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  • 1 1/4 cups tahini
  • About 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • Salt
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup dill tops plus a small handful dill, chopped
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds each boneless, skinless white and dark chicken, cut into 2-inch-wide pieces
  • 3 to 4 cups fry oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sumac
  • 2 tablespoons oregano or marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon hot paprika or chili powder
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup harissa paste
  • 1 cup honey
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


Serves: 4 to 6 servings


In a food processor, combine tahini with lemon juice, garlic, 1 teaspoon cumin and salt, and process into a sauce. (If it’s too thick, add a little water.). Adjust salt to taste.

Place about half of the sauce in a mixing bowl and reserve. Add scallions, parsley and dill tops to the food processor with the tahini and process until smooth. Reserve green sauce.

To the mixing bowl with the plain tahini, add the buttermilk and hot sauce. Add chicken, toss to coat and chill 2-4 hours.

Heat oil to 350°F.

Combine flour with 2 tablespoons cumin, sesame seeds, sumac, oregano or marjoram, paprika or chili powder, salt and pepper.

Working in batches, shake excess marinade from chicken and coat in za’atar-spiced flour. Add chicken to hot old and fry to deep golden and cooked through.

Combine harissa and honey in a small pot and warm over low heat.

Serve chicken with lemon wedges, green sauce and hot honey alongside.

Serving suggestion: Chicken goes great with an Israeli Salad (chopped tomatoes, seedless cucumber and white onion dressed with lemon, EVOO and salt), Israeli pickles (they come in a yellow can) and hot charred pitas.