Chicken Dishes/ Curries/ Non Vegetarian/ Recipes

Spicy Pepper Chicken Masala

Our very first post on this website was Chettinad Mutton.  This recipe turned out to be pretty popular and a few people requested us for a chicken version.  We tried the same recipe for chicken but somehow were not as impressed as we were for the mutton version of it.  I have tweaked that recipe a little bit resulting in this spicy dish.  You can cut down on the spice level if you cannot handle hot curries.


  • Chicken - 1 whole
  • For marination:
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin coriander powder (dhania-jeera powder) - 3/4 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Dry masala:
  • Black peppercorns - 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Cloves - 6
  • Cinnamon stick - 2"
  • Black cardamom - 1, peel and discard skin, use just the pods
  • Green cardamom - 2, peel and discard skin, just use the pods
  • Fennel seeds (saunf) - 1/2 tbsp
  • Star anise - 1, break into pieces
  • Masala:
  • Oil/ghee - 3 tbsp
  • Onions - 3 large
  • Green chillies - 3
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tbsp
  • Tomatoes - 3 medium sized
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Water - 2 cups
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro - for garnish



Wash, clean and cut chicken into bite size pieces.


Put the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and mix together.  Apply it to the chicken pieces and set aside for marination for 3-4 hours or overnight if you have the time.


Dry roast all the spices together till fragrant and set aside to cool.. When cool, blend in a spice grinder or a coffee grinder till smooth.


Finely chop the onions, green chillies and tomatoes and set aside.


Heat oil/ghee in a wide bottomed non stick pan.  Put in the finely chopped green chillies and the sprig of curry leaves.  After a few seconds, add the finely chopped onions and fry till golden brown.


Put in the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears.


Add the finely chopped tomatoes and fry till pulpy. Also turmeric powder and chilli powder needs to be added at this time.


Put in the blended/powdered spices and mix well.  There is no need to fry this for long as the spices were previously roasted.  A couple of minutes should do to get the onion tomato mixture and the spices together.  Add marinated chicken pieces and mix well.  Fry for at least 5 minutes till you see the masala well coated to each and every piece of chicken.  Add water and salt to taste and cook till done.  Garnish with finely chopped cilantro.


  • Chilli powder can be omitted when making the curry if you think the dish is getting to be a little too spicy.  Remember, chilli powder has been added to the marination, green chillies were added while frying onions and of course you have the spiciness coming from the peppercorns too.
  • Go easy when you add salt to the curry in the end because you have already added salt to the chicken while marinating it.

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