Anjula Devi’s Chicken Thighs with Pomegranate

Preparation time 30 minutes, cooking
Time 30 minutes. For best results marinate overnight.
Serves 4

Growing up, we always had children from our street in the back garden and Dad would feed anyone who was hungry. Some of the younger children would find the food a little spicy, so Dad came up with this chicken dish, made without chillies.


  • 16 chicken thighs, on the bone and the skin left on

Key Spices

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 1 inch piece of cassia bark

Warming Spices

  • 2 tsp fenugreek leaves
  • 2 cloves

Other Spices

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated

Wet Ingredients

  • 100 ml pomegranate molasses
  • 8 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 3 tsp pulped garlic
  • 3 tbs natural yogurt
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 3 tbs white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs grated jaggery
  • Sea salt to taste


  • Small bunch of coriander, chopped finely
  • Zest of one large lemon
  • Handful of fresh pomegranate seeds


  1. Place all the key spices and warming spices in a dry frying pan and warm for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add to the pestle and mortar and grind to a powder. Set aside.
  2. Apart from the garnish ingredients take all the remaining ingredients, add to a blender and create a smooth marinade.
  3. Remove from the blender, add to a large mixing bowl along with the contents of the pestle and mortar and stir really well. Add the chicken thighs to the bowl and coat them really well.
  4. Cover the bowl, and for best results marinate overnight.
  5. Remove the bowl from the fridge and allow the thighs to come to room temperature.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 190°C, 375°F or gas mark 5, then place the thighs on an oven proof dish. Try not to crowd the thighs as you want the skin to become golden and crisp, and it will take longer if they don’t have enough space between them.
  7. Roast for 25 – 30 minutes, check the thighs are cooked all the way through and remove from the oven.
  8. Mix together the fresh coriander and lemon zest, gently stir and coat the thighs, then sprinkle with fresh pomegranate.

Serve hot or cold.

Spice for Life by Anjula Devi includes meat and fish recipes too and is published by Clearview Books

Photography by Dan Jones. Priced at £25 and available from Lakeland and all good bookshops. ISBN: 978-1908337-375