Murgh KaliMirch – Indian BlackPepper Chicken

Sinfully Spicy: Murgh KaliMirch - Indian BlackPepper Chicken

As the name suggests, the star here is fresh ground kali mirch or coarse black peppercorn. Combined with lots of ginger & garlic, black peppercorns provide an uncomplicated kick to the dish – which turns out to be the highlight. Succulent chicken coated in a thick masala –  I like to serve this as starter or snack with drinks. The particular thing that I absolutely like about this dish is the color from turmeric,which makes it so bright & appetizing. Less oil & easy to cook, this one is sure to delight all those of you who feel that indian recipes are difficult to follow.

It is always worth having such special recipes up your sleeve for those lazy supper nights or when you have unexpected guests at home.This one is versatile – you can wrap up inside flatbreads & veggies to make rolls or top your pizza with it.I sometimes shred the leftovers into bits & stuff inside puff pastry dough & bake for a quick brunch.

Serves – 2-3

Preparation time – 25 minutes (includes marination time)

Cooking time – 20 minutesIngredients
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2″ cubes
  • For garnish – chopped cilantro, scallions
  • Fresh lemon/lime juice (to taste)

To marinate :-

  • 2 tbsp thick plain yogurt
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh lemon/lime juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2″ fresh ginger root, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp black peppercorns, coarsely ground
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For tempering :-

  • 2 tbsp mustard oil (substitute with sunflower/vegetable/canola oil)
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 serrano chillies, chopped (adjust to tolerance)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt (to adjust)

Method :-

Marinate the chicken in all the ingredients listed for 20 minutes, refrigerated. Once ready to cook, take out the marinated chicken from the refrigerator & let sit on countertop.

In a thick bottomed, wide mouthed pan, heat up the oil on high.If using mustard oil, heat it to a point when its slightly smoky.For other oils, heat up till you see ripples on the surface. Meanwhile, using a mortar & pestle, coarsely grind the coriander & cumin.Once the oil is heated, reduce the heat to medium & wait for 2 minutes. Add the mustard seeds & let them crackle.About 10-15 seconds. Also, add the chillies next & let them crisp up for another 10-15 seconds. Tip :- Be extra careful, mustard seeds & chillies splutter a lot when added to oil. 

Next, add the coarsely ground spices to the oil & stir for about 30-35 seconds or till you smell the aroma. Start adding marinated chicken 5-6 pieces at a time to the pan and  stir-fry over high heat for few minutes, tossing continuously.Repeat with another batch of chicken pieces. The idea is to lightly brown the outside of the chicken but still keep it juicy inside.Lower the heat once all the chicken has been added.Add the leftover marinade(if any) & stir frequently. Cook on low heat till the oil separates on the sides of the pan and the chicken is cooked. About 12-15 minutes. You can cover the pan for last 3-4 minutes of cooking. Adjust the salt, toss well and remove.Let sit covered for atleast 10 minutes before serving.

Garnish with chopped cilantro or scallions, squeeze fresh lemon juice & serve hot.


Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!

29 thoughts on “Murgh KaliMirch – Indian BlackPepper Chicken

  1. One of my all time favorites – Indian style black pepper chicken.:) Awesome shot of black peppers and the 2nd shot is really well done!
    Btw, I am subscribed to your blog via email & FB. Usually, I get an email when you post. For some reason, this time I didn’t get any email. Not sure if something is wrong.. just thought I’d let you know.

  2. Have never cooked this, but as I love my curries on the dry side and adore pepper and turmeric, this recipe is well and truly bookmarked! Oh, it looks yummy . . . 🙂 !

  3. This’s so inviting, Tanvi! We love the heat from pepper in meat, and I so want to taste this now. Photos are first-class, as always, and I’ve pinned a few to my boards 🙂

  4. Oh Tanvi – Looking at the pictures and the recipe, I know I’ll enjoy the chicken dish immediately. I cook chicken with similar combination sometimes, minus the tempering of spices though. It’s more like a Malaysian-fusion version:) How funny that all moms are the same! My mom too cringes when I tell her how I tweak my family’s recipes or finding shortcuts to do things. The only way to get her approval is when I get her to try the successful ‘modified’ dish:) This is a really nice recipe, I should really try out tempering the additional spices when time allows.

  5. Faith (An Edible Mosaic) – I’m Faith and I blog at where I share my recipe collection of international favorites and updated American classics, with an emphasis on seasonal dishes. I focus on real foods that sustain body and mind, bring people together, and make a house a home. Come check out my mosaic of recipes.
    Faith on said:

    This looks fantastic, Tanvi. It can be a lot of fun to play with old favorite family recipes…and maybe even turn them into whole new dishes that become new family favorites. I know this one would be a huge hit in my family! 🙂

  6. This sounds incredible and your photos are stunning. Though there is nothing quite like the way mom made things, a little tweaking never hurt anyone and who knows you could create something magical! 🙂

  7. Woah… another beautiful photography Tanvi. Simple curry chicken dish never been so beautiful. I need to reduce spice level for me and kids but this is something I’d love to give it a try. Looks YUMMY!

  8. I am certainly saving this recipe. It has all of the flavors I love. Beautiful photos!

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  10. Nurul – London and Siem Reap, Cambodia – Hi, I am Nurul. Bangladeshi by birth, British by mind, German by past lifetime, and Cambodian by family!! I love food, travel, music, dance and technology!!!
    nurulthecook on said:

    Looks delicious. Beautiful Pictures. My parents are the same when me or my sisters cook. But over the years they accept that we change their recipes and make new ones out of them. But they still insist that the traditional Bengali way is the best!!

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  12. really love this recipe !!! cooked it today, very nice spicy and dry curry !! But I don’t know where to find serrano chillies in the Netherlands ( I replaced it with one “spanish peper” (lombok) and a jalapeno pepper. Is there a subsitute for serrano peppers ?

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    Chowringhee on said:

    That dish looks fantastic and your pictures are perfect! looking very nice and yummy..

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