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!

Khatte Chole Aur Bhature

Chole‘ or chickpea curry is very popular street food in the northern parts of India.The curry is known for its blackish color due to use of tea bags while boiling it and has dominant flavor of roasted cumin.In my house, dry pomegranate seeds or anardana is added to this curry along with lots of tomatoes to make it more tangy or ‘khatte‘.This curry is not hot but is spicy.The chickpea curry is traditionally eaten with bhatura or a fried leavened puffed bread.Some people make a yeasted version of bhatura too.What I am posting is an instant recipe which requires an hour of resting time.

Khatte Chhole

Printable Recipe

Ingredients: [Serves 2]

  • 1/3 cup dry chickpeas [substitute with canned garbanzo beans]
  • 1/8 tsp cooking soda
  • 2 black tea bags
  • Water for boiling
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp grated garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 green chillies, minced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 black cardamom [badi elaichi]
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp dry pomegranate seeds [anardana]
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 cup mustard oil [or canola oil]
  • Salt to taste


  • Soak the chickpeas over night in 3 cups water with cooking soda.Once soaked, drain the soaking water and discard it.
  • Boil the chickpeas with enough water, tea bags & 1 tsp salt in a pressure cooker till 80% cooked.About 15 minutes on high and 2 whistles. [Omit this step if using canned garbanzo beans]
  • Once cooked, drain the chickpeas and preserve the water.We will use it in curry later.
  • In your coffee blender, coarsely crush the dry pomegranate seeds, cloves, pods of black cardamom and roasted cumin seeds.Add the cinnamon powder to this spice mix.Set aside.

  • In a cooking vessel with lid, add the oil and heat it up on high till the oil starts smoking slightly.Once smoking, reduce the heat to medium.
  • Add the finely chopped onion and cook till golden brown.After this add the bay leaf & saute for 2 minutes.
  • Next, add the grated garlic, minced chilli & ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Next add the chopped tomatoes along with chilli,coriander,turmeric powder,crushed spice mix made in 4th step and salt.Cook this curry masala on low heat till the oil starts separating from the mix along the sides of the vessel.
  • Tip in the boiled beans into the vessel and combine well so that all the beans are covered in the masala.Saute for about 3 minutes.
  • Next add 1/2 cup or more of preserved water depending on how thick you like the gravy,cover and let the gravy come to a boil on a low heat.
  • Once the curry has simmered for 10-15 minutes, add the garam masala, stir well and let simmer for another 5-6 minutes till the chickpeas are soft,
  • Remove from heat, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm bhatura

Ingredients: [Makes 6-8 flatbreads]
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp semolina
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 small boiled potato, finely grated (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk,at room temperature ( as required for kneading a soft dough )
  • Oil for deep-frying.

  • Combine the all purpose flour with semolina and soda thoroughly.
  • Whisk oil, sugar and salt in the buttermilk.
  • Add the grated potato and buttermilk mix to flour mix.Start with 1/2 cup of butter milk and knead well to make dough.You may need to adjust the buttermilk quantity.The dough will be slightly sticky but pliable and soft.Knead for about 5 minutes.
  • Cover it with wet cloth and keep it in a warm place for 1 hour.
  • Make a lemon sized balls of the dough.On a floured surface, roll the flour balls into an elliptical shape, about 1/4 ” thick.

  • Heat oil in a deep-frying fan.A quick way to check the temperature of oil without thermometer is to pinch a small quantity of dough and put it in oil.It should sizzle to the surface immediately.
  •  Once oil is heated, tip in the rolled bhaturas into the oil sliding from the sides of the pot.Be careful because the oil may splutter.Fry the bhaturas flipping them  as till they turn slightly golden on both sides.Make sure that you don’t fry the bhatures long because you want them to be soft and light golden.
  • Drain from the oil and place on paper towel.
  • Serve them with chickpea curry, salad and raita.

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