if she could post on her channel. I loved her honesty and integrity and so asked her to wait until I publish on my blog.

If you know me then you also know my love for fennel seeds and how I used that to make the yummy chicken cutlets. We use them here too 😋



Ingredients of Pepper Chicken Gravy

  • coconut oil: Base of most of Kerala food and makes everything added tastier. So stick to coconut oil. If you don't have, then use any other oil but I can't guarantee the taste. 
  • fennel seeds: Indispensable! If you only have powder and not seeds, then add along with other spice powders.  
  • curry leaves: Need I say? INDISPENSABLE! 
  • freshly grated coconut: Fresh or frozen will do but if you have access only to desiccated coconut, then go ahead with that but make sure you don't burn them. 
  • chilli flakes: You may replace with dried whole red chillies that are cut or crushed. 
  • red onions, sliced thinly: The way a red onion is cut makes a lot of difference to the end result. When I say sliced thinly, it is not chopped or diced or chunked but thin strands of half-moon shape. 
  • ginger-garlic paste: homemade or store-bought or freshly made in mortar pestle will also work great
  • freshly ground pepper powder: Black peppercorn and black pepper powder cost the same at least here in UAE. So I buy the peppercorns and make my own pepper powder. You may use store-bought too. More the better as this is the dominant flavour of the gravy. Always season as you go.
  • coriander powder: a little for the flavour
  • turmeric powder: makes me feel at ease to add turmeric to non-veg as it is believed to keep it safe.
  • chicken in-bone: I have used bone-in for the added flavour from the bone but you may use boneless
  • tomato, chunked: just a half will do. 
  • buttermilk or laban: Laban is easily available everywhere in the middle east but if you don't have access to laban, then you may whisk 1 tbsp of yoghurt with some water and use it
  • garam masala: I have used my Malabar garam masala here. You may use your home garam masala. 
Pepper Chicken Gravy

How to make pepper chicken gravy step by step?

A good gravy is made when we take time and go through each layer of cooking with cues from the aroma and texture. Though this is a one-pot recipe, it definitely not a dump all and pressure cook kinda recipe. So let me tell you in brief how this pepper chicken gravy is made. As with every cooking, first, keep the ingredients ready. 
    Heat coconut oil in a kadai. Add fennel seeds and curry leaves and fry until curry leaves crisp up and fennel seeds aroma fills up. Add the grated coconut and chilli flakes and fry this for a minute.

    pepper chicken gravy step by step

    Make sure you slice your onions really fine because it has to breakdown and add even texture to the gravy. Add the sliced onions with a dash of salt and saute until onions turn translucent and coconut starts to brown.
    pepper chicken gravy step by step

    Add ginger-garlic paste and saute this on medium flame until it is cooked, onions become golden and you start loving the aroma - about 5 minutes. Don't try to rush this step.

    pepper chicken gravy step by step

    Reduce the flame to low and add the spice powders - pepper, coriander and turmeric. Fry this on low for 5 minutes or until you love the aroma. Trust me and focus on the aroma you will start cooking with love rather than a chore.

    pepper chicken gravy step by step

    Add the chicken and tomato and season with more salt and pepper. Stir through so that the chicken is coated with the masala. Cover the pot and cook on medium for 10 minutes (do not forget to check on it) I don't have to add water as the chicken releases its own. But I had tried this using country chicken (Nattu Kozhi) and it needed some help with some water. So know your chicken and make the decision.

    pepper chicken gravy step by step

    Taste and adjust the salt and spices. Stir in the laban (buttermilk) or diluted whisked yoghurt. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

    pepper chicken gravy step by step

    Open and sprinkle some garam masala and more curry leaves. Here I used my home Malabar garam masala. Simmer for few minutes until you see the oil on top and sides.

    pepper chicken gravy step by step

    Pepper chicken gravy is read! Serve hot with rice, pathiri, chapathi, neychor etc. Now, if you want to keep it as a dry item, then skip laban step. Finish off with some more curry leaves and a drizzle of coconut oil and it is done.

    pepper chicken gravy step by step

    Pepper Chicken Gravy Recipe

    Cuisine: South-Indian
    Category: Curries

    Lip-smacking peppery chicken in a thick spicy gravy of onion, coconut and buttermilk.

    INGREDIENTS

    • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
    • 2 strands of curry leaves
    • 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
    • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
    • 2 to 3 medium-sized onions, sliced thinly
    • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
    • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper powder
    • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 500gms chicken in-bone, curry cut, washed and pat dried
    • 1/2 medium-sized tomato, chunked
    • 1/4 cup buttermilk or laban (you may whisk 1 tbsp of yoghurt with some water and use it)
    • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
    • more curry leaves

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Heat coconut oil in a kadai or a shallow pan (I used non-stick)
    2. Add fennel seeds and curry leaves and let it sizzle and crisp up
    3. Add the grated coconut and chilli flakes and fry this for a minute
    4. Add the thinly sliced onions with a dash of salt and saute this until onions turn translucent and coconut starts to brown
    5. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute this on medium flame until it is cooked,  onions become golden and you start loving the aroma - about 5 minutes
    6. Reduce the flame to low and add the spice powders - pepper, coriander and turmeric
    7. Fry this on low for 5 minutes or until you love the aroma
    8. Add the chicken and tomato and season with more salt and pepper
    9. Stir through so that the chicken is coated with the masala
    10. Cover the pot and cook on medium for 10 minutes (do not forget to check on it)
    11. Taste and adjust the salt and spices 
    12. Stir in the laban (buttermilk)
    13. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through
    14. Open and sprinkle some garam masala and more curry leaves
    15. Simmer for few minutes until you see the oil on top and sides
    16. Serve hot with pathiri, chapathi, neychor etc
    If planning to make with a kilogram of chicken, then instead of doubling the recipe, adjust according to the taste and preference. The onions and coconut render the texture to gravy adding thickness and the buttermilk or laban is the means all comes together adding a tang to the pepper. I have so far only served with chapati and neychor because Pathiris remain in my dreams. 😁 If you want it as a dry dish, then skip the laban (buttermilk).

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    Pepper Chicken Gravy

    TRIED THIS RECIPE? I would love to hear from you. If you have made this recipe then do leave a comment below. If you like this recipe then do Share the recipe link on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Follow me on Instagram and mention @fashfaiz or tag #fashfaiz so that I can see your creations!

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