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Pepper chicken

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Pepper or Milagu in Tamil is considered as the King of Spices as it is a stimulant, carminative, aphrodisiac, diuretic and digestive in the traditional Indian medicine. Pepper Chicken as described here is a highly nutritious side dish in a traditional South Indian Non vegetarian Meal. The addition of coconut is typical of West coast cuisine. It adds body to the spices and complements the hot taste of Pepper. This Kozhi Milagu Varuval as they say in Tamil, is one of the popular side dishes of Tamil Nadu.

You can make this as dry or with little liquid as per your need. Dry Pepper Chicken usually goes as a side dish for rice whilst the slightly liquid type Varuval can be the accompaniment to Rotis, Bread or Phulkas.

Cooking Tips : Cooking meat in high heat releases delicious aroma and enhances the flavor due to what is called as a Maillard reaction - a kind of browning reaction. Cooking is a matter of as much science as it is an art. When you sear a meat in high heat, the meat surface undergoes this browning Maillard reaction that depends on moisture present inside the meat and the temperature in which the meat is cooked. The delectable flavor and the distinctive aroma released during this reaction is important when it comes to cooking. In this chicken recipe, you can sear the chicken, dusted with a little pepper powder and salt and marinated in a vegetable oil for at least 30 minutes. The high heat seals the moisture inside the chicken and gives an appetizing brown appearance.

Some add freshly ground black pepper fried in clarified butter or ghee with curry leaves to give a coat of spice. This technique adds a masala punch. Add a sprig of Curry leaves at the end.


Boneless Chicken -250 gms (medium pieces)
Onion - 2 nos.
Tomatoes - 2 nos.
Green chilli - 3-4 nos.
Coriander - medium bunch
Coconut - 3 pieces.
Oil - 150 gms.
Salt to taste


  • Make gravy of onion, tomatoes, green chilli, coriander and coconut.

  • Use a medium size pressure cooker and heat it.

  • Pour oil. Wait for 2 minutes

  • Add chicken pieces.

  • Allow the chicken pieces to shrink in size slightly.

  • Add gravy, if required add ½ glass of water.

  • Wait for 3 whistles.

  • Open to check if water is well absorbed.

  • If required, transfer to a kadai and cook in low flame till dry.

South Indian Recipes -Pepper chicken