Pepper was the spice of heat before chilli arrived on the continent with the Portuguese at the and of the 15th Century. It provides a sharp, intense heat and there is plenty of it through whole and crushed black pepper in this fresh-tasting dish from South India.
What you need… • 700g chicken, cut into 2cm-sized pieces • 100g coconut oil • 6 curry leaves • 0.5 teaspoon cumin seeds • 0.5 teaspoon black peppercorns • 1 onion, finely chopped • 1 teaspoon coriander powder • 0.5 teaspoon turmeric powder • 0.5 teaspoon cumin powder • 1 tomato cut into 1cm-sized piece • 1 Tablespoon chopped coriander stalks • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper • squeeze of lemon juice
How you make it… 1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and mix well with the chicken pieces. Leave for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight. 2. Heat the coconut oil in a pan to a high heat. Add the curry leaves, cumin seeds and peppercorns and fry for 10 seconds, moving quickly to avoid burning. 3. Turn down the heat, add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. 4. Add the coriander, turmeric and cumin powders, mix well and cook for 2 minutes. 5. Add the chicken with all the marinade and cook until all the chicken pieces are sealed (about 3 minutes) 6. Add the tomato and cook for 5 minutes. Add the black pepper and fry until the chicken is fully cooked. 7. Serve with a squeeze of lemon on top.