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Complete Indian Cooking
by Meena Pathak
This is very popular in southern India. If you want extra heat, add more black pepper. It is a wonderfully aromatic dish because of the cardamom and fennel.
Serves 4

Black pepper chicken
(Kozhi kurumelagu)


• 2½ tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee
• 2 bay leaves
• 3 cardamom pods
• 3 cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 200 g (7 oz) shallots, sliced
• 1 tablespoon garlic pulp
• 3/4 teaspoon ground fennel
• 2 teaspoons ground coriander
• 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 3/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
• 250 g (9 oz) tomatoes, chopped
• 450 g (1 lb) chicken breast, skinned and cut into
• 2.5-4 cm (1-1½ in) cubes
• 1½ teaspoons black peppercorns, crushed
• salt, to taste


Heat the oil or ghee in a karhai, wok or frying pan and when hot, add the whole spices. After a minute add the sliced shallots and cook for 5-10 minutes until the shallots colour. Add the garlic pulp and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the fennel, coriander, turmeric and red chilli powder and sprinkle with a little water to prevent sticking. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, over a moderate heat for 10-15 minutes. Add more water if required.

Add the chicken pieces and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes over a low heat. Add the crushed black pepper and season.


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