Pepper Chicken Chettinad

Being of South Asian background, I’ve had plenty of Indian/Pakistani dishes in my time. So when I say, this dish makes it to my top 5 best Indian dishes of all time, I mean it. I’ve always been a HUGE fan of South Indian food and this chicken main course does not disappoint. You’ll probably need a trip to your local South Asian grocery store to pick up ingredients for this dish but it’s soooo worth it. The combination of spices brings out the most wonderfully complex flavour profile in each bite. Heads up though, it’s definitely on the spicy side so adjust the amount of chilies/pepper to your taste.

Pepper Chicken Chettinad
(adapted from VahRehVah.com)
[Serves 4]

3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
4 cardamom pods, crushed
2 small cinnamon sticks
6 cloves
1 bay leaf
1 onion, finely chopped
Salt to taste
1 tsp turmeric powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 green chilies, finely chopped
2 sprigs curry leaves, destemmed
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
12 ounces boneless chicken, cubed
1 tbsp freshly crushed peppercorns
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

1. Heat oil in a large pan
2. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and bay leaf
3. Cook for a few minutes until spices start to crackle and release aroma
4. Add onion and salt, and cook until onions are slightly golden
5. Add turmeric, garlic cloves, ginger, green chilies, and curry leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes
6. Bring heat down to medium and add tomatoes, chili powder, coriander powder, and cumin powder
7. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until oil separates from mixture
8. Add chicken and cover, letting cook for 5-7 minutes
9. Add crushed peppercorns and cook for a few minutes until sauce is of desired consistency
10. Finish off with fresh coriander leaves



16 comments on “Pepper Chicken Chettinad

  1. Farah
    November 7, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    Wowww, looks delishhhh! Will definitely try it! Awesome website, Weebs! :D

  2. Hira
    November 8, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    nice weebee… will try it soon… can u add how many people will be served with the recipe… will help us…Love ur cooking/baking as always

    • Hira
      November 8, 2011 at 10:44 PM

      sorry just saw that it serves 4… tee hee

  3. Aysha
    November 9, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    Loooving those picturess! If only I could just… Accio chicken!

  4. Mariam
    November 11, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Weebs, this looks so good!!

  5. Mia
    November 26, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    This was soooo good! I made it early in the month and it was a little involved, for me anyway, but the result was great! I like to make new dishes that my family has not had and this fit the bill. My hubby loved it and so did I – my kids did eat some of of it, which is a joy in and of itself!

  6. Jeri
    November 26, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    Yummy – this certainly looks good and something I willing to give a try to making. I’m usually pretty good as long as I have a recipe to follow. I’m going to get the ingredients this week so I can make it next weekend after company has gone for Thanksgiving. Thanks for posing it.

  7. Madiha
    December 20, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    Weebs, I’ve been aching to make one of your recipes…I finally just made this one! It smells amazing and I’m so excited because not a pinch of shan masala went into this ;) Thank you and I’m looking forward to trying others!

  8. T.J.
    October 12, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Traditionally, do you remove all of the curry leaves before serving (like bay leaves)? Or are they left in?

    • weebs
      October 12, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      They are left in, like the whole garam masala spices (cardamom, cinnamon stick etc), but they aren’t meant to be eaten.

      • T.J.
        October 12, 2013 at 12:56 PM

        Thank you! Just got done making the dish and the house smells amazing!

        • weebs
          October 12, 2013 at 1:11 PM

          :). Let me know how it turns out!

          • T.J.
            October 12, 2013 at 1:41 PM

            It’ was awesome. This was my first time using curry leaves, so I didn’t know what to expect. They seem to add more of an aroma than taste…but I liked it. I think next time I’ll use a little less of the peppercorns to bring out some of the other flavors, but overall, I’d call it a success :)

  9. Neethi
    January 13, 2014 at 6:46 AM

    Made this the other day and it was FABULOUS… Thank you so much!

  10. Hamza Hassan Bhownar
    March 29, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    This looks so good its not funny and immediately reminds me of home. Will definitely try to replicate this dish and try it. Keep up the the amazing work Weebie :)

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