Indian Spiced Chicken

Meri Raffetto

Indian Spiced chicken feature image

When I was first married we lived in Santa Barbara, CA in a tiny, one room bungalow. We’re talking about 500 square feet total…*small*. The kitchen was a tiny galley that consisted of a refrigerator you could barely open (because it would hit the counter on the other side), half a counter space that was near an old cast iron sink and next to that was a half sized antique range and oven. Despite our small home we still managed to cook and eat well, which amazes me today.

One of our favorite recipes was one I found in Sunset magazine for Indian Spiced Chicken. This recipe never failed and we often served it when we were entertaining. It was just an easy solid recipe. I never took the recipe out of the magazine, I simply bookmarked it for some reason, a mistake I’ll never make again.

The time had come to move and it was a big one across the country to North Carolina. After awhile I realized I didn’t know where that magazine went to. I searched through boxes and tried to find the recipe online with no success. I realized, I’d have to try to remember and recreate it the best I could. The recipe isn’t difficult but has a good amount of spices and I couldn’t remember exactly how much of each spice to add. After trial and error we have this wonderful recipe back in our lives.

There is something really special about the Indian spice profile with chicken and onions. The raisins add a sweetness while the pistachios top it off with salty crunchiness. The cauliflower is a change from the original recipe making it a simple one pot (or skillet) dish.

This recipe has a good variety of plant foods like cauliflower, fresh herbs, nuts and raisins providing flavor and a great nutrient profile.

Give this recipe a try. It has a lot of ingredients so my tip is to have all ingredients out, measured and ready to go and then it comes together very easily.

I also included this recipe in our Fresh Start cookbook, a free gift when you sign up for our email updates, over there on the right ⇒

My way of never losing it again.


PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOK TIME: 12 mins

TOTAL TIME: 22 mins

SERVES: 4 servings


  • 2 cups cauliflower, cut into small 1-inch pieces
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, halved and slivered lengthwise
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried turmeric
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½-cup raisins
  • 1-cup chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cup dry couscous
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup shelled roasted, salted pistachios
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro


  1. Steam cauliflower until just starting to soften. Remove and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook until browned, about 1 minute on each side (doesn’t need to be cooked through at this stage). Remove with slotted spoon into bowl.
  3. Turn heat down to medium, add onions and garlic and stir often until onions are limp and beginning to brown, be careful not to burn the garlic. Return chicken and cauliflower to pan and spread level over the onions. Sprinkle cumin, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, ½ tsp salt and raisins over chicken and vegetables. Pour broth evenly over all. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer around 5-6 min.
  4. Meanwhile, bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil; stir in 1 ½ cup couscous and return to boil. Cover pan, remove from heat, and let stand until water in absorbed- 5 min. Fluff couscous with fork and stir in chopped mint.
  5. Scoop couscous onto plates and spoon chicken mixture over couscous. Top with pistachios and cilantro.


  • Meri Raffetto

    Meri Raffetto was the original founder of Real Living Nutrition. A triplet mom and author of the Glycemic Index Diet for Dummies and coauthor of the Glycemic Index Cookbook for Dummies, and Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies.