Spiced Poppy-seed Chicken

Spiced Poppy-seed Chicken


  • 1/3 cup (80ml) mustard oil
  • 1.5 kg chicken thigh fillets, cut into 3cm chunks
  • 4 small red onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • 4 dried red chilies
  • 4 small green chilies, ground to a paste with a little water
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Poppy-seed spice mix

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 cm piece cinnamon stick seeds from 4 green cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons white poppy seeds
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric



  1. To prepare the spice mix, put all the ingredients except the turmeric in a frying pan and dry-roast over a very low heat. Cool, then grind to a fine powder and add the turmeric.
  2. Combine half the spice mix with 1 tablespoon of the mustard oil. Rub the spiced oil into the chicken chunks until they are coated. Cover and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a large kadhai or wok and fry the onion until golden.Add the remaining spice mix, the ginger garlic paste, dried chilies and the green chili paste, stirring to combine. Cook for 3-4 minutes until softened and fragrant.
  4. Add the chicken, stirring to coat with the spices. Fry over a medium heat until the chicken is brown and all the liquid has evaporated. Add 1 cup (250 ml) hot water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the chicken is tender and the water has been absorbed.
  5. Add the lime juice, sugar and salt and cook for 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Any doubts? See video guide of the recipe below.

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