• 250 gm of boneless chicken pieces, cubed
• A fistful of curry leaves
• 2 tbsp of oil (I used coconut oil)
• 1 tsp of black mustard seeds
• 1/4 tsp of fennel seeds, saunf (optional)
• 2 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1 tsp of ginger, grated or finely chopped
• 1 cup of onions, sliced
• 1/2 cup of cubed tomato or 1 tsp tomato paste
• 1 tsp of cumin seeds
• 2 tsp of coriander seeds
• 1-2 dry red chillies (adjust to taste)
• 1 tsp of whole black pepper (adjust to taste)
• 3 piece of cinnamon
• 3 green cardamom pods
1. Dry-roast the spices (use the seeds from the cardamom pods) in a skillet until they turn a shade darker and fragrant.
2. Cool and pound coarsely in a pestle or mortar or using a spice/coffee grinder.
3. Heat the oil in a wide pan and turn to low heat. Add the mustard seeds and fennel and then they sizzle and pop, add the ground spices, fry for 10 seconds until fragrantand then add the ginger, garlic, onions, and curry leaves.
4. Saute until the onions are soft and then add the tomatoes or tomato paste. Mix well.
5. Now add the chicken pieces and stir well to coat them with the spices.
6. Add 1 cup of water, bring to boil, lower heat to simmer, and cook covered for about 15 mins or until the chicken pieces are cooked through.
You should uncover and stir in between every 3-4 mins to make sure nothing is burning. After about 15 mins, the gravy should be thick and the spices should be coating the chicken. If this is not the case, cook in the open pan for a few more minutes.
All done! Serve hot as an appetizer, with rice, roti, dosa, chapati, parotta, anything at all. This lip-smacking Chetttinad-style pepper chicken goes with everything.