Enjoy a tasty and vibrant midweek meal

This turmeric chicken with crispy chickpeas looks and tastes amazing.

Plus it has a number of health benefits!

PREP TIME: 10 mins
IDEAL FOR: family, midweek meal

The “golden spice of life”

This signature marigold orange-yellow colour gives your food a lovely vibrancy.

But don’t get it on your white shirt!

If you’ve ever made the mistake of touching the pollen in lilies.

Then you’ll know to be careful with handling turmeric.

This stuff can be lethal on your clothes.

But it’s still a must-have-spice in the kitchen.

And gives dishes like curries, roasts and baked goods a subtle boost in flavour.

In India, they’ve been using turmeric for over 4,000 years.

For both medicinal and culinary so it’s a spice worth knowing.

And this turmeric chicken with crispy chickpeas is also a dish worth knowing about.

Turmeric chicken with crispy chickpeas and lemon yoghurt

What is turmeric?

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family.

And is grown in South Asia for use both in cooking and medicine.

It contains compounds called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.

Which are what loads of herbalists go a little bonkers over it as a ‘super food’.

Mainly for conditions, like breathing problems, rheumatism, pain and fatigue.

4 potential health benefits of turmeric

The potential health benefits of turmeric, and curcumin in particular, include better regulation of inflammation in the body.

But like anything, it all depends on how much you take, with what and when.

So, I prefer to think of it more for cooking than a medicine and any benefits I get are a bonus.

1.     May help ease arthritis

2.    May support cognitive function – stroke and Alzheimer’s disease

3.    May lower the risk of cardiovascular disease

4.    May support the immune system

What does turmeric taste like?

It has a musky, loamy mustard flavour laced with a soft peppercorn heat.

Not only does it can add vibrancy to your food.

But it can enhance an earthiness to food like roasts, rice, or scrambled eggs.

Turmeric in food

Of course, as I said, it’s a brilliant colour!

And if you just rub ground turmeric onto skin-on chicken thighs or chicken breasts before seasoning with salt and pepper and roasting.

You will have elevated your dish in an instant.

Turmeric can also give a nice mellow boost to your broth for chicken noodle soup.

Use turmeric in your roasted root vegetables.

Just toss the vegetables with ½ teaspoon of ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, and a good drizzle of olive oil, and season with salt and black pepper.

Then roast in the oven at 200°C until cooked through and crisp around the edges.

Turmeric substitute

Turmeric is a unique spice.

So, when it comes to substituting it.

You may want to think about whether you really need to substitute it?

Because there isn’t really a like-for-like substitute.

So, it might even be better to forget a sub completely.

But here are a few suggestions that might work depending on the dish you’re making.

Curry powder

Curry powders are made up of several spices blended together, one of which is turmeric.

But be careful with this as it has much stronger spices in there which may not work with a recipe.


Use sparingly because ginger is sharp and stronger.

Smoked paprika & mace

The colour and muskiness of the smoked paprika go well together with the pungent spiciness of the mace so can work as a substitute.


This is great for substituting colour as it has similar vibrant yellow.

And it’s not a strong flavour so could work.

If you want more info on different spices, check out my essential spice guide.




Recipe: Olive Magazine

Turmeric chicken with crispy chickpeas

Course Main Course
Keyword chicken, chicken and chickpeas, chicken curry, curry, easy meal, midweek meal, one pan meal, turmeric chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Cost £


  • 400 g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 600 g skinless chicken breasts, chopped into chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 200 g baby spinach, torn
  • 200 g natural yoghurt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 pita bread to serve


  • To make the chickpeas crispy, you need to pat them dry then tip into a colander and set aside.
  • Mix the turmeric, paprika and chilli flakes in a large bowl then tip the chicken into it with ½ tbsp of olive oil, season well, and toss until well coated.
  • In a large frying pan, heat ½ tbsp of oil over medium-high heat and cook the chicken piece for 3-4 mins on one side, then turn and cook for 3-4 mins or until the chicken is deeply golden and cooked through.
    Remove to a plate but keep the frying pan.
  • Add the chickpeas to the frying pan with the shallots, garlic and remaining oil. Season and cook for 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas start to turn golden and crisp up.
  • Add the spinach, and cook until the spinach has just wilted. Remove from the heat, return the chicken to the pan and mix together.
  • Combine the yoghurt with the lemon juice and season well.
    To serve, spread the yoghurt over four plates, and top with the chicken and chickpea mix.
    Serve with warmed pitta bread.