Jeera means cumin, and in this dish the chicken and the rice are cooked separately, each flavoured with cumin seeds.






Skill level

Average: 4.1 (4 votes)


  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp Greek-style yoghurt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 750 g chicken thigh fillets, trimmed, cut into thirds widthwise
  • 2½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • coriander leaves, to serve


Jeera rice

  • 300 g basmati rice 
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time 2 hours

Place garlic, ginger, yoghurt and lemon juice in a bowl and mix to combine. Add chicken and mix to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, to make jeera rice, place rice in a bowl, cover with 600 ml water. Set aside for 30 minutes to soak. Drain. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cumin seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until onion is golden. Add drained rice and stir to combine. Add 375 ml (1½ cups) boiling water, cover pan and boil for 5 minutes; do not remove lid. Remove from heat and stand, without removing lid, for 10 minutes or until rice is tender.

Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until golden.

Add chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook for 4 minutes on each side or until chicken is just golden. Add garam masala, cover with a lid, and cook for a further 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve chicken with jeera rice, scattered with coriander.



Photography Brett Stevens. Food preparation Leanne Kitchen. Styling Vanessa Austin.


As seen in Feast magazine, September 2014, Issue 35.