Spicy Pepper Chicken recipe

Spicy Pepper Chicken Stir Fry

Spicy Pepper Chicken Stir Fry is a hot and spicy, ridiculously easy, delicious aromatic South Indian dish.Best paired with chapati’s/roti’s or with steamed rice and dhal.Made with just a handful of basic ingredients, this dish is perfect for a rainy days and during cold winter as it packs a punch.

Spicy Pepper Chicken Recipe
Spicy Pepper Chicken Stir Fry

If you are looking for juicy tender chicken in a rich, aromatic and smoky flavor, this Spicy Pepper Chicken recipe would fit perfectly.

It can be served as a starter, or as a dry, greasy side dish with steamed rice and Indian flat breads like chapati/roti/naan.Loaded with healthy lean protein, this dish is sure to entice your taste buds.

What makes this dish hot and spicy?

Spices are such an integral part of Indian cuisine. They come in all shapes and forms and are widely used in Indian cooking. Be it as a whole spice or in its ground version, sometimes even in a paste form, Indian cooking is nothing without these flavorful aromatic spices.

The spices added, gives this dish its flavor and the spicy touch.

What spices are used in preparing this dish?

One of the things that people find intimidating about cooking Indian food is the vast array of spices used — both whole and ground, which are often combined into complex spice mixes.

This dish, like the name suggests has an ample portion of the spice, black pepper in it. Read all about the spice black pepper in my post here.

Apart from black pepper other spices like

are also added in this dish. In short, this dish is greatly influenced by blooming of the spices.

My E-Book on Indian Spices

Before venturing into Indian cooking, your first step is to know the names of the commonly used Indian spices, how they look and understand the flavors they impart in a dish.

You can learn all about the 25 essential Indian Spices commonly used in cooking, their names, origin, appearance, flavors and their health benefits in my E-book ,” A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Indian Spices” here. 

In my E-book, I give you a list of 25 essential Indian spices ,with colored pictures of each Indian spice to help you identify it better, list their health benefits and talk about how to incorporate each spice into your cooking.

Get it here now, or by clicking the image below and add it to your collection of recipe books.

E book on Indian Spices
E-Book : A Complete Guide to Indian Spices

If you know a friend or family member who is interested in Indian cooking and wants to learn about Indian spices and how to use them in cooking delicious food, my E-book ,“A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Indian spices “ would be a perfect gift.

The fact is, unless you understand each spice , how they look , the flavor they impart, when & how to use them in cooking, it is going to be impossible to cook a deliciously authentic Indian dish.

My E-book ,“A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Indian Spices” will make Indian cooking with spices, a breeze for you!

What is meant by “Blooming” spices?

Spices are naturally fragrant, but to reach their full flavor potential, they need our help. Cracking and grinding spices is part of the equation. But it’s heat that really wakes up the aromatic oils in the spices. Toasting (dry heat) and blooming in oil (moist heat) are classic techniques.

Blooming is a technique where spices are added to hot oil, to release and amplify the flavor of the spice.It is important to remember that most of the flavor of spices is carried by the essential oils present in them.

How to bloom whole spices?

  • Heat the oil over medium heat until it’s hot but not smoking.
  • Add the whole spices and cook until very fragrant and little bubbles form around the spices. Don’t let them brown.
  • You can then add other ingredients to the hot pan and proceed with your recipe.

In this dish, I have used whole spices mostly, but if you are using ground spices make sure that you simmer the heat, since ground spice can get burnt easily and turn bitter.

Read all about Indian spices, storing them and the various techniques involved in Indian cooking in my post on The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Indian Spices, here.

How to make Spicy Pepper Chicken Stir Fry?

South Indian cuisine is very diverse. Each region in a state has its own twist to the flavors in a dish. This Spicy Pepper Chicken recipe originates from the Kongu region in the state of Tamil Nadu.

This dish can be prepared in a dry greasy form or as a curry, according one’s preference.The difference between the two is in letting the curry cook until the water evaporates to form a dry, greasy chicken dish.

