Today we are sharing with you our Black pepper chicken bowl recipe, an everyday Indian chicken recipe that comes together with a few ingredients from your pantry. Enjoy it for a simple weekday meal, or take it to an outdoor potluck or picnic this summer. It has intense flavors despite using only a few spices and herbs. The chicken pairs beautifully with a simple cumin cauli fried rice and an Indian-style salad! This black pepper chicken bowl will surely be a show-stopper at your gathering!

Recipe & photos by: Masala Paleo

Black peppercorn is a key ingredient in this dish. It is native to the southern part of India, while red chili pepper was brought to India by the Portuguese. A lot of traditional recipes from the southern part of India are made with black pepper. Roasting the black peppercorns and the cumin is a crucial step to release the oil from the whole spices and enhance the flavors. You can also microwave the spices for a minute to help with the process, but nothing beats toasting up whole spices in a hot pan. The freshly-ground ginger and garlic add to the rustic flavors of this recipe.  Using chicken thighs for this recipe is preferable as they tend to stay juicy. Bone-in thigh pieces would be an excellent choice for this. 

We have also used curry leaves which is an herb used in South Indian cooking and has a very distinct flavor. You can find it in an Indian grocery store, but if you cannot find it, just skip it. 

Whole30 Indian Black Pepper Chicken Bowl

Recipe & photos by: Masala Paleo
Indian Black Pepper Chicken Bowl

Indian Whole30 Black Pepper Chicken Bowl

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 5 people



  • 2 lbs chicken thighs cubed
  • 2 large onions diced into large pieces
  • 1.5 piece of ginger peeled
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1/3 cup roasted cashews
  • 2 sprigs green onions or scallions
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 jalapeño chopped into rounds (optional)
  • 10-15 curry leaves (optional)
  • 3 tbsp ghee or avocado oil

Cauli Rice

  • 1 pack riced cauliflower frozen
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp ghee or avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 cup chopped red radish
  • 1 cup chopped apple
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 1/2 whole orange
  • 1/4 tsp salt



  • HEAT a thick-bottomed pan and dry roast the black peppercorns till they puff up and set aside.
  • TOAST the cumin seeds till they turn slightly darker and fragrant.
  • GRIND the peppercorns and cumin into a coarse powder. You can also pulse it using a coffee or spice grinder to a coarse powder.
  • POUND or mince the ginger and garlic.
  • ADD ghee or oil to a hot pan.
  • SAUTE the onions in the pan for 5 minutes and add the curry leaves.
  • ADD the ginger and garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
  • ADD the turmeric and salt, followed by the ground peppers and cumin powder, and saute for 2 minutes.
  • ADD the chicken and give it a good mix, making sure that the chicken is coated with the spices.
  • COVER and cook the chicken till cooked, stirring it every few minutes. This should take 10-15 minutes.
  • ADD the jalapeños if you want to increase the heat and cook for a couple of minutes (optional).
  • ADD the roasted cashews and give it all a good mix.
  • GARNISH with chopped scallions and serve in a bowl with cumin cauli rice and an Indian-style salad.

Cumin Cauli Rice

  • HEAT Ghee or oil in a non-stick pan
  • ADD cumin seeds and let them bloom.
  • ADD cauli rice and let it cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • MIX in the salt.
  • SERVE along with the chicken in a bowl.


  • MIX the cucumber, radish, and apples in a salad bowl.
  • DRESS with orange juice and salt.
  • GARNISH with parsley.
  • SERVE along with the chicken in a bowl.
Keyword cauliflower rice, chicken
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Published by Liz Parrent

Liz Parrent is Whole30's Senior Manager, for Whole30 Recipes content.She comes to Whole30 with over a decade of CPG and content marketing experience in the health and wellness space. Having been a part of Primal Kitchen's founding and pre-acquisition team, Liz holds a deep passion for the Whole30 community and the transformative power of a whole foods-focused lifestyle.