Recipes from Balochistan: Chicken Sajji Masala

Recipes from Balochistan

Chicken Sajji Masala

Region: Balochistan (Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan)
Course: Main
Makes: 6 servings

For the Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

For the Spice Mix

  • 1 to 1 3/4 oz whole red chilies
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp carom seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • Lemon juice for sprinkling


  1. Mix the vinegar, chili powder, black pepper, salt and garlic paste together in a large bowl. Add the whole chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally to make sure you get good coverage.
  2. While the chicken is marinading, put the spice ingredients together in a hot pan. Keep stirring, because you aren't using any oil and the spices will burn pretty quickly if left unattended. When they become fragrant, remove them from the heat and transfer them to a grinder. Crush them into a fine powder. If you have larger bits in your mix, it's a good idea to sift the spices through a fine mesh strainer as the bits won't be very pleasant to bite into. Set the mixture aside.
  3. When the chicken has finished marinading, transfer it to a preheated oven and cook at 350 degrees for about 30 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, light some coals in your barbecue (propane won't really work for this recipe, you need the smoking coals to achieve the right flavor). When they are hot, transfer the whole chicken to your barbecue and close the lid.
  4. When the chicken develops a dark, crispy skin take it off the grill and check the temperature of each thigh. It should read about 175. If it doesn't, transfer back to your oven and keep cooking until the right temperature is achieved.
  5. Let the chicken rest for about 10 or 15 minutes before carving.
  6. Sprinkle each serving with some lemon juice and a little bit of the prepared spice mixture.