Braised Chicken with Turmeric Rice

This is a southern-style dish from India and Malaysia. Thai cardamom can be hard to find, so you can use white Indian cardamom pods as a substitute. The green cardamom pods are much stronger, so they are not recommended.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 4 hours 50 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, halved
  • 1⁄2 tsp. dried turmeric
  • 1 1⁄2 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 chicken (4 lbs.), chopped into 8 pieces
  • 3 cups vegetable oil
  • 5 small shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 2 cups uncooked jasmine rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 strips orange peel (1 inch each)
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 red Thai chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 3⁄4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves


  • Pound coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves one cinnamon stick half, turmeric, garlic, and ginger together using a mortar and pestle, adding each ingredient one by one. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, combine ingredients in a food processor or food chopper and pulse. Spread spice mixture over the chicken pieces. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.
  • Heat oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat to 300°F. Fry shallots until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove shallots and drain on paper towels. Add chicken pieces to hot oil and deep-fry for 5 minutes. Transfer chicken and shallots to a large pot or Dutch oven.
  • Add salt, rice, remaining cinnamon stick half, bay leaves, orange peel, cardamom pods, and chilies; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer 20 minutes until rice and chicken are cooked. Remove from heat and fold in cilantro. Transfer to serving dish and serve immediately.