Roasted Chicken with Jasmine Petal Garam Masala, Saffron, Hazelnuts and Honey and a Quinoa Tabouleh

Roasted Chicken Quinoa Salad (0405)

Summer time usually means a lot of spontaneous entertaining and I love having friends over on the spur of the moment. Then often a time it will be something quick, easy and put together with simple ingredients not requiring too much fussing over. A tapas or mezzeh menu, barbecued meats and fish or quick roasted and moist poultry are some of the ideas I tend reach for from my repertoire.

My cooking is very deeply inspired by the Indian and Middle Eastern, in particular the Levantine cuisine, reflecting the two major influences in my life. Sprinkled within my Indian roots are the pungent and aromatic spices that have created a robust and poignant foundation for all my cooking experiments. But a generous slathering of Middle Eastern upbringing has shaped my style of cooking into a creative and bold new route. I will easily pair flavors and ingredients from both cuisines side-by-side and present a mix of tastes and fragrances to my guests, hoping to always create a memorable experience for them.

The kitchen is a place where I often get lost in my own memories. When it comes to food – my memories are grand! And I want to share this grandness with my friends every time we sit together at the dinner table.

Roasted Chicken Quinoa Salad (0413)

There are many similarities in the Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. Be it the common spices used liberally in both cuisines like cumin, coriander, saffron or herbs like mint and also produce like okra or egg plants – which leaves plenty of room for new interpretations or using new ingredients in traditional dishes. This meal very much reflects the way I cook and entertain at home. The beautiful organic whole chicken boasts flavors from both cuisines, while the tabouleh, a traditional Levantine salad, makes use of quinoa instead of the coarser bulgur it is typically made with.

Roasted Chicken Quinoa Salad (0379) Roasted Chicken Quinoa Salad (0383)

Little details and decorations on the table are a nice way to add a small personal highlight. Nothing extravagant – the meal and your friends are the stars of the evening - but I do like creating a personalized table setting for my guests. It is a warm welcome message and makes my guests feel special. These small highlights become a signature that makes my friends look forward to the dinners I give. I will use whatever I have on hand, often going to my herb garden for inspiration.

Roasted Chicken Quinoa Salad (0408)

In the video I shot for Dima Shariff’s Ramadan Special I share these simple ideas including thoughts on dinnerware, tablecloth and napkins, how I balance colours and set the mood. I also share my food inspirations and how I evolve my recipes to fit my lifestyle. My nature inspired summer table is perfect for enjoying great convivial meals with your friends outdoors and creating grand memories with good down-to-earth food with big flavors.

While we are on the subject of videos and TV, here is the clip for Germany’s MDR TV who are accompanying me for the Kulinarik project I told you about in my last post. The clip focuses on my cooking, blogging and photography and how I am incorporating my cooking style into the Thüringian cuisine. Hope you enjoy a peek into my kitchen, studio and prop closet!

Recipe: Roasted Chicken with Jasmine Petal Garam Masala, Saffron, Hazelnuts and Honey
Inspired by Yotam Ottlenghi

Printable version of recipe here

Roasted Chicken Quinoa Salad (0405)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 6


  • 1 large organic chicken
  • 2 onions, cut into quarters
  • 2 carrots cut in large pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Masala Monsoon Jasmine Petal Garam Masala
  • Generous pinch of saffron strands
  • 2 lemons - 1 juiced 1 cut in slices
  • 2 teaspoons course sea salt
  • 100 g unskinned hazelnuts, sliced and toasted until brown
  • 70g raw honey
  • 12 tablespoons rosewater


  1. In a small bowl mix together the garam masala, saffron, lemon juice, water, olive oil and garlic.
  2. Place the chicken on a roasting tray and arrange the onions and carrots around it.
  3. Rub the chicken with the spice marinade and leave to marinate in fridge for 4-8 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Place the roasting tray with the chicken in the oven and roast gently for 35-40 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, mix together the hazelnuts with the honey and rosewater into a paste-like mixture.
  6. Remove the chicken from the oven and spread the paste generously over the chicken and continue to roast for another 8-10 minutes until the nuts are gorgeously brown.
  7. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter arranging the vegetables around it and serve with a quinoa tabouleh (recipe below)
Also arrange mixed olives, hummus and toasted pita breads on the table and a large pitchers of chilled infused water with mint, strawberries and blueberries.
Recipe: Quinoa Tabouleh
Adapted from Donna Hay’s Fresh & Light

Printable version of recipe here

Roasted Chicken Quinoa Salad (0408)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 500g cooked red and white quinoa
  • 2 large bunches flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 bunch mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • sea salt and cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 150g marinated feta cheese
  • 100g toasted pine nuts


  1. Place the cooked and cooled quinoa, parsley, mint and coriander leaves, tomatoes and lemon zest in a bowl. Toss to combine.
  2. Mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, ground cumin and pour over the salad. Toss well to combine.
  3. Transfer on a platter and top with crumbled feta cheese and toasted pine nuts.

This is a very versatile salad and can be made in many variations:
Add roasted zucchini, egg plants, bell peppers and marinated olives to the salad.
Instead of feta cheese crumble some goats cheese over the top.


Roasted Chicken Quinoa Salad (0412)

The chicken is rubbed generously with a garam masala spice mix, this one in particular is Masala Monsoon’s Jasmine Petal Garam Masala, an inspired aromatic spice blend that bring together the flowery note of Jasmine to green cardamom and cumin creating an exotic mélange of flavors. Masala Monsoon spice blends are a passionate creation of Sumaya Usmani from My Tamarind Kitchen (formerly Pukka Paki). Sumaya says “Masala Monsoon is created to bring to you the best memories” and as I am passionate about sharing such memories from my kitchen her spice blends fit perfectly! My nani (grandmother) always said that saffron was the pinch of extra love for your friends and guests, so I have added a generous pinch of beautiful saffron strands to the rub. The chicken roasted on medium heat to keep it moist and succulent and then basted in honey, hazelnuts and a drizzle of rosewater. It awakens all the senses! A minty and refreshing quinoa tabouleh brings the main meal together, keeping it light but adding to the exquisite flavors.

Hope you all enjoy your summer with friends and family! I would love to hear what your favorite meals are, how you set your tables and what signature dish do you often serve when friends come over – please feel free to share your thoughts.

You might like these great dishes for your summer entertaining from WFLH:

MintMeatballs01framed2 7999522349_d6c5bb93cf_b MusselsCreamyGarlicSauce_MeetaKWolff_0022-CR[2]
Mint Lamb Meatballs with Spelt Risotto and a Coriander Pesto Grilled Salmon with Ras El Hanout and Za'atar Mussels in a Creamy Garlic Sauce

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2013 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. OMG that looks good!! I do love Middle-Eastern flavours in cooking - always so subtle and complex. How I wish we lived closer... I like how you've used the chive flowers!

    1. These are the meals we both love I know. Next time we are together we must make this!

  2. Mouthwatering food and wonderfully decorated table! I'd love to be your guest...



    1. I would love to have you over as my guest Rosa! Thank you!

  3. Roast chicken is a glorious thing. We eat it rarely as I'll only buy a free-range hen (which is expensive) so it's a real treat. I like to stuff in under the skin with different herby flavours. Love the way the saffron makes this golden - the best part of the chicken is the crispy this tastes incredibly moreish.

    1. Free-range here too but I do splash out on it every now and then as we all love it so much. Sally we just need to cook together with lots of wine around LOL!

  4. That looks delicious Meeta! And I can imagine what a wonderful thing it would be to be a guest at your table :)


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