Al Fahan Chicken

This dish originated in the Gulf but now it is more popular in India, especially in Kerala. Fahum is the Arabic word for coal and therefore the name of this dish since originally it was grilled over coal fire. Now of course it is cooked in an oven or open flame of a gas stove. Chicken marinated in a flavourful masala that is popularly used in Arabic dishes, cooked in the oven before finishing over direct flame.

By Sanjeev Kapoor
New Update
Al Fahan Chicken - YT

Al Fahan Chicken

Main ingredients Chicken thighs, Black peppercorns, Lemon, Ginger-garlic paste, Yogurt, Coriander seeds, Cumin seeds, Green cardamoms, Cloves, Cinnamon, Dried red chillies, Tomato, Onion, Fresh coriander leaves
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Course Starter
Prep time 2-2.5 hours
Cook time 30-35 minutes
Serve 4
Taste Spicy
Level of cooking Moderate
Others Non vegetarian


  • 4 chicken thighs
  • Salt to taste
  • Crushed black peppercorns to taste
  • ½ lemon
  • 4 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 4 tablespoons yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2-3 green cardamoms
  • 6-8 black peppercorns
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4-5 dried red chillies
  • 1 medium tomato, quartered
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • ¼ cup fresh coriander leaves
  • To serve
  • Mixed lettuce leaves as required
  • Ready-made hummus
  • Pitted green and black olives
  • Pickled vegetables as required
  • Toasted pita bread as required


  1. Make deep slits on the joints of each chicken thigh. Place them on a plate sprinkle salt, crushed black peppercorns, squeeze the juice of lemon and add the ginger-garlic paste and yogurt. Rub the mixture well on the chicken thighs. Set aside to marinate for 1 hour.
  2. Dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, green cardamoms, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick and dried red chillies in a non-stick pan for 2-3 minutes. Transfer onto a plate and let the mixture cool slightly. 
  3. Put the roasted mixture in a blender jar and blend to a fine powder. Add tomato, onion and coriander leaves and blend to a fine paste. Add a little water if necessary to get the right consistency. 
  4. Apply the blended paste on the marinated chicken thighs and set aside to marinate for another hour. 
  5. Preheat oven to 200ºC.
  6. Grease a baking tray with some olive oil. Place the marinated chicken thighs on it, place it in the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Transfer the chicken thighs onto a wire rack and grill over direct flame for a few minutes on each side.
  8. Arrange them on a serving plate and serve hot with salad, hummus, olives, pickled vegetables and toasted pita bread.