The aroma of a chicken dish (chicken perattu) that I made recently reminded me of my Dad’s pepper chicken recipe that he used to make during my school days. It is surprising how the aroma of certain dishes transports us to our childhood memories. Achan cooks superb non-veg dishes, mutton liver fry being his signature dish. Me and my siblings were very thin during our school days and our parents used to try special non-vegetarian food pretty often to make us put on some weight, but nothing really worked :).
Anyway I took the chicken recipe from my Dad and not surprisingly the recipe was somewhat similar to the one I made, which was a no onion and tomato recipe with kashmiri chillli powder lending heat to the dish. This is a very easy no onion and tomato recipe with pepper powder as the main ingredient. It doesn’t have gravy, but tastes really good for such a simple recipe. It goes well with chapathis/rice and i think it works well as an appetizer also. Make sure it is cooked over medium-low or low heat to prevent the spice powders from sticking to the pan. It should be slightly moist, tastes best that way. If you would like to have some gravy, add 1/2 cup crushed shallots to the coconut oil and brown it before adding the marinated chicken.
Ingredients (Serves 4 – 5)
1. Chicken – 3/4 kg, cut into small pieces
2. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri chilly powder – 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder – 1.5 tsp
Garam masala powder – 3/4 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste – 3 – 4 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Pepper powder – 1.5 – 2 tsp
Salt – To taste
3. Coconut oil – 2.5 tbsp
4. Freshly crushed pepper powder – 1/2 – 1 tsp or to taste
5. Curry leaves – A few
Garam masala powder – 1/4 tsp
Green chilly – 1 – 2, diagonally sliced
1. Marinate the chicken pieces with ingredients numbered 2 for at least 1 hr or overnight in the refrigerator.
2. Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a kadai or non-stick pan over medium heat. Add marinated chicken and mix well. Cook for a few minutes. Cover and cook for 20 – 30 minutes over low or low-medium heat (do not add water, let the chicken cook in its own juices). Once cooked completely, remove the lid and add 1 – 2 tsp coconut oil and fresh ground pepper powder. Taste-check for salt. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes until chicken is covered completely with masala (do not cook until dry). Add a few curry leaves, sliced green chilly and a pinch of garam masala powder. Keep covered for 10 minutes. Serve with chapathi / rice.