Dawood Basha with Chicken Meatballs

A chicken version of my popular Daoud Basha stew with the same gusto of meatballs, potatoes and peppers in tangy-sweet tomato sauce is best served with buttery vermicelli rice. I thoroughly enjoyed making this several times since Ramadan and so you will find pictures of different attempts. Hope you will enjoy this recipe and share your comments.  
Dawood Basha with Chicken Meatballs

Ever since I shared the ground beef Daoud Basha recipe, I have received a few requests for a chicken version. The original recipe is a keeper and has blessed me with great blog traffic, especially via Pinterest. If you are new here, then Dawood Basha aka Daoud Basha is a popular Levantine meatballs stew with potatoes and peppers simmered in a tangy-sweet tomato sauce flavoured with pomegranate molasses. 

I won't get into too many details about the ingredients and dish as I have already shared in the original post. I learnt that there are a few versions of Daoud Basha like Turkish, Syrian and Lebanese and they differ mostly in the spices used. I have tried playing around with the spices and loved the addition of cumin. You may replace the allspice and cinnamon with your favourite Arabic spice mixes like 7 spices or Baharat etc. for a different flavour. 

I have always served Daoud basha with white rice but recently started making vermicelli rice and I must say it doesn't matter! Dawood basha with vermicelli rice is traditional and looks great together but you can always serve with just plain white rice too. 

How to make Dawood Basha with Chicken Meatballs?

Scroll down for the detailed written recipe. 

chicken pieces, spices and herbs in a mixie jar

pulsed and ground chicken mixture

shaped the chicken meatballs

Seared the meatballs in batches using oilve oil

chicken meatballs browned

Pan fried the potatoes

roasting red bell pepper pieces

cooking tomato sauce

meatballs added to tomato sauce

more water added to the sauce

pan fried potata and peppers added to the pot of meatballs in tomato sauce

Dawood Basha with Chicken Meatballs

Dawood Basha with Chicken Meatballs Recipe


For the chicken meatballs:

  • 500gms boneless chicken thighs, cut into smaller pieces 
  • 1 medium onion, diced finely 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 to 3 green chilli, slit and chopped 
  • Handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon allspice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder or cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil or any cooking oil to sear

For pan-frying /roasting:

  • Olive oil to pan-fry
  • 1 large potato, chopped into large chunks
  • 1 bell pepper (any colour), chopped into large cubes 

For the Tomato Pomegranate Molasses Sauce:

  • 1 medium onion, diced finely
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon allspice powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 300gms or 2 large tomatoes, pureed or chopped finely
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • all of the seared meatballs
  • Water to submerge the meatballs
  • all of the pan-fried potato chunks and bell pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley leaves to garnish


  1. Prepare the chicken meatballs: Add the chicken meatballs ingredients into a food processer or grinder mixie jar and process until the mixture comes together. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and make 15 to 20 equal-sized balls. You may make smaller meatballs for more. For ease, wet your hands between making each meatball.
  2. Sear the chicken meatballs: Heat olive oil in a saucepot and place the meatballs without crowding the pan. You can do it in batches so it is easy to stir and sear evenly. Make sure all meatballs are browned. Remove the meatballs and keep them aside.
  3. Roast the potatoes and red bell pepper: Add more olive oil to the same pan. Pan-fry the potato chunks until browned on all sides. Remove and keep them aside. Next, add the chopped red bell pepper and roast until charred edges. Remove and keep them aside. 
  4. Prepare the Tomatoes: Purée the tomatoes and keep them ready for sauce or feel free to use them as finely chopped tomatoes. You may also process some of the roasted bell pepper along with the tomatoes for added flavour and colour. This works well if you are using red bell pepper, avoid if using green. 
  5. Prepare the sauce: Heat more olive oil in the same pan. Saute the finely chopped onions and garlic. Add the spice powders along with some salt and saute for few minutes. Stir in the pureed tomatoes, tomato paste and pomegranate molasses. Bring the sauce to a full boil. 
  6. Prepare Dawood basha: Place all the seared chicken meatballs carefully in a single layer. Pour enough water to partially submerge the meatballs. Cover and cook on low flame for 15 to 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked and the sauce starts to thicken. Stir in the fried potatoes and bell peppers. Taste and adjust the spices and salt. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through and sauce reaches your desired consistency. Transfer to the serving bowl and garnish with parsley leaves. Serve hot Dawood basha with boiled white rice or vermicelli rice. (recipe coming soon!) Refrigerate or freeze any leftover Dawood basha in an airtight box.
Dawood Basha with Chicken Meatballs

Dawood Basha with Chicken Meatballs

Dawood Basha with Chicken Meatballs
Juicy meatballs


I would love to know if you tried this recipe. You may leave a comment below or follow me on Instagram and mention @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchaiblog so that I can see your creations! Thank you! 


  1. Omg I tried this and its amazing , the first time i made meat balls and they were juicy , ate 4 of them just like that and love trying this recipie :)


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