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Spicy Indian Chicken Soup

Onion, ginger, and garlic -- a classic flavor trio in Indian cuisine -- form the base of this soup, which takes on a pleasing spiciness when finished with cumin, coriander, and chile. A squeeze of orange juice adds a touch of natural sweetness.

  • Servings: 6
Spicy Indian Chicken Soup

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January 2010


  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), cut into pieces (including back)
  • 8 cups water
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh ginger, plus 3 thin slices
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds (yellow or brown)
  • 6 canned whole peeled tomatoes, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • Garnish: sliced scallions and orange wedges


  1. Bring chicken, water, and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil in a large stockpot. Skim foam. Add onions, garlic, and chopped ginger. Reduce heat. Simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.

  2. Remove breast, and set aside. Simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.

  3. Strain soup through a sieve. Reserve legs and thighs, and discard remaining solids. Let chicken cool slightly. Remove meat from bones, and slice.

  4. Heat oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Cook spices until fragrant and mustard seeds are popping, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes. Cook, stirring, until liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add reserved soup, chile, and ginger slices. Simmer for 5 minutes. Skim fat. Season with salt. Stir chicken into soup. Garnish with scallions, and serve with orange wedges.


Reviews (1)

  • gailannettestone 1 Jan, 2014

    Delicious! I went heavier on the garlic and ginger, since I was making this for a relative who had a terrible chest cold. I also strengthened the broth by putting the chicken bones back in and simmering for an hour. Next time, I will make my broth in advance, chill it, and save the chicken fat, to use instead to saute the spices instead of vegetable oil. I also finely chopped an additional serrano pepper and included it with the scallions as part of the garnish. Spicy and comforting!!

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