Fast Recipes

Spiced yoghurt chicken with cardamom-coconut pilaf

A yoghurt marinade for the chicken produces super juicy results. Here we've served it with a fragrant pilaf for a complete meal.

By Max Adey
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking
  • Serves 4 - 6
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Play around with different spices in the pilaf – cloves and star anise work very nicely, as do fresh curry leaves. This dish reheats well, so consider doubling it to ensure there'll be leftovers.


  • 100 gm Greek-style yoghurt, plus extra to serve
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 kg chicken thighs (about 8), bone in, skin on
  • Toasted shredded coconut, coriander sprigs, pickled chillies and lime wedges, to serve
Cardamom-coconut pilaf
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 12 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 300 gm (1½ cups) basmati rice, rinsed
  • 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 100 ml coconut milk
  • Pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 20ml of warm water
  • 40 gm (¼ cup) currants
  • 400 gm canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 230°C. Combine yoghurt, garlic and garam masala in a large bowl, add chicken and toss to coat. Season, spread out on large baking tray lined with baking paper and roast until browned and juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with a skewer (18-20 minutes).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for cardamom-coconut pilaf, heat ghee in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and cardamom, season to taste and sauté until onion is softened and translucent (4-5 minutes). Add rice and stir to coat, then add chicken stock, coconut milk and soaked saffron and water and bring to the boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 14-15 minutes. Remove pan from the heat, remove lid and add currants and chickpeas, re-cover and stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  • 3
    Divide pilaf among plates, top with chicken, coconut, coriander and chillies and serve with lime and extra yoghurt.