Fast Recipes

Hawayej-spiced chicken thigh cutlets

Game up your midweek standby of tray-baked chicken with a heady spice mix from Yemen, featuring caraway seeds, cumin, cardamom and more.

By Max Adey
  • 5 mins preparation
  • 25 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
Hawayej, a spice blend from Yemen, adds depth and complexity to simply roasted chicken thighs. A refreshing salad of cucumber, red onion, coriander and mint makes a fine accompaniment, and flatbread will help mop up all the juices. Or serve it with a bowl of Turkish cracked wheat salad.


  • 8 chicken thigh cutlets, bone in, skin on
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pickled long green chillies and Greek-style yoghurt, to serve
Hawayej spice mix
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 220°C. For hawayej, dry-roast caraway seeds and black peppercorns in a frying pan over medium-high heat until fragrant (30 seconds to 1 minute). Coarsely crush with a mortar and pestle and stir in remaining spices.
  • 2
    Combine chicken, garlic and olive oil in a large bowl. Add spice mixture and toss to combine. Spread chicken on an oven tray lined with baking paper and roast until golden and juices run clear when pierced with a skewer (18-22 minutes). Serve with pickled chillies and yoghurt.
  • undefined: Max Adey