Oriya Chicken Recipe

Oriya Chicken Recipe
Oriya Cuisine is not very well-known to most people and very little is known about it outside of India. Located on the eastern coast of India, Orissa is one of India’s most picturesque states. Oriya food is usually characterized as delicate and mildly spiced. Local ingredients and seafood especially are a large part of the typical Oriya diet. This particular dish is a personal favorite of mine, feel free to substitute shrimp or lamb but keep in mind that the cooking times will vary.

Oriya cuisine uses a very unique mixture of spices known as “paanch phutana” (Oriya 5 spice masala). The ingredients are easily available in any Indian grocery store.

PAANCH PHUTANA consists of equal parts of the following 5 whole spices:

Fenugreek seeds (methi)
Nigella seeds (black onion seeds or kalonji)
Black Mustard Seeds (rai)
Fennel Seeds (saunf)
Cumin seeds (jeera)


Dry roast, let cool and grind to a fine powder. Store in the pantry for up to 1 month and in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.




2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1” pieces
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1.5” piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tsp red chili powder
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp paanch phutana
¾ cup cider vinegar
3-4 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish


In a large deep skillet on medium high heat, add 1 tbsp of the oil. When hot, add the onions. Stir fry for a few minutes and then add the ginger and garlic. Stir fry until golden brown, remove, let cool and puree into a thick paste using a blender or food processor.

Using the same skillet on medium high heat, add 2 tbsp of the oil and carefully add the chicken pieces. Stir fry until just lightly browned and then add the onion puree. Next add the salt, pepper, red chili powder and paanch phutana masala powder. Mix well and add the cider vinegar. Bring to a good boil, cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is just done. It should be fully cooked, yet moist and juicy. This dish usually contains very little curry or sauce. Feel free to add a little water if you prefer more of a curry based dish. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and serve with warm rotis and Basmati rice.

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