Appetizers/ Chicken Dishes/ Non Vegetarian/ Recipes

Pepper Chicken Dry

My dad worked for HAL in Bangalore and back in the ’70s, they used to have something called an “A” lunch in the canteen for the officers.  For a princely sum of Rs 2.00, they would get chicken curry, bread and dessert.  Even to this day, he indicates the size of the chicken leg with his fingers.  That seemed like a dream meal to me, though I never got to eat it.  I would salivate as my dad described the meal, the chicken being the chief attraction for me.  My dad ate it rarely, probably he felt guilty that his family was not enjoying the meal with him.  The recipe that I am listing below, is my own creation, not passed on to me and it came about with my experiments with cooking chicken.  I had started off craving pepper chicken and with a little dash of this and a dollop of that, the end result was pretty delicious.  As I see the picture of the drumsticks, I’m reminded of chicken in that elusive “A” lunch!  Incidentally, HAL discontinued the lunch in the early ’80s.


  • Chicken drumsticks - 10
  • For the marinade:
  • Pepper powder - 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric pwdr - 1/4 tsp
  • Red chilly pwdr - 1 tbsp (more or less depending on your taste)
  • Coriander-cumin pwdr - 1 tsp
  • Garam masala pwdr - 1 tsp
  • Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  • Lime juice - 1 tbsp
  • Olive oil - 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Seasoning:
  • Oil - 3 tbsp
  • Garlic - 8 cloves, minced
  • Green chillies - 6, finely chopped (more or less depending on your taste)
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig, chopped
  • Cilantro - 1 small bunch, divided, finely chopped
  • Salt - if required



Mix all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.


Remove skin and wash the chicken drumsticks thoroughly. Pat dry with paper towels.


Apply the marinade to the chicken drumsticks and allow to marinate for 4-6 hours or preferably overnight.


Heat oil in a flat pan. Season with minced garlic. Fry till the garlic is light brown and then add the finely chopped green chillies, 3/4 of the chopped cilantro and curry leaves.


Saute till fragrant.


Add in the marinated chicken pieces and mix well. Cook on low heat. If you see it sticking to the bottom of the pan, a tablespoon of water can be added every now and then. You can also add about 1/2 cup of water if you want to have a little gravy. This can then be cooked on medium heat as there's no worry about it sticking to the bottom of the pan.


When done, garnish with the remaining finely chopped cilantro.

The marinade

Marinated Chicken

Cooking the chicken on medium heat


  • This can also be cooked with boneless chunks of chicken thighs with the skin removed.
  • While the dry dish works well as an appetizer, if you would like to eat this with rice, you may want to add extra water, cover the dish and cook it on medium heat so the chicken cooks faster and water is retained as the gravy.

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