Try this recipe for burghul bl ja, then check out more of Imad's Syrian recipes such as Syrian baba ghanoj, muhammara and Syrian falafel, plus these Syrian-inspired barazek shortbreads. Also browse our collection of Middle Eastern meze recipes for the perfect party platter.


  • 4 whole chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp rock salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • crushed to make ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 200g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 200g bulgur wheat
  • a small handful flat-leaf parsley, to serve
  • to serve (optional) pomegranate seeds
  • a pinch sumac, to serve (optional)
  • boiled butternut squash, to serve (optional)


  • STEP 1

    Toss the chicken thighs with the vinegar and rock salt in a bowl, then remove and pat dry with kitchen paper

  • STEP 2

    Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the cumin seeds. Once sizzling, add the cardamom, cinnamon, peppercorns and cloves. Stir for 1 minute. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until golden.

  • STEP 3

    Add the tomatoes, mixed spice and 1 tsp of salt. Cover and simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring regularly.

  • STEP 4

    Add the chicken and cook for 35 minutes more, until the chicken is cooked through, stirring every once in a while.

  • STEP 5

    Scoop the chicken thighs onto a non-stick tray. Add the raisins and bulgur wheat to the pan. The mixture should just cover the bulgur – if it doesn’t, add enough just-boiled water to do so. Bubble on a low heat for 15-20 minutes until the bulgur is tender.

  • STEP 6

    Meanwhile, grill the chicken under a medium heat for 10 minutes until the skin is golden.

  • STEP 7

    To serve, spoon the bulgur wheat onto a serving plate, top with the chicken, parsley, pomegranate seeds and sumac, if you like.

Discover more chicken thigh recipes

A huge pan full of roast chicken thighs and rice with side dishes all around it



Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating

A star rating of 5 out of 5.2 ratings