Chicken With Dry Pomegranate Seeds & Chillies – Served With Kachumer (Indian Salsa)




This is an unusual chicken dish, slightly distracting if you go by what you see. You may feel from the way it looks that its heavy and loaded with spices & oil..but the bronze color is from hours of marinating in ground anardana (dry pomegranate seeds) & chillies. Dry Pomegranate seeds are totally different from the fresh ones and widely used in indian cuisine for their tang, they are chewy, sticky on the gums, sweetish to start with and end on a tangy note. When combined with ground red chili, the combination is piquant & strong. Chilles help to balance out the tartness from the pomegranate seeds and give the chicken a bold taste.Ginger & nutmeg gave the marinade warmth of a home cooked meal and the flavors, which stay on for hours. I added little garam masala, the magic Indian spices to infuse the dish with some smokiness. The ingredients are few but exotic, the dish is tangy & spicy.The recipe is perfect if you are looking for something new and exciting to try with chicken. The idea of this chicken recipe came from Anjum Anand’s pomegranate chicken recipe in one of her cookbooks. All in all, a recipe which I will be a regular in my house.

You can serve these little drumettes as appetizers or party snacks. We ate them with parathas (triangle flatbreads) and kachumer or really simple Indian salsa, the fresh vegetables help you clean the palette after all those spices have done happy dance in your mouth.Without any ado, lets jump to the recipe now.

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (Serve 2)

  • 1 lb chicken skinned (I used thighs & drumsticks, You can use boneless or bone-in, the cooking time will vary in either case
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Cilantro & green chilies to garnish
  • Salt to taste
For the Marinade:-
  • 2 tbsp anardana (Dry pomegranate seeds, Available at Indian Stores or buy powder on Amazon)
  • 5-6 whole dry red chillies (adjust to tolerance)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt

  • Wash the chicken pieces and pat dry using a paper towel. Using a sharp knife, make incisions all over in the chicken. Set aside
  • In a small sauce pan, lightly dry roast the pomegranate seeds & dry chillies. Once roasted tip into your coffee blender and grind to a fine mixture.If using readymade powder, roast the powder too
  • In a bowl, add the ground pomegranate & chillies along with rest of the marinade ingredients and mix well to combine. Rub this all over chicken and, transfer chicken to a glass/plastic bowl, cover with cling film & let marinate for alteast 6-7 hours, refrigerated.
  • Once marinated, in a cast iron skillet or any heavy bottomed pan, add the oil and let it heat up on high.Add the chopped onions to the skillet and cook the onions till golden brown.About 5-7 minutes.
  • Once the onions are golden brown, tip in the marinated chicken to the pan along with all marinade.On high heat, sear the chicken for 5-8 minutes flipping it so that its lightly browned on all sides.
  • Once seared, reduce the heat to medium and let the chicken cook in its own juices till completely done. About 10-12 minutes.Note:- This time will depend on how thick/big or small your chicken pieces are. Please adjust accordingly.
  • Once the chicken is tender,remove from heat & mix in the garam masala. Cover the skillet with a aluminium foil and let sit for 8-10 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro, green chillies and serve with kachumer (recipe below) or on own or with rice/flatbreads.

Ingredients :-
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 Thai green chilli (optional)
  • 2 medium roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Black Salt to taste (substitue with normal salt)
  • Pinch of roasted cumin powder (optional,I dont use it but traditionally it is added so I m noting down)


Combine all the chopped vegetables in a bowl. Add fresh lemon juice and cumin powder (if using).Refrigerate until ready to serve. Add salt before serving, mix well. Note that you can decrease or increase the quantity of vegetables from what I have mentioned.The quantities above are what I generally use.

Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!


  1. That is a fabulous dish! I happen to have dried pomegranate seeds, so I’d love to try your recipe.



  2. This chicken dish is perfection!

  3. delicious. you are a true desi khana master! hehe

    I also crave a salan with roti after eating rice. I always make kachumbar with desi dishes, love it.

    love your photos, so crisp! :)

  4. Happy Independence day to you too dear. What a great way to celebrate such a great event with a great meal. It doesn’t get better than this. The chicken looks to die for. I love your kachumer.

