Jeera Chicken

Jeera Chicken

Jeera Chicken

Jeera is Hindi for cumin, and so this dish, as you can probably guess, makes extensive use of that spice.

I first came across the recipe in Pat Chapman’s “The New Curry Bible”, where he in turn credits Jeera Chicken as the signature dish of the Anand family, owners of the “Brilliant” restaurant.

My version differs insofar as I include the usual suspects (onion, garlic, ginger, and chillies) as well as cumin in both whole seed and ground form.

The result is quite different – the earthy, warm flavour of the cumin, so often overpowered by other spices, gets to sing its own song for once.

This is also another dish that works just as well as a starter as it does as a main course.

Jeera Chicken


  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
  • a 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 habanero chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • coconut oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • lemon juice
  • fresh coriander (cilantro)


  • Heat 4 tbsp of coconut oil in a large, lidded, non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, and stir fry for a few seconds.
  • Add the spring onions, and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the ginger and chopped chilli, and stir fry for a further 2 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, and continue to stir fry for 2 minutes more.
  • Add the chicken to the pan. Sprinkle over the ground cumin, and stir well. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Stir fry until the outer face of the chicken pieces have lost their raw, pink colour.
  • Add about a ½ dl of water to the pan. Stir well, then cover. Bring to a low simmer, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often, adding a splash more water if required. Cook until the chicken is suitably cooked – it should be white all the way through when cut in half.
  • Remove the lid for the last few minutes of cooking, to allow the sauce to reduce somewhat if needs be.
  • When the chicken is done to your satisfaction, remove the pan from the heat.
  • Serve, garnished with some chopped coriander (cilantro), and a splash of lemon juice.


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