Easy Pepper Chicken Gravy

This pepper chicken gravy is an easy marinated chicken curry that tastes even better than the creamy restaurant curries. Except that it does not have cream or any other hidden calories to worry about!

Pepper chicken gravy in a white bowl.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chicken thighs are marinated in yogurt and spices, cooked in a delicious gravy and finished off with pepper, cumin and coriander leaves.

The peppery chicken flavor lingers on your taste buds until the next meal!

Like most of my curry recipes, making this pepper chicken masala is quite straightforward. It requires just a few ingredients you might already have in your kitchen.

I did not restrict myself to 5 ingredients like my easy chicken curry without coconut. But this decadent curry definitely has less ingredients than my Kerala chicken curry. Not that it is any less in flavor.

The secret ingredient of this recipe (well, not exactly, it’s right there in the title!) is freshly cracked black pepper. Read further to learn ALL the secret tips!

Video

Ingredient Notes

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)

Labelled ingredients for pepper chicken gravy.
  • Chicken: I used chicken thighs, but any cut is fine. I would recommend bone-in pieces, though. Bones add to the flavors of this marinated chicken curry. (If you only have boneless chicken breasts, the smart option would be to make chicken kofta curry!)
  • Yogurt:
  • Spices
    • Freshly crushed pepper
    • Ground cumin: Like pepper, fresh roasted and ground cumin makes the curry more flavorful.
    • Chili powder
    • Coriander powder
    • Turmeric powder
    • Garam masala: Homemade is great, but if you can’t make it, store-bought one is fine. (Please let me know in the comments section below if you want the recipe for garam masala.)

How To Make Pepper Chicken Gravy: Step by step

Marinate The Chicken

Marinate the chicken with yogurt, lemon juice and spices (except pepper and cumin) for an hour (upto overnight) in the refrigerator.

Blend Onions

Roughly chop onions, ginger and garlic. Blend them to a smooth paste.

Make The Gravy

  1. Heat oil in a wok/ kadai. Add bay leaf and slit green chillies.
  2. Add the blended onion paste. Sauté on medium-low flame until well-browned.
  3. Add finely chopped tomatoes and sauté until they are cooked and completely mashed.
  4. Add the marinated chicken. Sauté for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Add water and mix until the gravy is well combined.
  6. Cover and bring it to a boil on high flame. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add Pepper and Cumin

Add pepper and cumin. Turn off the flame. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

What To Serve With Pepper Chicken Masala

Serve this pepper chicken gravy with any bread of your choice, roti or dosa.

You can also serve it with plain rice or flavored rice like lemon brown rice. We often eat this curry with steamed rice and an easy vegetable side like microwaved ladies finger fry, tandoori cauliflower, or mashed pumpkin with coconut.

Make it a keto dinner by pairing this pepper chicken curry with lemon garlic quinoa or coconut cauliflower rice.

Pepper chicken curry in a wok.

Tips To Make The Best Pepper Chicken Curry

  • Pepper: DO NOT use store-bought pepper for this recipe. Pepper tends to lose flavor quickly over time. Crush peppercorns using a pepper mill or spice blender. It is worth the effort.
  • Roast: The curry tastes even better if you roast peppercorns before crushing.
  • Do not boil the curry for too long AFTER adding pepper. Turn off the flame after simmering for a couple of minutes.
  • Marinating the chicken is another reason why this chicken pepper masala is going to be an instant hit in your household. The longer you marinate, the softer the chicken turns out to be.
  • Sauté: Third secret (or is it the fourth? Sorry, I lost count!) is to sauté the onion paste and tomatoes on medium-low flame as long as possible (like how we did for the Kerala egg roast recipe).
  • Cooking time: The time I’ve mentioned here is for medium-sized bone-in thigh pieces. Adjust the simmering time based on the size of the chicken pieces. It’s better to check the chicken for doneness after 10 to 15 minutes of simmering the curry. The chicken should almost fall apart when you apply pressure with a spoon.
  • Did you make the all-purpose curry paste? Add a heaped tablespoon when you sauté tomatoes.
Pepper chicken curry in a white bowl.

Printable Curry Paste Recipe

Grab a printable copy of the curry paste that helps home cooks like you cook different curries in 30 minutes or less:

.

Looking for a curry with less than 10 ingredients? Try this Kerala fish curry with nadan flavors of coconut and pearl onions.

More Chicken Recipes

Chicken pepper masala in a white bowl.

Pepper Chicken Gravy Recipe

This pepper chicken gravy is an easy marinated chicken curry that tastes even better than the creamy restaurant curries. Except that it does not have cream or any other hidden calories to worry about!
Author: Sheeba
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course curry, dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 323 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 500 grams Bone-in chicken pieces (1.1 lbs)
  • 1 tablespoon Yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Chilli powder (or cayenne pepper)
  • ½ teaspoon Coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon Garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 large Onions diced
  • 2 inches Ginger chopped
  • 5 cloves Garlic chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Green chilli slit horizontally
  • 1 large Tomato finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper freshly crushed
  • ½ teaspoon Ground cumin
  • ½ cup Coriander leaves finely chopped

Instructions
 

Marinate the chicken

  • Clean and chop chicken into large chunks.
  • Add yogurt, lemon juice, chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric, and salt to the chicken and mix well.
  • Make incisions with a fork so that the marinade is absorbed well. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour up to overnight.

Blend

  • Chop the onions, garlic and ginger. Blend them into a smooth paste.

Make the gravy

  • Heat oil in a wok/ kadai. Add the bay leaf and slit green chilli and fry for a minute.
  • Add the blended onion paste. Sauté on medium-low flame until well-browned.
  • Add finely chopped tomatoes and sauté until they are cooked and completely mashed.
  • Add the marinated chicken. Sauté for about 5 to 10 minutes. Add water and mix until the gravy is well combined.
  • Cover and increase the flame to high. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the flame to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Garnish and serve

  • Sprinkle pepper and cumin on the gravy. Mix and simmer for about 2 minutes.
  • Turn off the flame and garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve with rice or bread of your choice.

Video

Notes

  • Pepper: DO NOT use store-bought pepper for this recipe. Crush peppercorns using a pepper mill or spice blender.
  • Roast: The curry tastes even better if you roast peppercorns before crushing.
  • Do not boil the curry for too long AFTER adding pepper. Turn off the flame after simmering for a couple of minutes.
  • Marinating: The longer you marinate, the softer the chicken turns out to be.
  • Take your time to sauté (on medium-low flame) as long as possible, at every stage: the onion paste, tomatoes, and chicken.
  • Cooking time: The time I’ve mentioned here is for medium-sized bone-in thigh pieces. Adjust the simmering time based on the size of the chicken pieces. It’s better to check the chicken for doneness after 10 minutes of simmering the curry. The chicken should almost fall apart when you apply pressure with a spoon.
Nutrition facts for pepper chicken gravy.

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