    I hope you have a great week ahead.

  5. That left me salivating. In the morning :) Love the photos.

  6. karengtd says:

    MM looks delicious… I’ve never had dried pomegranate seeds but I bet I would love them! I’m one of those who eats pomegranate seeds whole :)

  7. those drumsticks look SO flavorful. love the idea of using pom seeds!!! sweet + salty = awesomeness!

  8. This looks Delicious!!! God I’m drooling Tanvi. And ofcourse thanks for reminding me of Kachumer.
    Love it.

  9. Happy Independence Day to you too! This chicken looks absolutely mouthwatering and delicious! That dark marinade sounds like perfection with sweetness + spiciness. And the chopped vegetables look so refreshing to be served with the drumsticks!

  10. Chicken looks delicious and amazing, Wonderful recipe.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  11. the chicken looks absolutely sooo drooling here

  12. Tanvi, I love anything with pomegranates in it. Love the tangy flavor so I’ll have to try the pomi chicken this Ramadhan. Thanks for another lovely recipe girl.

  13. What a sweet story about you and your mom…you both sound very close.
    The chicken dish looks amazing…the pomegranate seeds must add a very flavorful element :)

  14. This looks so flavourful and mouthwatering!

  15. Happy Independence Day! I love your photos for this post!

  16. I am really inexperienced when it comes to Indian cuisine, but I have to say this chicken looks like something me and my family would really enjoy!

    I love your photography, especially the way you can make a chicken drumstick look so inviting! The lemon and fresh chopped veggies really round out the dish. I’ll be stopping by from now on!

  17. Happy Independence Day! That chicken sounds tantalizing. I have not used dried pomegranate seeds and now I feel I must get my hands on some. The color of the dish is intriguing as well…so beautiful. What a warm close relationship you have had all these years with your mom…it is a treasure to have this and you seem to know that.

  18. I use anardana for kebabs and stuff but never had anything like this. So loving the look of this recipe. I need to try it!

    P.S.- Just like your mom and you – me and mom always liked dry preparations. I still do :-)

  19. I love the little story you shared with us about your mom and you while you were growing up. Your Friday is such a special day and I wish to have similar routine just me and my daughter. It looks like you and your mom are very close and I guess it must be hard to live far apart (assuming she’s in India). Now this recipe, oohh my…. looks delicious! Such great photos that I bet you made everyone drool including myself. ;-)

  20. Oh Tanvi, this is spectacular! Ginger, nutmeg, coriander AND dried pomegranate seed – wow – and it looks beautiful to boot. I have to try this one – just gorgeous! Happy Independence Day.

  21. Wow! What a great dish. Totally in love with the Indian salsa. I have never used dried pom seeds and very intrigued with the flavor. Thanks for sharing, Tanvi. Loving all your wonderful dishes on your blog.

  22. delicious combination wonderful flavours Tanvi looks superb

  23. Wonderful looking dish! You have such a great style of presentation. Love the stories behind the food. That is what food is all about. We don’t even realize but all the beautiful memories are born around food!

  24. Thank you everyone for dropping by :)

  25. Wow! so crispylicious hot and enticing chicken. Thanks for sharing this, I will certainly try this one.

  26. I love how close you and your mother are! Both in your taste in food and just in general. This looks like a delicious dish. The interplay of pomegranates and spice sounds delicious!

  27. Happy Independence Day daaaaaahling!
    Another stunning dish. I have a similar recipe in a book by Anjum Anand that I’ve been meaning to try for a long time, but I forgot about it. Now that I see your beautiful chicken, I must put it on the top of my list.
    *kisses* HH

  28. Wow! I am not sure words can express how truly in awe I am over this recipe and the pictures! Incredible! Love the flavors and the idea of using pomegranate with chicken. GENIUS!

