Moroccan braised chicken with dates and vegetables

Moroccan braised chicken with dates and vegetables

Eat Right For Your Body Type
Lisa Linder

This is a delicious Moroccan-inspired dish but without the traditional chickpeas (in Ayurveda we should try to limit the types of protein in a dish to just one) and without the strong preserved lemons. This dish is great for vata as it is unctuous and soft but can also work for healthy pitta body types with fewer spices. The vegetables lighten the dish and the flavourful broth is absolutely perfect with simple herb couscous, barley couscous, quinoa or rice. Kapha can also enjoy this curry but should serve it without heavy grains or opt for the vegetarian version.


Quantity Ingredient
1 1/2-2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, (kapha 1 1⁄2 tablespoons, pitta 2 tablespoons, vata 2 1⁄2 tablespoons)
1 medium–large onion, peeled and sliced
4 fat garlic cloves, peeled and grated into a paste
3/4 teaspoon ginger paste
3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika, (for colour)
4 small chicken thighs, bone in, skinned and trimmed of all fat
500ml chicken stock or vegetable stock
salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons tomato puree
1 small carrot, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
1 small courgette, sliced on the diagonal
6 large dates, quartered lengthways
or equivalent amount other dried fruit, (e.g. figs or apricots)
large handful fresh parsley, chopped, to serve

Spice blend

Quantity Ingredient
5cm cinnamon shard
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 1/4 teaspoons cumin seeds


  1. To make the spice blend, grind the cinnamon, sesame and cumin seeds together to make a fine powder – this is quite a quick job if you use a pestle and mortar.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook gently until soft and colouring at the edges. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1–2 minutes or until it smells cooked. Add a splash of water if it looks as though it may burn. Stir in the spice blend, the caraway seeds and the paprika.
  3. Add the chicken, stock, seasoning and tomato purée. Bring to a boil and simmer gently, covered, for 18 minutes. Add the carrot, cover and cook for about 8 minutes. Add the courgette (or other vegetables) and cook until the chicken and vegetables are all done, another 6–7 minutes or so. Stir in the dates and adjust the liquid quantity by cooking off excess water or adding a splash from the kettle. Stir in the parsley and serve.

Vegetarian version

  • Omit the chicken, use vegetable stock, add a few other vegetables and stir in 1⁄2–3⁄4 can of chickpeas or 50 g of fresh chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked (they normally take 1 1⁄2 hours).
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