A recipe for Suqaar Digaag (Somali Chicken Suqaar)! Small pieces of chicken are stir-fried with a colorful variety of vegetables and spices.
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Small, cubed pieces of chicken are tossed over heat with assortment of vegetables and seasoned with Xawaash, a warming spice mix. Specific spices vary based on the family and region. Some only add salt. Others add spoonfuls of cumin or coriander and turmeric.
I have also seen a variety of vegetables. I went with a combination of onion, carrot, potato, bell pepper, tomato, and cilantro.
Once everything is cooked through and tender, serve immediately with rice (I made Bariis Huruud/Turmeric Rice from The Somali Kitchen– love the vibrant yellow color!), Sabaayad (flatbread), or Canjeero (sourdough pancake) along with bananas, lime/lemon wedges, and a light green salad for quite the flavorful meal.
A Few Tips
While I featured a recipe for Suqaar Digaag (Chicken Suqaar), it can also be prepared with other types of meat. At Banadir, we especially enjoyed the goat and lamb. Beef is also popular.
If the mixture starts to stick, add a little more oil and make sure the heat is high enough. If all the water has evaporated before the potatoes become tender, add a little more water until you have the perfect texture.
I used a green bell pepper to contrast with the red color of the tomatoes and yellow in the rice, but have seen a variety of bell pepper colors used. At Banadir, the Suqaar Digaag came with spicy green chilies instead of bell peppers.
Adjust the seasonings to taste before serving. The Xawaash spice blend has a mild heat, but you can add Basbaas Cagaar (Somali Green Hot Sauce) as needed for even more flavor.
Xawaash is a Somali spice mix made from toasted and ground cumin, coriander, pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and turmeric. Some spices and amounts may differ based on the region.
Looking for more easy chicken recipes?
- Pollo Saltado (Peruvian Chicken Stir-Fry)
- Lort Cha (Cambodian Stir-Fried Rice Pin Noodles)
- Lemon Sage Chicken
This recipe was originally posted in June 2015 and updated in September 2022.
Suqaar Digaag (Somali Chicken Suqaar) Recipe
Adapted from Xawaash
Suqaar Digaag (Somali Chicken Suqaar)
- 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) olive oil
- 1 medium onion peeled and cut into thick slices
- 1 medium potato peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes
- 1 medium carrot peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Xawaash spice mix
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) water
- 1 bell pepper seeds and core removed, cut into bite-sized pieces or strips
- 1 medium tomato core removed and cut into wedges
- 1/4 cup (6 grams) fresh cilantro finely chopped
- Basbaas Cagaar Somali green chili sauce
- Bariis Huruud Somali Turmeric Rice
- Lemon or lime wedges
- In a large pan, drizzle the oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook until starting to brown. Toss in the potatoes and carrots. Cook, stirring often, until starting to soften.
- Toss in the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides.
- Add the Xawaash, salt, and pepper, tossing to coat thoroughly.
- Pour in the water, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
- Stir in the bell pepper, tomato, and cilantro. Cook until just tender and chicken is heated through.
- Adjust seasonings to taste, adding a little more salt or Xawaash if needed, and serve immediately.