  29. That is so interesting! I have never seen pomegranate seeds like these before! It sounds fantastic! I am sure it can be used with many vegetables also! Great recipe Tanvi!

  30. Such a lip-smacking recipe!Pomegranate seeds are really underrated in Indian Cuisine.Whether you add them to a chicken dish like this one,or a chick pea preparation(chhole),or simply to aloo paranthas,they brighten up the flavor tremendously.
    Thank you for such a delicious dish,I am sharing it with my followers on twitter,asking them to visit this page.:-)

  31. This one is just fantastic..loved the anardana in it, got to try sometime chicken with anardana..looks wonderful


  32. What special times you shared with your Mom — ones you will no doubt remember always. It’s the little moments that often end up meaning the most, isn’t it? And this chicken looks perfect to share over good company and good conversation.

  33. i really love how gorgeous this dish looks!!! thank you for sharing this. I have missed checking out your blog. have a great day:)

  34. Your spicy chicken looks so luscious !

  35. Gorgeous, lovely and oh so tasty. Mmmmmmm…. It’s breakfast time, and I could totally eat this right up now. Any left overs??? I haven’t had chicken for ages, I really must. I think this is the recipe to do it with too. Hope your having a wonderful week. :)

  36. I have never used the whole anardana in my cooking though I use the powder. These drumsticks look so delicious.

  37. Yum yum! That chicken is gorgeous. Love kachumbar. I used to have it with roti and then sandwiched in bread for a after school treat lol.

  38. This sounds incredible. You are writing a cookbook, right?

  39. This looks absolute delish. Even I love the roasted, dry stuff. And I my hometown, Lucknow we used to get such a wide variety of kebabs & tandoors, that it was simply out of the world. It’s reminding me of all that!!

  40. Lovely… I like those days with the women of my family too. We always gathered around our small kitchen table and talked while one of us was cooking.

  41. Thank you everyone for stopping by!

  42. Wonderful combination. I have tasted pomegranate in chicken at an Indian restaurant in Bay area. They tasted really good. So I am this dish is super delicious. Gorgeous pics as always :-)

  43. Tanvi, never thought that pomegranate seeds could be used in cooking…how interesting. The chicken sure look very tasty and so colorful. Nice dish!
    Hope you are having a great week :-)

  44. Like i said before .. the color just caught me attention. I never made with this ingredient before .. but it’s in my wish list now. As a kid, when dad used to go on tour, I , my bro and Ma would make non-benagli meals.. like noodle or dosa or pan cakes .. and this post just took me back to those days :)

  45. Loved this post: the wonderful, rich story, the touching tribute to your mom, the gorgeous pictures, the tantalizing recipe…

    Hi, I’m Sophia, and I’m your newest fan. :D

  46. I think India has such a rich culture and you did a great job with this post. I just came off cooking a few chicken recipes which you might also enjoy and thought I might be over chicken for a while but this recipe has put me right back into chicken. I think it’s such a versatile meat that can be adapted with so many recipes and yours is a beautiful one Tanvi!

  47. Sigh, how I wish I could be sitting down to this right now! Beautiful share, Tanvi, it’s warming up this chilly day as we speak.

  48. khushi says:

    wooo….using anardana as marinade!! thats really interesting…..and the name sinfully spicy is truly applicable here…looks so superb and delicious…lovely recipe….will try it soon
    A Girl’s Diary
    What’s On Your Kebab Platter:win a gift

  49. Gorgeous clicks Tanvi!!

    I have never used whole pom seeds while cooking chicken but i love the idea. Thanks for sharing.

  50. Happy Indian Independence Day! This chicken looks divine, Tanvi. Wish I had some for lunch. :)

  51. Wow! that’s a beautiful dish. Loved the use of pomegranate seeds. Superb clicks Tanvi!

  52. That looks beautiful!

  53. This looks scrumptious–finger-licking good!! I had anadana on my shopping list for making pakora but I was really not aware of using it with chicken to make it look this delicious. I too love roasted meat dishes better than the gravy ones. Bookmarked–will sure try it once I get back from vacation.

