Want a taste of the Greek Cypriot cuisine? Why not try chicken tava.

Chicken Tava
Chicken Tava. Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

Tava is a traditional and classic dish that is made in Cyprus. You can use lamb, pork or chicken as your meat – as long as it’s on the bone. This recipe is simple, easy and budget friendly to make.

Prep: 10 minutes               Cooking time: 3 hours                       Serves 3-4 people


7-8 chicken thighs with skin on

5 large potatoes

1 large onion

1 packet of passata

1 cup of water

1 tsp tomato puree

1 tsp cinnamon

a dash of salt and pepper

2-3 tbsp of cumin

olive oil to drizzle


1. Place the chicken thighs in a roasting tin. Slice the large onion thinly and wash and peel the potatoes. Cut each potato into four pieces. Place the potatoes and onion into the roasting tin.

2. Pour the passata all over the chicken, potatoes and onion. Add the water and drizzle olive oil on top. (Don’t overload it with olive oil, drizzle enough for seasoning). Sprinkle the cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper on top. Preheat oven at 180 degrees.

3. Add the tsp of tomato puree and then toss everything together in the roasting tin. Make sure the passata covers everything and that all is tossed and mixed together.

4. Place the roasting tin in the oven and let it cook slowly. Within 45 minutes of its cooking time, turn over the chicken thighs so that they can brown on both sides. The cooking process usually takes up to 3 hours, however it can be cooked within 2½ hours.

5. If you gently put a fork in a potato and it is soft, then the tava is ready. The chicken should be browned and the passata sauce should be bubbly. Let it rest for 20 minutes before serving.

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