Chicken Kali Mirch, or Black Pepper Chicken Curry, is a rich and creamy chicken curry popular in North India and Pakistan. Also popularly called Murgh Kali Mirch, this fragrant and aromatic curry is made in a yogurt gravy with freshly ground black pepper. Serve with basmati rice or naan for a satisfying meal!
I have been on a roll with making a variety of Indian and Pakistani chicken curries as I am trying to add more protein to my everyday meals. But as you can expect, I am not one to enjoy just boiled or grilled chicken 😉
Today I am sharing this amazing chicken kali mirch, which is a black pepper chicken curry made in white gravy, similar to malai chicken. This is a creamy, smooth curry that everyone in the family can enjoy.
This curry has no tomatoes, and the sauce is made with onions, ginger, garlic and finished with yogurt.
As the name suggests, this curry has lots of black pepper, and I can tell you freshly ground black pepper is important for this curry. If you are making this curry for kids, reduce the amount of black pepper as needed.
Let’s get started and make this amazingly delicious chicken kali mirch.
Table of Contents
What is Chicken Kali Mirch?
Chicken Kali Mirch, also called “Black Pepper Chicken Curry,” is a chicken curry from North India. It is made with tender, juicy chicken pieces cooked in a spicy curry with lots of black pepper (kali mirch).
It is effortless and can be made with simple ingredients from your pantry. It is a great curry dish for non-vegetarians to serve at Eid parties or other events.
- Chicken: I used bone-in chicken for this curry. You can substitute with boneless chicken if you prefer.
- Oil or ghee: You can use ghee or oil to make this dish.
- Black pepper powder: This is what makes this chicken kali mirch curry stand out. They add excellent heat, a spicy kick, and a unique flavor to the curry. I highly recommend using freshly ground black pepper. You can also use whole black peppercorns and use a spice grinder or mortar and pestle to crush them.
- Spices: You’ll need cloves, green cardamoms, bay leaf, shahi jeera, coriander powder, cumin powder, and garam masala.
- Cashews: Adds richness and creaminess to the curry. You can also use almonds or melon seeds in place of them.
- Yogurt: The curry base is plain yogurt; I use homemade yogurt. Ensure it isn’t too sour.
- Onion: Add diced red or yellow onions.
- Ginger and garlic paste: These are intense flavors that make up the base of the gravy.
- Green chili: Green chilies are essential. The smell and taste of the green chilies significantly affect the final dish.
- Lime: This adds tanginess to the curry.
- Kasuri methi: This essential ingredient goes in at the end, making the whole dish come together.
- Cilantro: You’ll need it to garnish.
How To Make Chicken Kali Mirch
- Marinate the chicken with black pepper powder, lime juice, and salt, then cover and place it in the refrigerator for half an hour.
- Heat the oil in a pan. Sauté the onions, ginger, and garlic for around four to five minutes after adding them.
- Transfer the mixture to a grinder, add the cashews, and blend until it becomes a smooth paste.
- Heat some oil in a skillet and add all of the chicken pieces. Stir occasionally. Sear on all sides over high heat for two to three minutes.
- Remove the chicken pieces and set aside.
Kali Mirch Gravy
- In the same pan, heat the oil. Add the shahi jeera, bay leaf, green cardamom, and cloves, and let them sauté for a few seconds.
- Add the onion cashew paste and sauté for three to four minutes or until the oil separates.
- Add cumin and coriander powder, and give it a toss to combine the flavors.
- Add the chicken and cook it for another two to three minutes.
- Add in the whisked yogurt. Stir, then simmer for another two to three minutes.
- Cook with the cover on for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add Garam Masala, freshly crushed black pepper, green chilies, Kasuri methi, and slit green chili’s. If more salt is required, add it now. Give it a stir.
- Add water if needed to adjust the consistency of the gravy.
- Garnish with cilantro.
- Marination: The chicken must be marinated for at least 30 minutes. This allows the pepper and lime juice to work their magic and impart flavor to the chicken.
- Yogurt: When adding the yogurt to the sauce, ensure it is thoroughly mixed. Reduce the heat to a low setting before adding the yogurt. As soon as you add the yogurt, mix it immediately, and stir it while it is cooked over low heat.
- Make it less spicy: Don’t be stingy with the ground black pepper. It’s an essential ingredient. To make the dish less spicy, cut back on the number of green chilies or omit them entirely. Of course, if you are making this curry for kids, then reduce the amount of black pepper as needed.
- Cream: I did not add any cream to this curry. But you can surely add the cream just before adding the finishing ingredients such as kasoori methi.
You can also make chicken kali mirch dry; make sure not to add any water and let the chicken stew in the masala for a sufficient amount of time so that the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the masala sticks well to it.
What to pair with Chicken Kali Mirch?
For a hearty weeknight dinner, serve it with different types of Indian bread, like naan, phulka, or tawa paratha.
- The leftover Chicken Kali Mirch can be kept in the refrigerator for two to three days sealed in an airtight container. Before serving, reheat the curry in a microwave or a pan until it is hot.
- I do not advise you to freeze this curry since the curry can get lumpy once it is thawed.
Chicken, Lamb & Seafood
Chicken, Lamb & Seafood
Chicken, Lamb & Seafood
Chicken, Lamb & Seafood
Chicken Kali Mirch
- 3 tablespoon Oil, or ghee or both in 1:1 ratio, divided
- 4-5 Cloves (Laung)
- 3 Green Cardamom (Elaichi)
- 1 Bay leaf (Tej Patta)
- 1/2 teaspoon Shahi jeera
- 1 1/2 cup Onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon Garlic paste, or minced
- 1/2 tablespoon Ginger paste, or grated
- 8 Cashews
- 1 teaspoon Coriander powder (Dhaniya powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 2 Green Chili Pepper, slit lengthwise, optional
- 1/3 cup Plain Yogurt, whisked well
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1/2 teaspoon Black Peppercorns, freshly and coarsely crushed
- 1 teaspoon Dried Fenugreek leaves (Kasoori Methi)
- Cilantro leaves , chopped, to garnish
- Add chicken to a bowl. Add all ingredients mentioned under marination – salt, black pepper and lime juice. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee or oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Add the marinated chicken pieces. Cook until they are seared and lightly golden on all sides. Take the chicken out and set aside.
- In the same pan, add onions, ginger, and garlic. Saute for 4-5 minutes until the onions have softened.
- Transfer to a grinder, add cashews and make a paste.
- In the same pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of ghee or oil. Add shahi jeera, bay leaf, green cardamom, and cloves. Saute for 30 seconds so the whole spices release their flavor.
- Add onion cashew paste and saute for 4-5 minutes until oil separates. Add cumin and coriander powder, and give it a stir.
- Add the chicken back and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low. Add whisked yogurt and mix well. Keep stirring and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Cover with a lid and cook for 8-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in between once.
- Add Garam Masala, freshly crushed black pepper, Kasuri methi, and green chili's. Add more salt if needed. Give a stir. Add water if needed to adjust the consistency of the gravy.
- Garnish with cilantro. Serve chicken kali mirch with roti or naan.