Sabut Masala Chicken (Chicken with Whole Spices)

Quick, easy and very healthy! This Sabut Masala Chicken has a very appealing look and a flavor that surpasses all others. The whole spices pop out without being overbearing and overtaking from the main ingredient.

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Serves: 6 (main course) 10 (appetizer)


Boneless Chicken Thighs – 2 1/2 lbs (1 kg)
Oil – 3 Tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Sauf (Fennel Seeds) – 1 tsp
Kalonji (Onion Seeds/Nigella) – 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds (Methi) – 1/2 tsp
Dried Pomegranate Seeds – 1 tsp, powdered
Whole Black Peppercorns – 1 tsp, roughly crushed
Dry Red Chili Flakes – 2 tsp or to taste
Curry Leaves – 3 sprigs
Ginger – 2 Tbsp, thinly sliced
Garlic – 6 large cloves, sliced
Green Chilies – 4 to 5 or to taste, slit
Onion – 1 large, sliced
Tomato – 1 large, sliced
Salt – 2 tsp or to taste
Cilantro – few sprigs, chopped for garnishing


1. Cut and clean Chicken to bite size pieces.
2. Roughly crush Pomegranate Seeds and Whole Black Peppercorns.
3. In a separate bowl, combine Mustard Seeds, Sauf, Kalonji, Cumin Seeds, Fenugreek Seeds and Chilli Flakes. Also add in Pomegranate and Peppercorns.
4. Heat Oil in a large wok or a skillet.
5. In the hot Oil, add in the spices and allow them to pop and crackle.
6. Add in the Curry Leaves, Ginger, Garlic and Green Chillies. Mix.
7. Add in sliced Onions and Salt.
8. Increase the heat to a high and allow Onions cook for 4-5 minutes. Keep stirring.
9. Add sliced Tomatoes and mix to allow the Oil and masala to coat them.
10. Add Chicken and mix well. Add additional Salt if needed.
11. Allow the Chicken to cook for 10-12 minutes. Keep stirring for even cooking.
12. Cut a piece of Chicken to ensure it is cooked all the way.
13. Once cooked, serve hot if being used as an entree or cook further if being served as an appetizer.
14. Garnish with some Cilantro.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

39 thoughts on “Sabut Masala Chicken (Chicken with Whole Spices)

  1. I made this yesterday. it was too good. thank you so much for this recipe. I used fresh pomegrn seeds coz i couldnt get hold off the dried ones. could you pls suggest when to add it while making this dish as it splashed everywhere when i added it with the other spices. thanks

    1. Hi Linu,

      Fresh pomegranite seeds are not a good substitute in this recipe because they have a watery/fleshy coating that will splatter when put into oil. You can always use either amchur or lemon/lime juice (toward the end) as a substitute.

  2. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    I tried all your recepies almost 90% of it and all went good except daal baati unfortunately.

    Just one request can you please upload video for ‘Gaathiya’. I hope you heard the name of ‘Gaathiya’ because it’s gujrati dish and hetal is from gujrat right?

    It will be appreciate that if you post the receipe for any gaathiya because there are several types of gaathiya’s in Gujrat.


  3. Hi,
    I love this recipe, have made it a couple times. I didn’t have the pomegranate seeds or curry leaves and it still tasted great. A question – I want to make it for a friend that is allergic to tomatoes, is there something else I can substitute?
    Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Heidi,

      You can leave the tomatoes out but as they provide a little bit of tang, you may want to squeeze a little lime/lemon juice at the end.

  4. can i skip the onion seeds? i do not generally use it in my cooking, hence dont want to buy for this 1 recipe. any other alternative i can use instead of the onion seeds?

  5. Hello Hatal and Anuja.
    I was intrduced by my son to your website show me a curry. My wife was a great cook but i lost her 4 years ago. Now I have your website I am going to try all your recipies. I want to thank you for both your contribution to this website. I am telling all my friends about it. Keep it up.

    1. Hi Harish,

      We’re so sorry to hear about your wife. Its always hard to replace or replicate the special things and special people in our lives. We are honored that you use SMTC and thank you so much for spreading the word about us. Good luck with the cooking :).

