Peppery chicken curry

Peppery chicken curry.
Peppery chicken curry. Photo: Marina Oliphant

When the weather turns cold, my thoughts turn to simple Indian curries, with lots of spices to warm me up with their delicious and complex flavours. This is a very simple but tasty curry that uses pantry staples. Ghee adds an authentic flavour but vegetable oil is a good substitute.


1kg chicken casserole pieces

2 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp minced ginger

Pinch salt

2 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp ground turmeric

Pinch saffron

3 tsp black peppercorns, freshly crushed

4 onions

5 tbsp ghee (or vegetable oil)

Fresh coriander to garnish

Steamed rice to serve


Place chicken in a shallow bowl. Mix together garlic, ginger, salt, vinegar, turmeric, saffron and one teaspoon pepper. Spread over the chicken and leave to marinate.

Peel and chop two onions. Place in food processor and blend to a paste. Slice remaining onions and set aside. Heat ghee in a deep pan. Add sliced onions and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes until softened and golden. Add onion paste and continue to cook over low heat for 10 minutes until golden brown.

Add chicken and marinade and cook, stirring to coat all sides and brown the meat. Add 200 millilitres of water, bring to a simmer and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, until the chicken is tender. Serve garnished with coriander and ground black pepper.