Tuesday 3 January 2012

A Cracking Curry

I am a little curried out at the moment.  My slow-cooker lends itself so happily to curries, that I think I might have almost overdosed recently and so when I saw that the Sweet Heat Challenge, over at  Food, Foot-ball and a Baby  this month, was "Lets Rock Indian", my first thought was actually, "Lets not."  But then I needed something really super-easy for dinner that I could chuck in the slow-cooker and forget and I remembered this really delicious chicken dish that I found in Anjum Anand's "Indian Food Made Easy" and I had been vowing to make again.  This is a very authentic, traditional curry which appears to derive from Kerala, in South West India where Black Peppercorns are thought to originate from. 

What I love about this recipe is that the main spice is black pepper and I often forget what a fantastic ingredient it is.  Although I throw it into almost everything I cook, I often overlook it's fragrant, almost floral perfume.  It has a hint of citrus and manages to be really over-powering but incredibly delicate at the same time. However, like any spice I suppose, black pepper looses its aroma really quickly and it seems the finer ground it is, the quicker it looses its fragrance.  So when the recipe says course ground, I recommend that the consistancy you are aiming for is more cracked than ground.  If you can't be bothered to hand crack your pepper then make sure you just pulse it in a coffee grinder, shaking it well between each pulse and do not over-grind.

Chicken with Peppercorns and Shredded Ginger
I have upped the ginger in this recipe, just because I love it and adapted it for the slow-cooker but you can just cook it on the stove top if you like.  Reduce the cooking time to two hours, as slow as possible.

9 or 10 large cloves of garlic, peeled
20g fresh ginger, peeled
1 tsp garam masala
1 chicken stock cube, dissolved in 3 tbsp hot water

Other ingredients

1 kg chicken joints, skinned with all visable fat removed
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1-2 green chilli, to taste
20g fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp ground coriander
salt, to taste
200ml water
1 tbsp coarse ground or crushed black peppercorns
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp lemon juice
1 large handful of fresh chopped coriander

Blend the garlic, ginger, garam masala and stock together to make a paste with a hand blender. Then cover the chicken with it and leave in the fridge for at least an hour. I leave it over-night. Heat oil in pan and add the onion and sauté for 6-8 minutes until brown. Add the chilli, ginger, ground coriander and salt, leave to cook for about a minute. Add the chicken to the pan and brown each side. Pour in the water and pepper, bring to the boil then tip the whole lot into the slow-cooker.  Cook for 3 hours on slow.  Tip the whole lot into a large saucepan and turn up the heat and leave for 3-4 minutes to reduce the sauce. Stir in the garam masala, lemon juice and coriander and serve.


  1. This is such an amazing looking dish. I am so glad you decided to share it with us after all :-) I agree with you about the slow cooker lending itself brilliantly to curries, makes life a lot easier, doesn't it? Plus, it also mellows out the spices, making curries such a breeze.

    I absolutely adore the pictures on your blog as well. You've just got a new follower :-)

    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing curry on Sweet Heat!

  2. What a brilliant recipe, I adore black pepper. I don't have a slow cooker but will cook slowly in the oven.

  3. Please can I have a plate of this right now!?! Looks amazing! I know what you mean about taking pepper for granted - I'm the same. Definitely looking forward to giving this one a go!

    Thanks for taking part in this month's Sweet Heat x

  4. Thanks for all your lovely comments. I really appreciate them.

  5. Always on the lookout for curry/slow cooked recipes, this is perfect, photography is great, makes me want to eat it right now!

  6. I love the fact that this can be made in the slow cooker. The meat looks so tender too - just falling off the bone.

  7. I've done quite a few of your slow cooker recipes and they have so far been delicious.

    However, this one didn't really work for me as the it was overwhelmed by the taste of raw garlic. I browned the chicken as instructed but didn't remove the marinade. Was I supposed to remove the marinade?

    The only thing I can think is that I fried the chicken in 2 batches and put the first batch in the slow cooker so only the second batch was boiled with the water and pepper. Would this make a difference?

  8. I love cooked garlic but raw garlic! Yuk! Not a big fan at all. It is really important to cook out the garlic before it goes in the slow-cooker. 3 hours on low is a very short time for a slow-cooker so if you don't fry the garlic first, which is really best, then it is imperative that you boil the sauce for a good few minutes first before placing it in the slow-cooker. The sauce is then reduced again at the end so by then it should taste great. I am so pleased that you have tried out some of my other recipes and have liked them, so I really hope you give this another go because it really is delicious. x

  9. Black pepper corns is king of spices. black peppercorns are left on the vine longer so they develop a deep, rich flavor.

    Thanks you for information !!!

  10. Great copy and paste of Anjum anand's family recipe


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