Black pepper played an important part of Indian cuisine before the introduction of chilli by the Portuguese in the 16th Century. Notice to the Indian sub continent, peppercorns have a hot, spicy flavour, making them the perfect ingredient to add a kick to the cuisine.
I first ate this chicken curry in a small coastal town of Varkala in Kerala, Southern India. Kerala is famed for its Malabar Pepper, considered the finest India has to offer. They lend an intriguing heat to this sauce, a slow growing heat that lingers. This recipe creates a spicy curry quite unlike any other, the juicy chicken is perfect to soak up all the fiery flavour that the black pepper imparts.
I was lucky enough to sample some fresh Malabar peppercorns, from the vine on a trip through the amazing Keralan backwaters – they were incredibly spicy and delicious! If you’re lucky enough to ever find fresh peppercorns in the store, you can add them during the last 10 minutes of cooking and infuse their heat to up the ante on your spice challenge.