In medieval Europe, black pepper was kept under lock and key, because of its high scarcity value. Now we can afford to liberate the peppercorns! Cooking with Indian spices is like alchemy: the other spices here make the black pepper in the recipe come alive, bringing a mouthwatering magic.
Grind all the ingredients for the pepper masala in a coffee or spice
grinder to form a fine powder.
Mix the pepper masala with the ginger, garlic, turmeric, vinegar and
salt to taste in a bowl and add the chicken.
Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for two hours.
Heat the oil in a deep pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds
and, as soon as they crackle, add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves,
cardamom pods and peppercorns.
Add the onions and fry until golden brown.
Now add the tomato and continue to cook until thoroughly incorporated into the onion mixture.
Add the marinated chicken and sauté for a few minutes to allow the natural juices of the chicken to evaporate.
Add just enough water - about 150ml – to cook the chicken.
Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and braise for about 15 minutes, uncovered.
When almost cooked, adjust the seasoning with salt and add the coriander. Finally, add the slit green chillies and serve.