  6. Hi there……This is one of the best recipe I have learnt so far. My husband could not stop eating. Thanks a lot for sharing this with us :-)) You guys rock

  7. I made this recipe this weekend when we had friends over and it turned out amazingly good. The instructions were really easy to follow. Really easy to make!

  8. I tried this recipe today and it turned out GREAT! I and my husband totally enjoyed the various flavors in this dish. Thanks for another great recipe 🙂
    If I need to share a recipe with you where could I send it?

  9. Well i m a vegetarian n my husband usually says to me to cook something non veg for him but I never do bcos I dont like touching any sort of meat but ur this recipe forced me to try it for my husband n guess what he loved it. So just wanted to say u girls inspired me so much that I was so proud to cook sabut chicken masala or actually cooked chicken for the first time n I did an absolutely damn good job. thanks so much n I m gonna cook the same for him again tonight as he loved it. Thanks ladies

  10. Hetal and Anuja, I tried this out today and was very happy with the outcome! I’m amazed at how easy and quick this dish is to make! Another winner from the two of you! Thanks a bunch!

  11. Dear Anuja and Hetal.
    Can this dish be made into a vegetarian dish or with paneer? Thanks so much for the lovely recipes that make our lives so much easier.

  12. Hi Anuja and Hetal,
    Thank you again for your lovely recipes. I am wondering if this dish can be made for vegetarians? Would it taste good with vegetables or paneer? Thanks again for making our lives so much easier in the kitchen.

      1. I think seitan would also be a good alternative with these masalas.
        One suggestion I need frm u guys,actually i want to buy a 5 ltrs pressure cooker,but I am really unaware about the good brands ,could u plz help.The ones i already have are frm India.
        Request a response!!!!!

  13. Really love your website and particularly the videos. Maybe one day you will do a demo/show in Toronto! When I watch your videos I find I have spatula (turner) envy. The orange on you often use appears to have a very useful angle. Can you share the brand name?

    1. You are so right about the spatula Barb. I too love it and always keep a look out in the stores to find one like that. It would be nice/helpful to know from where you guys picked it up from.
      Thanks in advance 🙂

    2. Hi Barb,

      Thanks! Unfortunately, our very popular orange spatula does not have a brand name written on it. We bought it years ago from a dollar store and cannot find it anymore. Sorry.

  14. I have a general question about cooking chicken….when using chicken breast vs. boneless chicken, does it take longer to cook chicken breast?


  15. Dear Anuja and Hetal! Thanks for the lovely recipe! Looks great! I am back to studies and I find myself with very little time to cook as I used to do! Pls. girls I need suggestions on easy and fast dishes to feed my family!

    1. So good to hear from you Haruko! I’m sure you are super busy. My suggestion would be to make some punjabi masala in bulk and store it for quick meals :).

  16. Dear Anuja and/or Hetal

    Could I use Amchur powder instead of dried pomegranate seeds for the tang? If so, how much would you suggest?

    As an aside, thank you for making Indian cuisine visual! Being able to see how a dish should look in the different stages of cooking has greatly helped me!! I have wonderful cookbooks and am not afraid at all to experiment with flavors, but seeing how you make a dish come together has been a wonderful aid. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Tanya,

      You are very welcome! Yes, you can use amchur instead of pomegranate seeds. It is a little different flavor but will still provide the tang. The amount will depend on how sour your particular amchur is and how sour you like it. I would start with about 1/2 tsp and go up from there.

  17. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    I am glad I get to comment first. You both are doing a great job. I love your recipes. I love cooking and have tried a lot of your recipes and its always turned out great. Not only me, but also my husband tries them out and for my bday had surprised me by making Dal Dhokli 🙂 and it was yum. I always try and see most of your recipes even though I know how to cook them because you guys make things so simple. To have some fun while cooking I try and imitate you both and think as if I have an audience watching me 🙂 I have been meaning to write since long and recently you guys came in my dream and I had to share my thoughts. You both are absolutely wonderful and inspiring. Good luck always 🙂

    1. Hi Sapna,

      Wow! What a compliment! Thanks so much for the feedback and we are really happy you are finding SMTC useful and enjoyable.

      1. Exactly I too do the same thing- imitate them while i cook as though i am on food network ;)..this keeps me motivated while cooking..thanks ladies.
        Hetal, i like this new hair style of yours.. keep it for future videos pls. and as i said before, u have a fantastic screen presence..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.