BROWN Chicken/Pepper Chicken AMMAMA style

“Food is the most primitive form of comfort” ~ Sheila Graham

Sundays were and are very special meal days.  Those days (not too long ago;)), I would wait for Sundays for a huge feast.  I would get ready for the part I looked forward to the whole week. It would be hard for me to convince dad, but I would tag along with him sometimes to the farmers’ market in the really early morning.    Our  fancy breakfast of appam (thin pancake) and sweetened coconut milk or sweet idiyappam (rice noodles), would be ready by the time we got back..   As soon as we devoured  our breakfast, mom would start preparing for our lunch.

There were few things and habits which never changed, our Sunday menu was one of ’em.   The Brown Chicken, as my little one calls it now, was the STAR of our lunch. So glad that this Peppery curry leaves Chicken has become one of  the favorite dishes of the picky eater.

 As the Chicken simmered, I could never stop from tasting a piece and enjoying it thoroughly.  Even today, as I reminisce, the joy and happiness that those moments created makes me tingle.  The thick iron wok on a gas burner which had our chicken browning, the pressure cooker next to the wok cooking Biryani, the intense fragrance of all the delicate spices surrounding our small  loving home.

Visits to India are quite a thrill.  I get to eat all of my favorite dishes and it is just plain happiness to see my boys enjoy the foods that I grew up with.  To satisfy my little one has always been a challenge, with a very delicate palette, he can’t handle spice, but hey, if you give him a bowl of HOT Cheetos, he will devour it with ooo’s and aahhh’s and still not complain.  So this chicken has been a winner,, THANK YOU, thank you mom for opening his taste buds to your special dish.

So here goes this simple and very modest dish with all it’s splendor.  Hope you get to make it and I really hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  Try with chapatis or plain rice…

Pepper Chicken Curry


Chicken – 1 kg (with bones washed and cleaned well)
1 large onion+ 1/2 onion thinly sliced
1 small tomato
3 tbsp grated coconut
5 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
5 green chillies(as per your taste)
2 tbsp pepper+ 1/4 tsp pepper
cloves,cardamom, cinnamon (3 pieces each)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
5 sprigs coriander leaves
3 sprigs mint leaves
salt and turmeric
Oil -2 tsp+ 2 tbsp


1.  In a large pan add 2 tsp oil.  Add cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, pepper+1 large onion chopped+ginger+garlic+ green chillies with 1 tsp of salt and fry on medium low heat until it’s wilted and browned a little.  Then add chopped tomato and 3 tbsp of grated coconut and fry till it’s all integrated well.  Let cool.
2.  Grind the above mixture to a paste not too fine or coarse with 1 glass of water. Keep aside.
3.  In a pressure cooker, add the washed chicken with 1/2 tsp of turmeric and little salt and saute.
4.  Add the ground paste and let it boil.  Cover and put on the lid and leave for 3 whistles or 10 minutes.
5.  Alternatively, if you don’t have a pressure cooker you cook slow cook in a heavy bottom vessel and turns out perfect too and you cook omit the next step.
6.  In a heavy bottom pan add 2 tbsp oil, add thinly sliced onions and 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper and fry.
7.  Once it’s lightly brown, add the chicken curry to the onion mixture and let it boil and get to a thicker consistency.  Garnish with coriander and some freshly ground pepper .

This is spicy, so please adjust the chillies and pepper accordingly…