Pomegranate Chicken Kebabs

pomegranate chicken kebab

The weekend before Christmas, Trace and I got together with some long time friends for a couples night out. It’s so nice to go somewhere with adults! It was a perfect evening for a date night; the snow was falling, it was cool and crisp but not horrendously cold, and just very festive all around.

We chose to meet at a British pub in downtown Denver called The British Bulldog. I like this place for a number of reasons:

  1. It’s called the British Bulldog
  2. It’s a pub (even though I don’t drink, that evening they had a great mulled cider)
  3. It has great food
  4. They show British football games (complete with the yobs that come with that whole scene)

pomegranate chicken kebabs

What’s great about their menu is that along with the traditional British pub fare, they have quite a good selection of Pakistani/Indian food. I am sure you know that Indian food is very popular in the UK and so finding this menu at the pub was no big surprise to me. We’ve come enough times for me to have tried almost everything on the Indian menu, except for the lamb and that’s not going to happen anytime soon. They also have proper chips.

pomegranate chicken kebabs

I ordered a chicken masala dish which was excellent and I love how they don’t skimp on the heat. It’s perfectly spiced. My friend, Chris, ordered the Chapli kebabs which are a North Pakistani/Afghani kebab. They are called Chapli because they supposedly resemble the sole of a sandal (chappal). Thankfully, they aren’t named after the texture of the sole of a sandal!

I have yet to find an authentic Chapli kebab recipe and it just could be that it’s different regionally. Once, I have perfected mine to my liking, I will share it with y’all. One characteristic of the Chapli kebab is the tomato slice stuck to one side of the kebab before it is fried. However, I’ve also seen the tomatoes diced into the meat mixture and some, like the Bulldog, do not use any at all. They, however, use dried pomegranate in theirs. 

pomegranate chicken kebabs

Now, as you can imagine, here I am sitting eating my chicken masala and yet, my mind is churning wondering how fresh pomegranate arils would work in a kebab recipe. This particular recipe has been knocking around in my head for a couple of weeks now and I only managed to make it the other day.

It had been undergoing some refinement in my head and finally, having swapped out the minced beef for chicken and some additional spices, here it is, Pomegranate Chicken Kebabs. I also ended up moving away from an Indian spiced kebab to a more Persian/Moroccan one.

pomegranate chicken kebabs

Ok, so these kebabs aren’t life changing or anything, but they are pretty good and they’re different. If you like your kebabs smooth and without texture, then these aren’t for you. Why? Well, because they have pomegranate seeds and a lot of sweet crunchy texture. 

They are not overly spiced but what’s in there adds a background flavour and if you are a saffron fan, they are fragrant and heady. I am not a huge saffron fan, but I liked the addition. These also release a bit of juice which is great drizzled over the rice. 

I fried my first test batch; they don’t take long and you don’t need a lot of oil. They do splatter a bit but you can prop a lid or a screen. The second test batch, I broiled them and they also turned out well. Of course, the fried ones are a tad bit juicier. Surprisingly, the pomegranate seeds managed to stay embedded. I think I lost only four my entire batch. The patty shape works better here than a long kebab purely because of the pomegranate seeds.

pomegranate chicken kebabs

Pomegranate Chicken Kebabs

Serves: 20

Calories: 2270

Fat: 116g

A ground chicken kebab studded with ruby red pomegranate arils, spices and saffron.
  • 2 lbs/1 Kg ground chicken
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils, about one pomegranate
  • ½ small red onion, medium dice
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • ½ teaspoon all spice, ground
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • generous pinch saffron
  • generous handful, chopped fresh mint
  • oil to fry
  1. Pretty easy!
  2. Mix everything together and shape into patties.
  3. You can make the mix ahead and chill in the fridge until ready to cook.
  4. Wet your hands with some water before shaping, makes it easier.
  5. If you're frying the patties, pour a a thin layer of oil in a fry pan and shallow fry the patties till lightly browned on both sides.
  6. They will take barely 5-7 minutes.
  7. I didn't make my patties too thick since I prefer them thinner and browned.
  8. If you want to broil them, lay them on a baking tray and broil till firm and lightly browned, about 12 to 15 minutes.
The brown sugar can be omitted if desired, but I like the hint of sweetness. The saffron too can be omitted, but if you like saffron, you'll like it in these kebabs. The arils should stay embedded in the kebab, I had no trouble with them falling out. You can always use a Middle Eastern ready made spice mix if desired. The taste will be a bit different but should still taste good.

pomegranate chicken kebabs

So, I hope you try these and tell me what you think. I liked them and so did my family. Then again, there’s meat, spices and pomegranate seeds, what’s there not to like? And they look so pretty on the plate, bejewelled kebabs.

I hope you’ve all had a great start to the New Year. I know the North East is seeing a bit of snow! Stay warm everyone. I am going to leave you with a couple of photos of our New Year’s Day trip to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. It was windy (like all our picnics) but invigorating! 

Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak


Garden of the Gods rocks

Garden of the Gods rocks


  1. Pomegranates in a pub?! Unlikely that any pub here in the UK called the British Bulldog would have pomegranates anywhere on the menu!

    These look absolutely scrummy – Jenny x

    • Yes, unlikely in the UK but totally acceptable in Colorado. We throw tradition to the wind and bring in the new 😉 Truthfully, there is a very big ex pat community here in Colorado and I think the British Bulldog tries to give us expats everything in one go, we can watch our footie, have a pint and a curry all in one fail swoop. It works, they’re always packed.

  2. I forgot to say: Happy New Year!
    And these kebabs are simply gorgeous – the pomegranate arils are pure genius. I’d love to try and make them on the grill!
    Needful Things recently posted..VentingMy Profile

    • Thank you! I hope they work on the grill, there is no binding agent when you fry them but they might need some flour or besan to keep the arils embedded whilst on the grill.

    • Thank you Min! You too, I hope you had a great start to the New Year. I hope you enjoy the kebabs, we liked them 🙂

  3. How come you won’t be trying the lamb? Whenever I’m at an Indian place I usually go for something with shrimps inside because I dunno… the idea of “meat” in a curry isn’t appealing to me, but I would have thought that if I was going to try anything I’d think the lamb was the best!

    Love the look of these kebabs – isn’t pomegranate amazing? Like hundreds of little red rubies!
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  4. Mint, allspice and pomegranate in chicken kabab. Bring on more please.

    Glad you are able to get some time for a date night. We have to find a sitter to do that since there’s no family around, so we are just having date nights with the toddler. Can’t complain 🙂

  5. Happy New Years Nazeen! Your pomegranate chicken kebabs look amazing. I think it would be quite nice to have a little sweet and added texture to the kabobs. Light and fun and the perfect way to start out the new year.
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  6. The English Pub experience – Yeah! =D
    I need to move away too from Indian flavors. I do want to move towards Persian and north African food etc, but somehow I always end up with an Indian spiced dish. No idea how this comes to happen each and every single time. I thinks so your pomegranate chicken will be a good start to go towards the flavor direction I am seeking.

    btw funny chapli = chapal ^.^
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  7. This is a beautiful dish. I was just looking at a magazine featuring roasted chicken with pomegranate. I don’t think I’ve ever had pomegranate seeds and clearly, I’m missing out. I love saffron and love the touch of it here in your dish.
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  8. I like my kebabs with texture. I add dry pomegranate seeds in gobhi paratha, although they are a bit crushed but you can still feel in your bite. These kebabs sound delicious and little fancy with the addition of fresh pomegranate seeds. I might try tomorrow as I am buying some ground meat to make meat burgers. Will let you know if I do.
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  9. Nazneen….what a gorgeous dish! I love your combination of what I would call sweet and savory spices for this dish. And of course, the pomegranate adds great color and texture! I think I’m going to surprise my family and perk up a weeknight dinner with this one! BEAUTIFUL photography!!! : )
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  10. It sounds like you had a wonderful night out, Nazneen and yes, so nice to go out without the kids. I love how there’s a British Pub in downtown Colorado! These look so good, Nazneen and so pretty with the pomegranate seeds. I love how the recipe has pomegranate molasses – it must give these awesome flavour xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..Manfredi at Bells, BreakfastMy Profile

    • Thanks Lea Ann! I don’t know if Whole Foods has pom molasses, never looked for it there. I usually buy it from the ME stores on Parker Rd.

  11. Mark is a chicken fanatic and I am so excited to have a new dish to try. These will be perfect for tomorrow’s supper. I will write back and let you know how they went. I am very excited! What a great way to start the New Year!
    David recently posted..Dutch Oven GoodnessMy Profile

      • Oh, wow – we LOVED these. I broiled them instead of pan frying them, and I think I would broil them a little farther away form the elements next time (they were very caramelized!). I would not change a thing for this perfect recipe. I served them with rice, a salad and some labneh. Thanks again for this great and healthy recipe! (I would have photographed them to post on your Facebook page but a.) they were a bit too dark and b.) it was nighttime and I hate indoor photos at night… especially of food!) xox
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  12. These look great! I need to tell Tanya about the pub downtown, but maybe she already knows! (: I am definitely trying these when I get home before the poms are gone. Hope you’re having a great new year!

    • Hey mariyam! Hope you are well, coming home soon or what?? Maybe Tanya knows, I don’t know though, I don’t see her hanging out at pubs by herself!!

    • Thank you Karen! Many folks think that about Colorado and that is the case in the mountain towns. In Denver, we are cold but snow free most of the time. We get the occasional storm, like today. and then we get dumped on 🙂 What I love about Colorado is that we have sunshine practically all year round. Sun and cold is the best combo 🙂