Homemade chicken and pepper curry
This chicken and pepper curry is a typical homemade curry that you can find in a Pakistani household. It’s a dish to get creative in using veggies in the curry. And it’s something you cook in a fairly short space of time.
And if you find it in a restaurant or a takeaway/ takeout, the dish will be slightly different.
Why did I say that? Because in a restaurant, it usually has more curry gravy and the pepper will be softly cooked to the point it’s almost mushy.
So if you like boneless chicken and you love pepper or capsicum as our friends in America call it, this dish is for you.
You can enjoy this curry with any flatbread such as chapati/ roti, naan bread, or pitta bread. And you can also eat it with plain basmati rice. All choices are tasty.
Succulent chicken and crunchy pepper
With this recipe you don’t cook the chicken for too long to get it succulent. The time you spent the most is in making the masala. Because you don’t have to let the pepper cook for a long time either. So that you will get a slightly crunchy pepper.
Now, of course you can always cook everything longer if you prefer soft texture for the chicken and the pepper.
I base the recipe on the Pakistani way of cooking curries (they call salan). So I don’t add too many spices.
Just like Pakistani salan (curry), I rely on onion, ginger, garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coarse black pepper, tomatoes, salt and oil. They’re pretty basic spices that you can get from almost any supermarket.
As for the chicken, I personally prefer boneless chicken breast. For two reasons. Firstly, because it’s very easy and quick to cook. Secondly, my boys are not keen on eating chicken with bones. They often end up leaving so much chicken meat on the bone if they’re given chicken with the bones.
But you can always choose any chicken you like.
The only thing I must remind you is that cooking chicken with bone will take longer. So bear in mind.
How to make the best chicken and pepper curry
The secret of making this chicken curry with peppers is to cook the masala sauce (curry gravy) until it is really cooked. Make sure you cook until you see the oil separated from the edges.
So you make the masala by frying the onion first. Let it cook until it’s light golden in colour and it releases aroma.
Then you add in the spices. From minced ginger-garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric powder, coarse black pepper, red chilli powder, and salt. Stir fry it until the spices smell delicious.
Next, stir the tomatoes in. and continue cooking until the tomatoes become very soft so that you can mash them with the back of your wooden spoon. Keep stirring and mashing the tomatoes. Add a little water if the spices look dry.
When you get a luscious smooth curry sauce, put the chicken pieces in it. Stir well until all pieces are covered with spice sauce and cook further at medium high heat.
Keep checking and turning the chicken pieces.
You can put the pan lid on for about 5 minutes to ensure the poultry is cooked through.
Once the chicken is cooked through – which takes approximately 15-20 minutes – you can stir the peppers in. Leave to cook more. About 2-3 minutes until the heat is just through the pepper and turn the heat off.
Leave the curry to completely cool down before storing it in food containers and keeping it in the fridge/ refrigerator. This chicken and pepper curry keeps well in the fridge for about 3-4 days. Just make sure you heat through before serving.
You can also freeze this chicken dish for 2 months.
When you want to serve it, take the dish out of the freezer the night before serving and leave it in the fridge/ refrigerator overnight. So it will thaw properly.
More chicken recipes
Thank you for reading this chicken and pepper curry. I hope you’re now intrigued to try it. When you do, can you please share what you think about it in the comment box below? I’ll really appreciate it.
And before you go, take a look at my other chicken recipes that you may like.
- Chicken karahi: classic dry chicken curry in Pakistani style.
- Achari chicken: spicy chicken in pickle curry sauce.
- Chicken seekh kebabs.
Take care and all the best.
Chicken and Pepper Curry
- Chopping board
- Kitchen knife
- Food chopper
- Cooking pan
- Wooden spoon
- 1.5 pounds boneless chicken. I usually use skinless and boneless chicken thighs.
- 2 medium-sized bell peppers.
- 2 small onions.
- 5 cloves garlic.
- 1- inch ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin.
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander.
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder.
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika powder.
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder.
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground or coarse black pepper.
- 1 teaspoon salt.
- ½ can tinned tomatoes see the note.
- 1 cup water.
- ⅓ cup cooking oil.
- Clean and cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Set aside.
- Peel and slice the onions.
- Peel the garlic and ginger then grind them into paste OR chop them as fine as possible. Set aside.
- In your cooking pot, heat the oil then put the chopped onions in. Fry until the onions become light golden.
- Add in the ginger-garlic paste to the onions. Continue frying for a minute then put all the spices and salt in. Stir well and cook further until you can smell the aroma from the spice.
- Then put the tomatoes in the spice mixture, give it a stir and cook further with a lid on at low heat. Keep checking and stirring every now and again. Try to mash the tomatoes every time you mix it.
- When you see the liquid evaporate from your spice mix/ masala, put ½ cup of water in and give it a good stir and mash the tomatoes. Your mixture will look like a thick sauce by now.
- Give another ½ cup of water to your spice mixture and keep stirring until all blended well. And let it cook further at low heat until the sauce becomes thick and the oil separates from the spice.
- You can now put your chicken pieces in. Give a good stir until all chicken pieces coated with the sauce. Put the lid on and cook at medium-high heat.
- Take care of your curry and keep checking and stirring every now and then.
- The chicken releases quite a bit of juice that it will make your curry very runny. If this happens, you can slightly open the lid and put heat on high. Just make sure you keep checking and stirring so that the chicken won’t get burned.
- When all the liquid evaporates, and the oil separates (again), you can put your peppers pieces in.
- Give your curry a good stir, put the lid back and let it cook.
- The regular chicken and peppers curry that most people or restaurants make always have softened peppers. Because they cook the peppers until fully and thoroughly cooked. So if you like softened cooked peppers in your curry, you can let your pepper chicken curry to cook for about 10-15 minutes more after you put peppers in.
- Just make sure you keep checking because the peppers release their juice as well. And that can make your curry a little runny. Although there is nothing wrong with that. It’s just that this pepper chicken curry is supposed to have thick masala and not runny.
- My family and I prefer to have the vegetables crunchy. So I only cook the peppers for about a minute or two after I put them in the pot. I leave that to your personal choice, ok?
- When your chicken and pepper curry are ready, you can enjoy it with chapati/ roti, naan bread, pitta bread, or plain Basmati rice.
- You can make this curry with regular chicken as well. For this recipe, you can use one baby chicken which I sometimes do as well.
- If you don’t have canned tomatoes, you can use 2 medium-size fresh tomatoes. Just chop them in small pieces.
- The key to cooking Pakistani/ Indian curry is that you have to be patient in making the masala – the cooked spices with tomatoes, etc. Because you really want to get your masala well-cooked until it looks smooth and thick with the oil separated from the spices.
Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.