Afghani Chicken: Taste the Spice of Afghanistan

The flavors of Afghanistan are as diverse and masterfully blended as its land and culture. Its cuisine incorporates influences from its many neighbors, such as Persia, India, and Central Asia. Nowhere is that more famously on display than in the national dish of Afghanistan, Afghani Chicken. This rich and flavorful chicken dish combines traditional Afghans techniques and complex spices that might just leave you wanting more.

Feasting on the Flavors of Afghanistan

This popular dish is savored throughout Afghanistan, from bustling cities to quiet mountainside villages. While every Afghan family puts its own spin on the recipe, the basic components remain the same. This recipe for Afghani Chicken is a classic that has likely been savored in Afghan homes for centuries.


• 2 lbs. chicken, cut into four pieces

• 2 tablespoons plain yogurt

• 1 teaspoon garlic paste

• 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

• 1 onion, finely chopped

• 2 tablespoons tomato puree

• 1 teaspoon ginger paste

• 2 leaves bay

• 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

• 1 teaspoon ground cumin

• 1 teaspoon ground coriander

• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

• 3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

• 1 teaspoon sea salt

• 2 teaspoons garam masala


1. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic paste and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes.

2. Heat the remaining oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the tomato puree, ginger paste and bay leaves to the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes.

4. Add the cardamom, cumin, coriander, turmeric, red pepper, salt and garam masala and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute.

5. Add the chicken pieces and juice from the marinade. Cover the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the chicken is tender, about 25 minutes.

6. Uncover the skillet and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook to reduce the sauce, about 10 minutes.

7. Serve hot with rice or flatbread.

A Taste of History

Afghani Chicken captures the rich, complex flavors that have been savored in Afghanistan for centuries. This masterpiece of Asian cuisine has a way of delighting the palate with its intricate mix of spices that burst with flavor. If you want to take your taste buds on a culinary journey, this dish is a perfect place to start. You can even try your hand at experimenting with unique flavor combinations.

From its humble origins in the region of Afghanistan, this classic dish is still celebrated today, bringing together elements of Persian, Indian and Central Asian cuisine. Surprise your family and friends with a truly delicious and memorable meal. Try my Afgani Chicken recipe and let the tastes and aromas of Afghanistan transport you to a land far away.