Kozhi Varuval / Chettinad pepper chicken

This spicy and so flavorful dish is from Chettinad, Tamilnadu, south of India. Chettinad is famous for their use of spices and very aromatic dishes. If you would like to read more of then click here
 
I am an absolute lover of Chettinad cuisine and this being one of my favorite. I love this with my rice and rasam. Please adjust the quantity of pepper and green chili to suit your taste and I would also recon to use freshly ground pepper. I have used store brought tomato paste but if using whole tomato then make sure to cook till mushy before you add the chicken. 
 

You need –

  • Chicken – 750 grams , cleaned and cut into bite size pieces
  • Shallots – finely chopped, 1 cup
  • Green chili – 1, slit length-wise
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 1 tablespoon each
  • Tomato paste – 2.5 teaspoon
  • Freshly ground pepper (coarsely) – 3 teaspoons
  • Coriander powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Fennel powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Garam masala – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 2 twigs
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon or as required
  • Salt to taste
 

How to –

Heat oil in a pan and add the finely chopped shallots. Cook till translucent. Add in the ginger-garlic paste, green chili and continue to cook till the raw smell of ginger-garlic is gone and the onions turn golden brown.

Add 2.5 teaspoons of ground pepper (reserve 1/2 teaspoon for the last) , coriander powder, turmeric powder, fennel powder and cook till the oil start to separate. Add the tomato paste (add a tablespoon of water if the mixture too dry), salt to taste and  cook briefly for a few seconds. Add the chicken pieces and mix well to coat. Add about 1/4 cup water and curry leaves; cover and cook till done.

Uncover, continue to cook till the gravy is almost dry and stirring continuously .  Now sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper and garam masala and mix well.

Turn off the heat and serve hot with rice and curry.



 

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