It was the same story with Indo-Chinese non-vegetarian recipes. She had quite a variety of recipes in hand and was especially good at making them. Back then, restaurants were fewer and her cooking was deemed truly restaurant-style.
This Pepper Chicken, however, is a humble concoction of her daughter, yours truly. There was some chicken at home, amma was not sure what to make with it and said I can do what I wanted. Ah, the golden words. Since we already had a couple vegetable curries for lunch anyway, I was under no pressure to match my chicken dish with anything – it could be anything I wanted. So this simple Kerala-style Pepper Chicken came to be.
Dry Indian Pepper Chicken Recipe-Pepper Chicken Masala Recipe
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
250 gm of boneless chicken breast, cleaned and cut into long strips
1 cup of sliced onions
1.5 tsp of whole black pepper corn
1 tsp of fennel seeds (saunf / perumjeerakam)
1 tsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of chicken masala (or meat masala or garam masala)
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 small piece of ginger, crushed
1 tbsp of oil (preferably coconut oil)
1/4 tsp of mustard seeds
1 strand of curry leaves
1/2 tsp of vinegar or lemon juice
How to make Pepper Chicken:
1. Heat oil and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the sliced onions and sautè until they turn golden brown. I like the onions very nicely roasted so I let it stay longer.
2. Meanwhile, coarsely crush or grind the peppercorn and fennel seeds.
3. Once the onions are brown, add the pepper+fennel powder along with the coriander powder and chicken masala. Top off with the ginger and garlic. Fry for a minute.
4. Next, add the chicken pieces and curry leaves. Mix well and add 1/4 cup water. Let it come to boil and cook covered on low heat until the chicken pieces are soft and tender (about 15 mins). Make sure you give it a stir every now and then.
5. When the chicken is cooked, cook further leaving the pan open so that any extra moisture is absorbed. Remember this is a dry pepper chicken preparation. Finally add the vinegar or lemon juice along with salt, cook for another 2-3 mins, and remove from fire. You can add some more freshly ground pepper powder on top before serving the Pepper Chicken.