This hearty stew is a taste of India. It contains the contents of 2 teabags (1 tablespoon) Chai Spice Black Tea, which adds an exotic, spicy aroma and flavor to the dish. It is delicious served with a dollop of plain yogurt, with flatbread on the side.

The Chai spices I used (Stash’s Premium Chai Spice Black Tea) is a blend of premium black teas and spices: ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom. I also added fresh ginger, garlic, and ground cumin.


4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Kosher salt, to taste
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3 large garlic cloves, minced
Leaves from 2 teabags Chai spice black tea, emptied
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 finely chopped roasted red bell peppers (can be from a jar)
One (15-ounce) can good quality tomato sauce + 1cup water
5 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock or store-bought low sodium chicken broth, divided
1/2 cup quick-cook pearl barley
Two (15-ounce) cans organic chickpeas, rinsed well and drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
Plain yogurt and flatbread, for serving


Step 1
Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt; add to pot and cook, turning once, until browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to low and let oil cool a little. Add the ginger and garlic. Sauté until the ginger and garlic just start to brown.

Step 2
Add cumin, red pepper flakes, and the tea leaves; sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in the roasted red bell peppers and tomato sauce. Rinse the tomato sauce can with 1 cup water and add it to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 15 minutes.

Step 3
Return reserved chicken with any accumulated juices and 4 cups of chicken stock to the pot. Scrape up any browned bits. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, occasionally stirring, until chicken is tender, about 25 minutes.

Step 4
Combine 1/2 cup barley and 1 1/2 cups chicken stock in a 2-quart saucepan with a lid. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to low heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes.

Step 5
When the chicken is cooked, transfer to a plate. Add barley and chickpeas to the pot; bring to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes. Using 2 forks, shred chicken and add to stew.\r\n Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and simmer for a couple more minutes. Taste and season with salt and more lemon juice, if needed.\r\n

Step 6
To serve: Ladle hot stew into bowls; garnish with cilantro or parsley. Place a serving dish with plain yogurt and a plate with flat bread on your table.