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19th February 2019

Chettinad Pepper Chicken Fry

Chettinad cuisine originates from Karaikudi district in Tami Nadu. The cuisine is famed in India for being aromatic and spicy as it makes use of a lot of whole spices. This recipe of Chettinad Pepper Chicken Fry is inspired by their style of cooking. This preparation can be served as a side dish with rice or if you like spicy and can bear the heat of the black pepper, you could also eat it as a starter also.

Serves: A Family of Four

Prep. Time: 15 Mins.

Cooking Time: 25 to 30 Mins.


  • Chicken (boneless-medium pieces) – 600 gms.
  • Onion (finely chopped) – 2 medium
  • Green Chillies (slit) – 4 to 5
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste – 2 tbsp.
  • Lime – 1 big
  • Curry Leaves – 2 sprigs
  • Black Pepper Corns – 1 ½ to 2 tbsp.
  • Fennel Seeds – 1 tsp.
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp.
  • Green Cardamom – 2
  • Cinnamon – 2 inch
  • Cloves – 4
  • Bay Leaf – 1
  • Red Chilli Powder – ½ tsp.
  • Garam Masala Powder – ½ tsp.
  • Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp.
  • Ghee – 1 tbsp.
  • Oil – 2 tbsp.
  • Salt – 1 tsp. or to taste

Step 1:     Dry roast the pepper corns, jeera and saunf on low heat for a few seconds. Do not over-roast as the spices will burn and lose flavour. Grind these spices using a little water and keep aside.

Step 2:     Heat the ghee and oil in a pan and on low heat sauté the bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom for a few seconds. Then add the curry leaves, onion, green chillies and a pinch of salt and sauté till the onions turn a light golden.

Step 3:     Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell of the paste goes away.

Step 4:     Add the chicken pieces and sauté on medium heat till it changes colour.

Step 5:     Add the powdered masalas, the ground paste and salt and mix well. Saute on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add 2 to 3 tbsp. water and cover the pan. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes on low heat.

Step 6:     Open the pan and squeeze in the lime juice. Mix and then dry out the gravy on medium heat. The gravy should be dry enough to stick to the chicken and coat it. Sprinkle some curry leaves and keep covered for 5 minutes.

Serve with rice and rasam or chapatis.

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