  54. That dish is mouthwatering! I want to try out this recipe too…love your blog :-)

  55. lovely looks resplendent and palatable!

  56. mouth watering i’m soon making this in my kitchen this image was stuck so hard that i couldn’t get back without reading it and my friend gifted me anardhana from India…i know now wat to do! :D

  57. Oh my goodness, this looks so delicious. I just bookmarked this and can’t wait to give it a try. The photos are so tempting and the recipe sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to find the pomegranate/anardana, a new ingredient for me, which I’m sure I will love!

  58. Hello ! great recipe and yummy pictures, we would be glad if you could submit it to our site. Cheers :)

  59. I am so late here commenting though read this post earlier on and POMEGRANATE is kismet, really. Just before you posted this, I stumbled upon dried pomegranate seeds at my local Indian grocery store.

    Thank you for sharing. I learned something new yet again!

  60. hello tanvi! i am a first time visitor on your blog. loved the food pics. i am very new on the blog scene and though i can dish out decent food, i definitely need to work a lot more hard to make them look delectable coz we first feed ourselves with our eyes (at least through the net recipes) and then with other sensory organs!! i read that you love ‘dryish’ dinners once in a while. i will be posting a recipe of dry chicken very soon. btw, congrats on being on the foodbuzz top 9 :-) all the best!

  61. Nikhil says:

    Hi Tanvi, I made this today and thought it was fantastic, thank you. My husband would prefer it however boneless. Any idea how long to cook it for if we use chicken breast pieces? I.e. how long to sear and then cook? I ask in order to avoid the chieck breast pieces from becoming tough. Thank you again

    • Thanks for trying out Nikhil..and sorry for the late reply..was caught up. If you are using boneless chicken pieces, for 2″ cube pieces, it should not take more that 5-7 minutes for them to cook up on medium heat. Another thing you can do it while cooking, after about 4 minutes, take out a piece & cut it with a knife and see if juices flow out its cooked through (white inside). If not, cook for another minute or so but keep an eye coz chicken breast really cooks up fast.I hope this helps.

  62. Nikhil says:

    Thanks for that. Your timings were spot-on. I have to say, though, that I much prefer the version with bones, as the bones help the meat to gallo. Pata nahi angrezi mein kya kehte hain. Thanks again.

  63. Aarti Sadasivam says:

    Fantastic recipe! Great pictures and presentation. I love that your recipes are original, a welcome change from some websites that are just recreating recipes from cooks on Food Network!

  64. I came here looking for a recipe; imagine my surprise when I see you paint a picture of the relationship my mom and I share (she too is a teacher). Bless you both. And thank you for this fabulous recipe and amazing pictures.

  65. yesterday made this recipe, DIVINE !!! really a great dish for warm days !!! btw, as I am a simple dutch guy….is there a difference between thai green chillies and green “rawits” ?? If I look at your pictures I would say yes. Not sure I can find the green thai chillies in Holland.

    • Thanks Jan. Hmm,I would say that seeds of thai green chillis are very hot.I have never eaten green rawits but thai green chilli is a serious deal (if you know what I mean). Its not a problem if you cannot find it. The heat level in the recipe is a personal choice and you can adjust it to your taste substituting it with any kind of fresh chilli you are comfortable with.

    • I think your green thai chillies look more like “green lomboks” ???

  66. Kimberly says:

    I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you for such a simple and tasty recipe. I only had time to marinate the chicken for 45 minutes, and I can’t wait to see how delicious it is after 6-7 hours. I also served it with some potatoes fried with nutmeg, salt, chilli powder, and garam masala. Not very authentic Indian, but complimented the flavors well!

  67. Mitesh says:

    This recipe looks amazing, can you grill the chicken?


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