Black Pepper Curry Chicken

Many Indian curries use lots of spices to great effect, by building layers of flavour. This chicken curry has the same effect, but uses less spices than most north indian recipes call for. This dish is redolant of black pepper, whose heat is tempered by a base of pureed onions and yoghurt.

Its a simple recipe, and makes a nice main, served best with an Indian bread like a roti or a simple paratha. Because it is a thick sauce, I don’t recommend it with rice. I’ll share a black pepper recipe for eating with rice in a few days.

Sorry, no image, We ate it all before photos. 😋


  • Prep Time : 40 minutes (including recomended time to marinade)
  • Cook Time : 30-40 minutes
  • Active Time : approximately 20 minutes


  1. 1.25 kg chicken pieces (Breast, Leg, Thigh) on the bone recommended.
  2. 2 ½ tablespoons of whole black pepper (Yes, it sounds a lot, but it will get tempered by the other items)
  3. 200 grams of whipped greek youghurt
  4. 200 grams of sliced onions
  5. 2 Bay leaves
  6. 4 cloves
  7. 1 Tablespoon of garlic paste
  8. 1/2 tablespoon of ginger paste
  9. Salt to taste
  10. 2-3 tablespoons of oil


  1. Grind the black pepper in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. You need a coarse grind
  2. Marinade the chicken in half the ground black pepper, 1 tbsp of oil, and the ginger and garlic pastes, 1 tsp of salt.
  3. Allow the chicken to marinade for at least half an hour.
  4. If rushed, you can cook the chicken directly also, but marinading is always better.
  5. In a thick bottomed pan, heat the remaining oil and add the bay leaves and the cloves.
  6. When they become aromatic and release thier smell, reduce the heat to low and add the onions.
  7. We need to soften the onions, not brown them. This gentle cooking removes their pungency.
  8. Once the onions are soft and translucent, remove them from the heat and pick out the bay leaves and the cloves.
  9. Grind the softened onions into a puree. Add a little water if necessary to get a smooth paste
  10. Meanwhile, brown the marinated chicken pieces in the pan
  11. Return the pan to high heat and add back the onion puree, the bay leaves and the cloves.
  12. Return the chicken to the onion puree in the pan and stir and mix everything together
  13. Add the remaining black pepper (reserve a large pinch for garnish)
  14. Reduce the heat to low, whip the greek youghurt and add it, stirring to mix everything together well
  15. Add upto 1/2 cup of warm / hot water to help blend everything together well. Season with salt at this point
  16. Cook for about 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the chicken. Check for seasoning again.
  17. You should have a thick curry napping the chicken.
  18. Serve hot, garnished with the reserved black pepper.


  1. Always add dairy on low heat to prevent it getting scorched and burning
  2. Use ghee instead of oil for cooking the onions, to give an interesting depth to the base
  3. Like most braises, stews and curries, this will be better the next day.

Eat in good health!