Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Southern Spice: Pepper Chicken

I decided to introduce a category on the South Indian recipes I've learned during my stay @ Chennai. Sifting through my previous entries and tagging them might take some time... I can remember including rasam, podimaas and pachdi... but I'm sure I'll find more as I go through the archives. The series is called (rather unimaginatively) Southern Spice, and here is one of the babies from the collection.

This is a pepper chicken recipe, but is not the Chettinad style spice-laden variety that brings tears to your eyes. For one, the ingredients are stuff that are staples of every single's kitchen, and it gets done fast, and is just the thing to cook after coming back from work. Couple your cooking with a glass of wine and your favourite show on TV, and life's about complete!

Chicken: 250 grams (skinless, boneless & diced)
Black peppercorn: Coursely ground 2 tbsp
Garlic: 10-15 cloves, finely chopped
Curry leaves: 1 cup
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder: 1/4 spoon
Cumin seeds: 2 spoons

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add cumin seeds and wait till it crackles. Add chopped garlic and fry till fragrant. Add salt, turmeric and pepper powder, and fry for around 2 minutes. Now stir-in diced chicken. Fry till it turns opaque. Cover and cook till done. (Do not add any water until your chicken is very tough and stringy. The chicken tastes best when it stewed in its own water content). Transfer to a bowl.

In a separate pan, heat oil. Add curry leaves to this and fry for around 2 minutes. Garnish the cooked chicken with the curry leaves. Tastes best with paratha.

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