Baked Chicken with Cumin and Sumac: Spices and Seasons Recipe


As the weather gets seasonably cold, I love the oven on and the pot simmering on the stove-top. Nothing There are very few things that excite me more than playing with flavors coming up with something different, and of course when the flavors come together to form a dish that need about 15 to 20 minutes of attention, I am ready to dance while cooking. Ok, I just made that up, but it does really make me very happy when I come up with something that is flavorful and light on both time and calories.

The next few weeks, I shall be sharing food that can be happily enjoyed to celebrate with friends and family. This rather simple dish is full of the flavors of deep cumin and sumac and gets done effortlessly in the oven. It has hints of the Mediterranean and will work wonderfully over a bed of Quinoa or couscous. I thing this will also do well for pot lucks and meals on the go, because the chicken can be assembled and baked just when you are ready and of course baked and then re-heated allowing the flavors to deepen and mature.

Now, let me tell you a secret, I chanced on this dish when I had run out of coriander seeds and had to improvise for dinner. So, I doubled the cumin and it resulted in this creation. The spices would work well on lamb and pork and with some adjustment of timing possibly on a nice piece of salmon. The point that I am trying to make is the cooking is often a matter of spontaneity and most of my recipes are very forgiving.

Spices and Seasons – Baked Chicken with Cumin and Sumac

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Spices and Seasons – Baked Chicken with Cumin and Sumac

A simple and flavorful baked chicken dish, that is perfect for easy entertaining or for a pot luck as it expands easily.


  • 11/2 tablespoons of whole cumin seeds
  • 2 dried red chili peppers
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 11/2 teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
  • 3 pods of garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Chopped cilantro and mint to garnish


  1. In a small skillet lightly roast the cumin seeds and red chili peppers. This should be done for about 2 minutes until the cumin is fragrant and darkens a few shades.
  2. Place the cumin and red chilies in a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Mix in with the powdered sumac.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Place the chicken in a bake-proof baking dish. Rub the chicken with the cumin spice mixture.
  5. Add in the ginger, garlic and mix well.
  6. Add in the salt to taste and the olive oil.
  7. Bake the chicken for about 30 minutes, by now, the chicken should be well browned, tender and turning crisp at points.
  8. Remove from the oven and garnish with the cilantro and mint and serve with couscous, rice or warm pita bread.




About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, loves meshing seasonal produce with fresh spices. Most of her recipes are inspired by her Indian heritage, and her cooking is practical, easy and well suited for a busy lifestyle on the go. As a mother with two young children, her recipes are also usually balanced and kid-friendly. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences and original recipes. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years. Rinku is the author of two cookbooks: The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook that highlights culture, memories and recipes from her childhood transformed where needed for her Lohud kitchen and Spices and Seasons that marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and is also a contributor for Zester Daily.

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