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Hawaij-Spiced Chicken with Ptitim- serves 6-8 generously
Hawaij is a Yeminite spice blend that I absolutely adore. It's slightly spicy but has a depth to it that permeates everything it soaks into. 
Ptitim are also known as Israeli couscous, although they are not like couscous at all and are in fact more of a pasta. I also adore these and sometimes simply eat them with some fried onion.
If you don't like hawaij, use any middle eastern spice mix that you like.


2 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 kg chicken breasts, skinned and boned (Chicken Supremes)

1 1/2 tbsp hawaij seasoning

1 carrot, ribboned/diced

4 cubes frozen spinach

2 sticks celery, finely sliced

200g/half a tin of chopped tomatoes

300g ptitim/Israeli couscous

500ml-1 litre of water

Pinch caster sugar



  • Heat the oil in a large casserole dish (that can heat on the stove).

  • Add the onions and a pinch of salt. 

  • After a few mins, add the garlic and celery and stir well.

  • After another few mins, add the hawaij and stir into the onion mix.

  • Add the chicken and coat it in the spice mix.

  • Cook the chicken on a medium heat until the chicken is nearly all white.

  • Add the ptitim, tomatoes, carrots, pinch of sugar and spinach. Add the water till it reaches around a centimetre below the rim of your casserole dish and stir. 

  • Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 mins. If the water looks although it'g going to completely boil away, add a little more.

  • The ptitim should be nearly ready now, so taste and season with salt and pepper.

  • Cook for a few mins longer if needed.

  • This should be quite soupy.

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