Fabulously flavourful Geera Chicken

What is Geera anyways? Simply put its roasted and ground cumin seeds. It’s roots are East Indian and adopted into Trinidadian cuisine. Trinis made it their own by adding their classic Caribbean green seasoning. Geera is also called zeera and I have also seen it read as jeera depending who and where it’s being made.

Geera chicken

I love cumin! I find it very aromatic and I add it to more dishes than I originally realized when I sat down to write this post and got to thinking about it. Geera anything in Trini cuisine is basically meat seasoned and cooked with ground cumin. Most commonly boneless bite sized pieces of pork are used in this savoury and most flavourful dish. I like it with pork but I also love it with chicken too. It’s a very common dish that is served up as ‘cutters’ or finger foods at parties or bars. It’s said that the the cumin helps allow you to pound back more drinks without consequence. Probably an urban legend made up to encourage people to buy more food at bars I say! Haha!

Geera chicken

It’s usually cooked down to have almost no liquids or sauce left when served as a finger food, but I like to prepare it as a meal and serve it with rice. That is why I like to reserve some sauce. I love to use the leftovers in a hops sandwich with sliced tomatoes. Mmm so yummy! Any way you serve it is delicious and easy to make and you won’t be disappointed.

Geera chicken

Here is my simple rendition of Trini style Geera chicken. I had a basic recipe I liked using for it but I got a great suggestion of spicing it up a bit more (not heat-wise but flavour-wise) by my friend Nadia who is also a big fan of geera chicken. She loves to add clove, cinnamon and some cayenne to the mix and I loved the idea of that so I took her advice and added it and it took the geera to the next level! Thanks Nadia!

Geera chicken

One thing I also love to do although my husband isn’t a fan, is use bone-in meat, especially in the case of geera chicken. I think that nothing adds more flavour to a stew than bone-in meat. That is totally optional though. Boneless meat is best when you are making this dish as a cutter served in bite sized pieces for obvious reasons. But as a meal this is great with bone-in stewing pieces of chicken. That’s pretty much all I gotta say about this stellar dish! It’s super flavourful and a great little change from your typical curry chicken. So give it a try and let me know what you thought of it!

Geera chicken

Recipe for Geera Chicken

  • 1½ lbs of chicken or pork (I used bone in stewing pieces but you can use boneless meat cut up into cubes) cleaned
  • 2-3 tbsp of green seasoning
  • 1 tsp each of salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp curry powder split in half
  • 3 tbsp geera powder split in half
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp ground clove
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder
  • A couple tsps of water plus 14 cup
  • 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil or EVOO


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Directions

  1. In a large bowl toss meat with green seasoning, salt and pepper, 1 tbsp of curry powder, and 1½ tbsp of geera (I usually add a little extra geera cause I love my geera to be a little intense) — cover and refrigerate and marinate for at least an hour but I like to marinate overnight.
  2. Once ready to cook mix all the remaining spices in a small bowl with the couple tsps of water into a runny paste and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a deep pan to medium heat and add your garlic and cook for a minute or two to infuse the oil with garlic but do not burn the garlic.
  4. Add the runny paste into the pot and sauté for a minute or two while stirring it around the pan/pot until it’s super thick and hard to stir around
  5. At this point add your chicken and sauté for a few minutes while scraping the bottom of the pot and stirring the chicken until it’s nicely coated with the geera.
  6. I add the remaining water and bring everything to a boil and then lower the heat and cover the pot and allow it to simmer for approx 20-30 minutes, stirring and checking it periodically to see if it needs more water.
  7. After it cooks for that amount of time I stir in the garam masala keep the lid off, and let it continue to simmer until meat is completely cooked through and you have the desired thickness of sauce or lack of sauce according to your taste.
  8. Serve over a bed of rice or with hops or plate the pieces on a platter and stick some toothpicks in them to serve as cutters or finger food. Perfect for appetizers or snacks at a party!


Geera chicken