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Mar 29, 2013 07:56 AM

Cumin-Coriander Chicken - outstanding!

We recently returned from a trip to India, having spent most of our month there in the southern state of Kerala. One of our last stops was in Cochin, a port city with a long and colourful history. Long story, really, but we ended up at the home of one of the last remaining Jews living in the city, once a vibrant hub of Jewish life. Well, imagine my shock when, just last week there was an article in the New York Times by Joan Nathan about the Jewish cooking of Cochin. And, amazingly it focused on this particular woman whose home we'd visited but, unfortunately, missed having dinner there for reasons too stupid to mention here. Anyway, I just wanted to recommend the recipe that was included with that article - Cochin Cumin-Coriander Chicken. I made it for Passover seder and it is absolutely delicious. Used many of the spices I'd brought home from our trip, which made the dish extra special (at least to me). Once you've mixed the spices and coated the chicken, the rest of the dish comes together quickly - it's easy and everyone loved it. Fragrant, layered and really unusual.

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    1. Yes, it is an excellent recipe. I made it as soon as I saw it (had the ingredients) and both BFF and I liked it a lot. Gave some to BFF, who, after finishing the chicken, had sauce left over, in which she poached a piece of salmon to good effect. Thanks for calling it to our attention.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Joebob

        Yes there's a lot of sauce. Actually next time I make it, I'll omit the small amount of water that is called for - its really not needed. Also, I used bone-in skinless chicken thighs, which are cheaper and easier to find. I skinned them myself - takes a minute.

      2. I just grabbed a bag of chicken thighs out of the deep freeze and made up the spice blend. Wonderful recipe, thanks for sharing the recipe and just a small taste of what had to have been a remarkable India adventure!

        I'm adding this to our Sunday dinner menu (last minute substitution!).

        13 Replies
        1. re: HillJ

          Excellent! It was, indeed, a remarkable adventure. India is such a diverse place and the food was absolutely fantastic. The south of India has its own range of cuisines, most of which I had never eaten before. It was an eye-opener. We spent a couple of days in the spice town of Kumily (or Thekkady, depending on which side of town you're on) which was mind-blowing. Imagine wall-to-wall spice shops, many of them wholesalers, with mountains of fresh spices for sale. I now wish I'd brought more home with me but we didn't want to haul so much stuff around as we were trying to travel light. Cochin's cooking seemed almost akin to Moroccan - this chicken recipe definitely reflects that.

          1. re: Nyleve

            I went to the market early this AM to pick up more mint & coriander and the pot is simmering now. Smells wonderful in my kitchen and the recipe helped me use up a few more curry leaves and seeds I had in the pantry. Did your host add anything to the rice?

            Wall to wall spices for sale....oh my! I would love to have a trip to India planned for 2013...on the bucket list! I was in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur in 1997 with a handful of co-workers. I recall being breathless most of the trip!

            1. re: HillJ

              Exactly. Go south - Kerala is spice central and completely breathtaking.

              1. re: Nyleve

                I'm going to enjoy the bit of leftovers from this tasty dish for lunch today. I really liked the simmering sauce. I used a combo of boneless breast and thigh. Great use of whole spice.

                1. re: HillJ

                  I am going to braise a whole chicken in this manner . I am mad for whole braised chicken and I think this will be a grand way to do it.

                  1. re: magiesmom

                    Absolutely. I might make the simmering sauce all by itself and freeze for other applications. It's really easy to put together.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      That's a great idea. I think I will do that now!

                      I would have loved to make this for seder but many Jews do not eat cumin for passover.

                      1. re: magiesmom

                        I didn't realize that about cumin.

                        1. re: HillJ

                          Caraway & anise/fennel seed too. Ashkenazi Jews don't eat them on Passover, but Sephardim do.

                          Anyway, that chicken recipe does sound wonderful - I don't recall ever being steered wrong by Joan Nathan.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            yes, those too. it is interesting because usually in the Times Passover recipes are identified as Sephardic if they are and this one was not but clearly not going to work for observant Ahkenazis.

                            And yes, Joan Nathan in my experience completely reliable.

                            1. re: HillJ

                              I had no idea. Not that it makes a lot of difference to me - but I guess it would to some people.

                              1. re: Nyleve

                                Today I followed the exact recipe but this time I added chickpeas and cauliflower heads to the pot.

                                After the first batch I had about 1.5 cups of the sauce left in the pot so I poured it into a baking dish and baked pre cooked chickpeas and a small dish of leftover curry cauliflower I had in the frig to the sauce to create a side, I liked the side so much, I decided today to just add half a cup of each to the recipe after adding the chicken and letting it cook 20 mins. Really good.

            2. Wow, that sounds great and I have everything on hand. Thank for sharing, I can't wait to try this one... maybe tonight...

              1. Sounds like a great culinary adventure! Making it tonight. I also have everything except for the cilantro and mint - easily remedy. Cooking for two, so will cut in half.