Sawani Dijaj: Jordanian Stewed Chicken Recipe

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Petra, Jordan

Have I said how much I liked Jordanian food? I do, and you know I would not lie. I had no qualms about sharing my disdain for English food or Austrian schnitzel.

Jordanian food is delicious.

The food is simple but flavourful and I was dying to learn how to make it.

Fortunately Jordan Tourism had booked me in at Petra Kitchens to learn some of my new favourite dishes.

I know not everyone likes to chop vegetables as much as I do so I wanted to share this stewed chicken recipe which was so simple but really delicious.

The Arabic word for baking dish is “suniya” or “suniyat,” the plural form of which is “sawani.”

This Suniyat dijaj is literally a pan of chicken.

sawani dijaj Jordanian stewed chicken

Sawani Dijaj: Jordanian Stewed Chicken

Yield: 10-12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

The Arabic word for baking dish is “suniya” or “suniyat,” the plural form of which is “sawani.” Thus Suniyat dijaj is literally a pan of chicken.


  • 2 chickens, chopped into pieces
  • 2 lb tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 lb potatoes
  • 1 lb onions
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Wash chicken and rub with salt, oil and spices. Brown in oil (about 15 minutes).
  3. Chop onions into thin rings. Slice tomatoes into thin slices. Chop potatoes into thin crosswise (oval) slices.
  4. Combine vegetables in skillet. Saute them in oil until the onions are clear.
  5. Place the chicken in a greased baking dish. Add onions and potatoes. Arrange the tomato slices on top. Cover pan.
  6. Reduce oven temp to 350° and cook for 45 minutes.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 216Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 552mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 7g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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This popular entrée has many variations. Try out pan-roasted meat (suniyat lahma), vegetarian roasted eggplant (suniyat betinjan) or a something-for-everyone combination of meat chunks, chicken and eggplant. Versions using meat should be cooked longer.

Disclosure: I was a guest of the Jordan Tourism Board, they did not request that I write a favourable review or realize I’d love Jordanian food so much.

Join the Conversation

  1. Looks good, especially when I realized that the “orange” was tomatoes not carrots!

  2. Matthew Karsten says:

    Looks tasty! Did you save any for the rest of us???

    The recipe is good and all, but I want the real thing.

    Please email us the leftovers. 🙂

  3. Looks inviting! I am definitely going to try it.

  4. This looks amazing. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing.

  5. The Travel Chica says:

    Lots of great spices! But you know I’ll never make it without your guidance in the kitchen 🙂

  6. Gawd woman! The first photo.. i can almost smell it and I am salivating!!! 😛 I wish Tourism Jordan would send me for some stewed chicken luvin too 🙂 haha

  7. Looks yum. Wish I had an oven to make this in…Is there any variation if you don’t have an oven? I love how they use cinnamon and cardamon in their dishes.

  8. The eggplant vegetarian version sounds pretty good!

  9. Sounds and looks delicious!

    I might try to cook it once i’m back at home in 4 weeks 🙂

  10. dtravelsround says:

    YUM!!! I wish I had these ingredients in my house right now, because this sounds like something I could maybe make!!! And, actually like!

  11. Your approach to learning about local cuisine has been a great idea, with plenty of flavor too!

  12. Camels & Chocolate says:

    I’m bookmarking this for when I return to solid ground next month!

  13. YUM! If I could only find a CSer or a hostel with an OVEN. 😛

  14. Do you actually end up cooking a lot of recipes from abroad when you find yourself at home?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Well back at my family home I am the cook and my mother always wants to share the experience so I usually have a list of things I have eaten somewhere that she wants to try.

  15. Yummy great recipe…love the stem coming out of the dish shot too.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      So easy too. I am always amazed at how few ingredients they use.

  16. Nomadic Samuel says:

    It’s so much fun learning how to cook in another country. I’m all thumbs in the kitchen but every once in a while I surprise myself 😛

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Jordanian food is pretty simple, you should start there!

  17. Ooh, question: I already asked you about being a vegetarian in Latin America and have been doing okay in Mexico so far. What do you think Jordan’s like for vegetarians?

  18. ProcrastinatorCook says:

    This is my favorite lazy go to dish, but I never add tomatoes or cumin for swani djaj. Try a new variation by adding bay leaves, cardamom pods instead of powder, olive oil instead of vegetable oil, and whole green chilies (just thrown in the pan) layer in a big oven pan veggies then top with chicken and bake in the oven (easy one pot meal). when it is cooked through just brown the top. have with flat bread and yogurt 🙂 I just realized that this is one long comment!

  19. I made this yesterday for my Jordanian husband. So delicious! Thank you for the recipe. I had a few variations. I used olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Cardamom pods instead of powder and chicken thighs only bc he loves them. I also used cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg and chicken broth to make basmati rice to serve with it. He loved this meal.

  20. Nurse Jibat says:

    Made this tonight for my Jordanian born hubby! It was delicious! He loved it!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I’m SO happy to hear this!

  21. Samantha Markhieh says:

    I’m trying this dish now and my husband was born in Jordan and he makes this different so I’m trying this was to see if he likes it I’ll let uk

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