Indian pepper chicken

In Food item, Recipes by Sue Marshall

This recipe is from Pepper, by Valerie Aikman-Smith who says, “I love making curries, partly due to all the beautifully coloured ingredients that go into them. This curry is laced with spicy and aromatic crushed Malabar peppercorns from India’s south-west coast. Dried fruit adds a touch of sweetness to the dish.”

8 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
2 teaspoons ground Malabar pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ancho chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
475 ml chicken stock
70g raisins or dried dates
naan bread, to serve


Sprinkle the chicken thighs with the pepper and salt, making sure they are completely coated.

Set a large frying pan over a medium–high heat and add 3 tablespoons of the ghee or oil. Put the chicken skin side down in the pan and sauté for about 4 minutes, until golden brown. Turn the chicken over and brown the other side, then transfer to a large plate.

Add the remaining ghee or oil to the pan, and add the onion and garlic and cook until golden brown (about 5 minutes). Add the curry powder, turmeric, chilli powder and cumin, and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes.

Return the chicken to the pan, skin side down, and top with the curry leaves. Pour over the chicken stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan with a lid or foil. Cook for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and toss in the raisins or dates. Turn the chicken thighs over and continue to cook uncovered for another 30 minutes.

Serve the chicken with the sauce, and warm naan bread.

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