This Indian Black Pepper Curry is just the ticket if you're looking for a more unusual curry, not often seen on the menus of Indian restaurants outside India. It's most definitely one of my 10 Best Chicken Curry Recipes. Find out why...
I first ate this in a small town in Kerala, India. I'd been on the go for the entire day in a train that leaked fuel - right into my sleeper carriage, so upon arrival I was in absolutely no mood for anything. All I wanted to do was drink a gallon of water to salvage my lungs and eat something. So, once we'd checked into our hotel - I made a bee line for the restaurant downstairs.
There was no ordering involved in this particular restaurant. Young waiters weaved amongst the tables holding various hanging pots of food. One approached our table, nodded sideways and spooned a curry onto our plate. Another boy appeared and spooned over rice, as another boy arrived and offered chutneys and another offered poori breads and papadums, more waiters silently appeared intermittently, adding whatever they had to the growing pile. My grumpy mood gradually subsided, I began to forget about the last 8 hours on a rickety fume filled train. I vividly remember two things I ate from that meal - a splendid coconut cashew curry and THIS dish - a black pepper chicken curry, quite unlike any other I'd ever tasted.
Kerala - the finest black pepper in India
I subsequently learned, on a trip through the beautiful Keralan backwaters (above) that Kerala is famed for its black pepper. Before the introduction of chillies from South America in the 16th Century, peppercorns were the dominant spicing of Indian food. Peppercorns are still used in many dishes from the region to give a spice kick. The dominance of black pepper in this dish creates a very unique and appealing flavour. There is a notable spice kick from the pepper that lingers long after every mouthful. It's quite unlike the heat of chilli, so those seeking a new taste sensation will love this curry.
If you can find them, you can also add a few stems of fresh peppercorn stems in the last minutes of cooking to add more pepper flavour (see pic above). This is how it was served to us and it almost blew my head off with spice! It's not easy to find fresh peppercorns so, I don't include them. My taste buds approve.
More delicious South Indian curry recipes
So, if you're up for a different kind of curry, try this recipe - it had bucketloads of personality and a flavour like no other. If not, why not try one of my other South Asian curries? Maybe try the South Indian Salmon Curry recipe or my delicious Sri Lankan Thoramalu Fish Curry? Enjoy!