Murgh Kali Mirch. A flavorful black pepper chicken dish made using freshly ground whole spices.

Black pepper. Kali Mirch. One of my favorite spices, for its versatility, flavor, and depth. Black pepper is native to present-day Kerala, a state on the southwestern coast of India. It is extensively cultivated there and in other tropical regions. Peppercorn is used as a spice and a seasoning, and not to forget as traditional medicine.

Most chicken dishes extensively use ground black pepper in the marinade. It acts as a wonderful base for the marinade. Chicken is a preferred source of protein at home here. I grew up in a vegetarian household and only ate chicken at restaurants with friends. Over time, I now enjoy cooking chicken at home for the family. The base is so neutral that is always adventurous to play around with flavors.

I love creating spice blends and this particular one I used for this version is so flavorful. I have not used any store-bought masalas used here that make so much of a difference. Freshly roasted and ground masalas have their own charm and elevate the dish to another level, I’m sure you’ll agree. I make use of whole cumin, fennel, coriander seeds, some fenugreek, and a whole lot of black pepper here. I lightly roast these spices until they are slightly aromatic and then grind them on a mortar-pestle.

Murgh Kali Mirch

We love South Indian food and this curry is so good with ghee rice and dosas. My personal preference is piping hot dosas dunked into this black pepper chicken. My little one went a step ahead and began to eat idlis with this one day ! I love curry leaves as well and have added some while cooking the chicken. You may choose to omit if you are not a big fan.

After the spice blend is ready, this is a very basic no-fuss recipe. The chicken slow cooks on its own and is ready in under an hour. I prefer to leave the chicken untouched and covered for about 30 minutes before serving hot with either malabar parathas, ghee rice, or even dosas.

Hope you do try this very delicious Murgh Kali Mirch and love it as much as we do. It is a very flavorful dish that will not disappoint you.

Murgh Kali Mirch – How to make Black Pepper Chicken

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Murgh Kali Mirch. A flavorful black pepper chicken dish made using freshly ground whole spices.


  • 1.5 lb Chicken Thighs (you may use boneless/ bone-in or a mix of both)
  • ¾ cup Greek/thick yogurt
  • 2 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp Coarsely ground black peper
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder (optional)
  • 1 Large Red Onion (finely sliced)
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Piece of Ginger (about an inch long)
  • 1-2 Green chilies
  • 2 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp Black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp Fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 10 Curry leaves
  • ¼ cup Finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 4 tbsp Oil of your choice (I used Avocado oil)
  • 1 tsp Ghee (optional)
  • Salt (to taste)


  • Take the chicken and cut into 1.5 inch pieces and keep aside.
  • In a bowl, add the yogurt, ginger garlic paste, black pepper and kashmiri red chili powder. Add about 1 teaspoon salt and give this a mix. Add the chicken pieces, mix very well. Cover, refrigerate and let marinate for about an hour or two. You can also let this marinate overnight if you have the time.
  • In a small pan, add the coriander, cumin, fennel and fenugreek seeds. Let them roast on low flame for about 2-3 minutes only until then fragnant and lighty toasted. Do ensure that they do not burn.
  • Coarsely grind them on a stone mortar and pestle preferably. Thats how I like to grind the whole spices. If not, you may use a spice/ coffee grinder to make a coarse spice blend.
  • Coarsely grind the ginger, garlic cloves and green chilies as well.
  • Heat a Dutch oven or a heavy bottomed pan. Add oil and let it turn warm.
  • Add the ginger garlic chili paste. Let it saute for 2-3 minutes after which add the finely sliced onions. Cook these for about 5-7 minutes until they become light golden brown.
  • If you have marinated the chicken, remove from the refrigerator at least 30-45 minutes prior to cooking. After removing, transfer the marinated chicken into the pan and give it a good mix. At this stage, add the curry leaves too.
  • Keep stirring the chicken for about 10 minutes on medium flame, after which cover the pan and let cook on low to medium flame.
  • Remove the lid after 20 minutes, add the coarse dry spice mix and mix well with the chicken. Checking for seasoning and add any extra salt if needed.
  • Add a cup (or two) of warm water depending on the desired consistency, mix and let the chicken cook covered for another 10 minutes or so.
  • Switch off the flame when the chicken has cooked through and keep the pan covered for a minimum of 30 minutes to let all the flavors soak in well.
  • Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander leaves and a tablespoon of ghee (optional). This chicken is good with parathas, ghee rice and even dosas.
Author: Neha
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Keyword: Black Pepper, Black Pepper Chicken, Chicken, Murgh Kali Mirch

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