Pepper Chicken/ Kerala Style Lemon Pepper chicken

“Pepper Chicken” is a classic version of ‘Kurumulaku (Black Pepper) chicken roast’ that is popular in Kerala Cuisine. It is a traditional chicken dish; the chicken gets the flavors from crushed Pepper corns and spices. Chicken is roasted in spicy brown gravy laced with lime for tanginess and the main hero of the dish “Black Pepper corns” makes it a great savory delight! Pepper Chicken is quite easy to prepare with simple ingredients that is readily available at home. I have made it more appealing with fried toppings, so, it is a perfect dish to serve your guests in gourmet style or even pep up your weekend dinner!

‘Pepper Chicken with lime’ is best enjoyed with rice, SimplePulao, Paneer Pulao, Roti or Whole wheat Naan. Chicken with bones is best for this style of preparation compared to boneless Chicken pieces. You can fry some Red Bell Pepper (Capsicum) to add to the appeal. This healthy chicken dish is great for chilly nights as the pepper adds warmth and the lime give it a tangy kick.You may also like my Kanthari chicken roast, Chicken 65, Thattukada style chicken fry and Masala Chicken Roast and Easy Chicken roast recipes.

The recipe calls for crushed Black Pepper corns, but, I have modified it with half measure of pepper powder to suit my kids’ taste buds. If you like it the spicy way, prepare it with additional crushed pepper instead of pepper powder. Also, check out how to make Garam Masala at home, as it plays an important role to enhance the flavors. Also, use Coconut oil to prepare this special “Pepper Chicken with lime” as it adds to the unique flavors and makes it nothing short of a masterpiece! Need I say more??

Prep. Time: 25 mts.

Serves : 5


Chicken: 1 kg.
Lime: 1 no.
Onion: 2 nos.
Garlic: 6 -8 cloves
Ginger: 1’ piece
Curry leaves: 4 sprigs
Green Chilly: 6 nos.
Ginger Garlic Paste: 1 tbsp
Corn Flour: 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp
Pepper powder:  1 ½ tsp
Garam Masala Pdr: 1  heaped tsp
Whole Black Pepper Corns: 1 ½ tbsp
Cardamom (whole): 2 -3 nos.
Tomato: 1 big
Coconut oil: as required


  1. Clean the chicken and drain. Marinate chicken pieces with half a lime, salt, 1 tsp Pepper Powder, turmeric powder and Corn flour. Keep covered in fridge for half hour to one hour.
  2. Slice the onions. Slit Green chilies. Halve the Garlic and Julienne Ginger.
  3. Heat a pan and pour little Coconut oil. Fry the garlic first, then ginger, slit green chilies (3) and curry leaves. Drain and keep aside.
    Pepper Chicken With Lime (Kerala Style) Pepper Chicken With Lime (Kerala Style)
  4. In the same oil, roast the marinated chicken for 5 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
    Pepper Chicken With Lime (Kerala Style)
  5. In the same pan, pour little more oil and sauté the sliced onions, curry leaves and 3 slit green chilies.

    Pepper Chicken With Lime (Kerala Style)
  6. Add the ginger Garlic paste next and sauté for some more time.
  7. Now add turmeric powder, Pepper Powder (½ tsp) and Garam Masala.

    Pepper Chicken With Lime (Kerala Style)
  8. Sauté well and mix in the cubed tomatoes and fry for few minutes.
  9. Add Chicken pieces, combine well and add toasted and crushed pepper corns and crushed cardamom.Pepper Chicken With Lime (Kerala Style) Pepper Chicken With Lime (Kerala Style)
  10. Add juice of half a lime and half cup water. Cover and cook till done. The gravy should be thick.
  11. Garnish with the fried garlic, ginger and chilies. Serve hot with Rice, Naan or Rotis.


  • Green chilly should be medium spicy. If it is too hot, add less.
  • Adjust the spices according to your spice level.
  • The gravy should be thick, so add water carefully. Cook covered and stir in between.
  • Garlic, Ginger and green chilies are fried for garnishing. You may also fry Red colored Capsicum for added appeal.
  • Coconut oil should be used for best results.
  • I always use homemade Garam Masala. Check how to make Garam Masala at home.
  • You may increase the measure of Whole Pepper instead of adding Pepper Powder. However, for kids friendly dish, stick to this recipe.

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