The key to this succulent signature dish from the South lies in the use of freshly ground black pepper. The black pepper, is what adds heat, while the red chili powder aids in the spiciness of the dish.

Whole Black Pepper is bloomed along with the other spices mentioned earlier and ground into a fine paste.This spice paste is then added to the chicken and allowed to cook in its own steam.

This dish the Spicy Pepper Chicken is unique in that it uses less amount of spices compared to my other chicken curry dishes, yet it is one of the most flavorful dishes in my collection of chicken recipes and a hot favorite at home.

Spicy Black Pepper Chicken Recipe

Spicy Pepper Chicken Stir Fry

Spicy Pepper Chicken Stir Fry

Recipe by Maya Shetty
0.0 from 0 votes

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  • 1 whole Chicken cut into desired size pieces

  • 1 large Onion finely sliced

  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil

  • 2 tbsp Black pepper corns adjust as per your taste

  • 1 inch Cinnamon

  • 2 Cardamom

  • 3 -4 Cloves

  • 1 tsp Jeera/Cumin seeds

  • 1 tbsp Coriander seeds

  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili powder optional

  • 1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste

  • To taste Salt

  • 1/2 Lemon juice to squeeze on top at the end

  • 10 -12 Curry leaves


  • Clean and cut the chicken pieces into required size and set aside.
  • Next in a cooking pan, add the coconut oil , when warm add the whole spices one by one and gently bloom the spices on medium heat taking care not to roast them for too long (lest they turn bitter). This step is essential for the essential oils to be liberated from the spices. Set aside and allow it to cool a bit before blending it into a fine paste.You may add a tsp or two of water while blending into a paste.
  • Now in the same pan with the oil fry the finely sliced onion till golden brown.To this add the turmeric powder and curry leaves and stir a bit.
  • Next add the clean and cut chicken pieces along with salt to taste, stir them well and allow the chicken to cook in its own steam for a few minutes after covering the pan with the lid.
  • Now to the above, add the blended spice paste on the tender moist chicken, making sure the spice paste coats all of the chicken.Turmeric and red chili powder is added next, and stirred in with the ground paste making sure the chicken pieces are well coated. You may add 1/2 cup of water at this stage or just allow the chicken to cook in its own steam, since chicken releases water when cooked.
  • When the water begins to evaporate and the gravy gets thicker, add the ginger garlic paste and stir a few minutes, before removing from flame.
  • Squeeze lemon juice on top and serve hot with steamed rice or Indian flat breads like chapati/roti’s.


  • Addition of Red Chili powder is completely optional, if you want it spicy, addition of red chili power would help.
  • If you only want the heat but not the spiciness, then black pepper alone would do the trick.
  • In this dish, I did not add curry leaves, since I ran out of them.Addition of curry leaves gives this dish an added flavor.
  • I prefer using whole spices to bloom since they have the perfect flavor I desire in a dish, ground spices which has been sitting in a rack don’t have the same potency as freshly ground whole spices. But it is totally up to you, to choose either whole or ground spices for the recipe. Its important to remember that when using ground spices to bloom, do not roast them for long since they turn bitter.Always roast on medium flame to avoid burning the spices.

Nutrition Facts

  • Amount Per ServingCalories1606
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 36g 56%
    • Saturated Fat 26g 130%
  • Cholesterol 1mg 1%
  • Sodium 88mg 4%
  • Potassium 2764mg 79%
  • Total Carbohydrate 431g 144%
    • Dietary Fiber 271g 1084%
    • Sugars 19g
  • Protein 25g 50%

  • Vitamin A 46%
  • Vitamin C 315%
  • Calcium 510%
  • Iron 250%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

List of my Chicken recipes (dry preparations)

Do check out my other recipes with chicken (dry preparations) by clicking on any of the recipes in the list below.

The Bottom Line

If you are someone who loves spicy succulent chicken this dish is a must try. The dish, the Spicy Pepper Chicken Fry, brings the authentic flavors from the South of India.

Do give it a try and let us know how it turned out for you.

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