If you like your chicken in an aromatic flavourful gravy, this one is for you. The gravy is embellished with simmered crushed black pepper and yoghurt. A safe dish for folks who don’t like a blast of masala and chilly in their cooking. The Chicken Kali Mirch has a creamy texture and a sour peppery mouthfeel. Now to the recipe. Ideally the peppers need to be hand crushed using a mortar pestle rather than doing it in a grinder jar. We need the pepper to retain a course ground texture in the dish which the hand grinding delivers perfectly. Make sure the yoghurt is not too sour as that will mask the pepper. What we want is the independent but combined flavour of both the curd and the pepper. That’s key. For vegetarians you can simply replace the chicken with Paneer (or tofu) and it comes out as good. This dish can be served for dinner or lunch and ideal for entertaining guests. It’s simple to cook but fancy enough to serve beyond the family. The Chicken Kali Mirch goes well with almost anything i.e. Pulao, Jeera rice or any form of Indian breads. A good staple dish for all year round. Happy Fooding Around.
The Yoghurt Pepper Tango
- 500 gms Chicken with bones (you may use boneless too)
- 20 –25 Black Peppercorns
- 1 large Onion, diced medium
- 2–3 Green Chillies, chopped (according to )
- 10 – 12 Cashew Nuts
- 8 –9 cloves of Garlic
- 1 inch piece Ginger
- 1 large Bay Leaf
- 1 Black Cardamom
- 3 – 4 Green Cardamom
- 3 – 4 Cloves
- Oil – 2 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- ½ + ½ cup Water
- 1 Tsp Sugar
- ½ Tsp Cardamom powder (optional)
- 1 Tbsp Cream (Optional)
Ingredients for Marination :
- 350 gms thick Yoghurt/Curd
- 1 Tsp crushed black Peppercorns
- 1 Tsp Salt
- Dry Roast 20 -25 black peppercorns on a griddle or flat bottom pan over medium-low flame. Keep stirring the peppercorns for even roasting. Take off from heat once they start releasing aroma and moisture is no longer there . Cool and coarse grind them. Avoid grinding them a fine powder. If you have a mortar and pestle at home it is better to use it to coarse grind the roasted peppercorns.
- Soak the Cashews in warm water in a small bowl.
- Marinate the chicken in a large bowl with 350 gms yoghurt, 1 Tsp salt and 1 Tbsp crushed black peppercorns. Mix well to coat the chicken pieces well with the yoghurt. Marinate the chicken for 20 -25 mins. Do make sure that the yoghurt used is fresh and not too sour.
- Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a flat bottom pan over medium flame. Add 1 large bay leaf, 1 black cardamom, 3-4 green cardamom, 3-4 cloves. Stir for 1 minute over medium-low heat before adding 1 large Onion diced, 2 -3 chopped green chillies, 8-9 cloves of garlic, 1 inch piece of ginger. Stir frequently over medium-low flame as we need to cook the onions WITHOUT browning them.
- After sauteing for 2 -3 mins, add the cashew nuts by draining them from the soaked water. By now the cashew nuts should have turned soft. Stir and saute for a bit without browning.
- Add ½ cup of water to the mix and cook for 6 -8 mins more over medium-low flame, so that all the ingredients are cooked well and have turned soft. Turn off the heat, allow to cool. In the meantime take out and throw away all the whole spices like black cardamom, green cardamom, bay leaf, cloves.
- Once cool grind the mix to a smooth paste with the help of a grinder jar and some water, 1/3rd cup water. Keep it aside.
- In a heavy bottom pan heat 2 Tbsp of oil. Add 1 Tbsp butter too. Now, add the paste mix of onion-whole spices-cashew nuts from the grinder jar to the pan. Cook over medium-low flame stirring frequently for 4 -5 mins. The idea is to cook the gravy well. You may even add ½ cup water to the gravy if required.
- Keep cooking till the gravy starts releasing oil from the sides. Remember to continuously stir the gravy as the gravy might stick to the bottom of the pan due to the cashew nuts in the paste.
- Lower the heat to a medium-low and add the yoghurt marinated chicken to the pan and salt to taste. Mix the marinated chicken thoroughly into the prepared gravy.
- Cover and increase the flame to a medium-high. Cook for 12 – 15 mins or until chicken pieces are soft and well cooked. By now oil should start separating out from the gravy.
- Now add the star of the recipe, that is, the dry roasted and crushed black peppercorns. Also add 1 Tsp Sugar, and ½ Tsp Cardamom powder (optional). Stir and blend well. Lastly add 1 Tbsp Cream if you want your gravy to be more creamy in texture (optional)
- Serving Size: 4