Pepper chicken fry

How do your weekends go? I am so far behind the whole of the work week, that it’s usually Sunday noon by the time I’ve caught up with all the backlog – shopping for the week’s groceries, vegetables and fruits, sorting them all, putting away the week’s worth of laundry, oiled and shampooed our hair, de-cluttering a few random places in the house that particularly irk me and pretending not to see the rest. In between we drop kids in classes 5 minutes late. Sundays I take a break from gym, no matter what. I take a break on Sundays even if I’ve not gone to the gym the rest of the days.

Pepper chicken fry


After I’ve shopped for a truckload of produce, picked the keerai leaves, bagged vegetables, prepped the coriander leaves and jam-packed my fridge, I am so exhausted I want to eat out. We eat out at-least one of the weekend meals.

If we have some free time, we pick an argument. We then wake up on Monday thankful and looking forward for the work week.

Pepper chicken fry

After a week of short-cut meals, cheat meals, leftovers, one pot meals and maggi I make sure to make something special for Sunday lunch. One particular Sunday, I made this Pepper chicken fry that I had bookmarked from Sabitha Radhakrishna’s book “Annapurni”. It’s a keeper – both the book and the recipe. This pepper chicken fry is reminiscent of military hotel pepper chicken fry or chicken chukka as it is colloquially called. It’s tender, coated with a flavour bursting fiery masala and melt in the mouth delicious. This can be served as a side with steamed rice, biryani or ghee rice. It’s a wonderful recipe to make for dinner parties. It’s not too much effort but is sure to wow your guests. Do make this pepper chicken fry! Enjoy!

Pepper chicken fry

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Pepper chicken fry

Sabitha Radhakrishna
A tender, flavour bursting chicken side dish sure to be a hit in any south Indian meal
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 4


Ingredients - Marinade

  • Chicken – 500 gm
  • Lemon juice – from 1 lemon
  • Ginger garlic paste – 3 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients – Masala powder

  • Whole black peppercorns – 2 tsp
  • Whole dry red chillies – 6-8
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
  • Cloves – 1
  • Cinnamon – 1 inch piece

Other Ingredients

  • Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Curry leaves – 2 stems
  • Onions – 2 large sliced
  • Coriander leaves – ½ cup chopped


  • 1. Clean the chicken and cut into bite size pieces. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Add chicken pieces into the bowl and rub well with marinade. Set aside for an hour or overnight.
  • 2. Dry roast the ingredients called for under masala until fragrant. Cool and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.
  • 3. Heat oil in a kadai and when hot, add the curry leaves and sliced onions and fry for 2 minutes or until the onions are nearly golden. Add the ground masala powder and fry for a minute.
  • 4. Add the chicken along with the marinade and fry on low heat for about 5 minutes. Add about half a cup of water and simmer covered on low heat for 10-15 minutes. Open and cook till the chicken is dry and has a nice coating of masala. Stir in the chopped coriander leaves. Switch off. Serve hot with ghee rice or steamed rice. Enjoy!


Adapted from Annapurni


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