Pepper Chicken

Instant Pot Spicy Pepper Chicken Curry

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Instant Pot Spicy Pepper Chicken Curry

If you like peppercorn sauce or black pepper you are going to love this recipe. This is a fusion recipe that I created mixing ingredients that are typically used in North Indian and South Indian cooking.
Curry leaves are used a lot in South India and ground fennel (saunf powder), and ground ginger (sonth powder) are typically used in Kashmiri cuisine.
I attempted to make this recipe when we had a few guests at our house for dinner. This recipe was a big success! People loved it. I have made it several times after that.
If you like pepper this recipe is for you. It doesn’t require tomatoes and is super easy to make. It has a nice gravy, a pungent aroma, and a unique flavor.
Even more – It is made in the instant pot, which means it is fast and easy!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Chicken, Curry, Indian food, Instant Pot, Instant Pot Chicken Curry, Instant Pot Pepper Chicken, Pepper Chicken
Servings: 4
Author: Shilpa


  • 3 tbsp oil of choice
  • 7 curry leaves
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped (white, yellow, or red)
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1.5 pounds chicken (chopped into medium sized 2 to 3 inch pieces)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder (cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp ground fennel (saunf powder)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (sonth)
  • 4 tsp black pepper (kaalee mirch)
  • 1 and 3/4 tsp salt



  • Wash and chop the chicken and onions.


  • Select sauté on the instant pot and adjust to normal.
  • Add oil to the pot. When oil is hot, add curry leaves. When they splutter, add onions. Sauté until the onions are golden.
  • Then add ginger garlic paste and chicken. Sauté for a few minutes, until the chicken forms a white crust. Keep stirring in between.
  • Add red chili powder and 1/2 cup water instantly. Adding water is key in this step in order to prevent the red chili powder from burning. Stir constantly for 30 seconds.
  • Add ground fennel, ground ginger, pepper, and salt.
  • Stir and let it sauté for one to two minutes.
  • Press cancel.
  • Secure the lid on the pot and close the pressure-release valve.
  • Select manual and cook at high pressure for 7 minutes.
  • When cooking is complete, use quick release to depressurize.
  • If there is excess gravy and if you want to reduce the gravy then select sauté and let some gravy evaporate. It should take about 2 minutes. Keep stirring so that the chicken doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Transfer the chicken into a serving bowl immediately. 


  • Serve hot with naan (Indian flatbread), roti, or rice


  • This recipe is quite spicy due to the black pepper. If you would like to tone the spice level down reduce the amount of pepper by one teaspoon.
  • If you like less gravy, add 1/4 cup water instead of 1/2 cup. You could also select sauté after the chicken is cooked and adjust the gravy to the desired consistency.
  • This recipe has been tried on a 6-quart instant pot. The proportions may vary depending on the size of the instant pot you choose to use.
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My name is Shilpa Tiku. I am a foodie and love experimenting with different cuisines. Originally a Kashmiri, born in Mumbai and currently live in Dallas.

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