A classic! Tandoori chicken is epic and known across the world, and I suggest you try my recipe. There are simpler ways of making it, but trust me when I say it’s worth the effort. This recipe yields four to five leg portions.

This recipe from Curry Compendium and Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 1 makes about four or five leg portions. You can scale the ingredients up or down to make more or less at a time.

Serve with Mint Sauce, and your choice of carbs, salad, and sauces.

Tandoori Chicken

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1¼-1½kg Chicken Pieces (skinless, on the
    bone leg, thigh, and/or drumstick)
  • 1½ TBSP Ginger/Garlic Paste
  • 2 TBSP Lemon Juice
  • 2 TBSP Mustard Oil (optional)
  • 150ml Natural Yoghurt (full fat)
  • 3 tsp Coriander Seeds, freshly toasted
    and ground
  • 1½ tsp Cumin Seeds, freshly toasted
    and ground
  • ¾ tsp Fenugreek Seeds, ground. If you
    don’t have any of the seeds just use 1 tsp
    extra of Kasuri Methi leaves (see below)
  • 4 TBSP Tandoori Masala
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder. (Optional.
    Mild heat but adds red colour)
  • 1 TBSP Paprika
  • 1-2 tsp Smoked Paprika (optional). Some
    brands are more potent than others.
  • 1 tsp Elachi Powder (ground seeds from
    Green Cardamom Pod)
  • 2 tsp Kasuri Methi (add 1 tsp extra if not
    using ground seeds – see above)
  • 2 tsp Dried Mint
  • 1-2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Chaat Masala (optional)
  • ¼ tsp Red Food Colouring (optional)
  • 1-2 TBSP Butter Ghee, melted (optional)
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METHOD

  1. Clean the chicken pieces and trim off any excess fat or sinew.
  2. Make several deep slits on both sides of the chicken. This will help the marinating.
  3. To a large bowl add the ginger/garlic paste, lemon juice and the chicken pieces.
  4. Mix well with hands, making sure the chicken is well coated. Make sure the mixture goes into the slits.
  5. Cover and leave to marinate for 30–60 minutes.
  6. Now add the other ingredients. Mix thoroughly again, and as before, make sure the marinade gets into the slits in the chicken.
  7. Cover the bowl with foil or cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, or up to 48 hours. The longer the better, so I suggest 48 hours if you have time. Stir the contents of the bowl at least once during the marinating time.
  8. Remove from fridge an hour or so before the planned cooking time to allow chicken to return nearer to room temperature.
  9. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C or gas mark 4.
  10. Meanwhile, take a baking/grill tray and layer the bottom with foil to help catch drippings. If you have a wire rack, place that on top.
  1. Brush the wire rack (or the foil if you don’t have a rack) with a little oil. This is to help make sure the chicken pieces don’t stick.
  2. Place the chicken onto the tray, evenly spaced. Let any surplus marinade drip off the pieces before you place them. You may need to cook the chicken in two or more batches, depending on the size of your oven.
  3. Place in the pre-heated oven for 40-45 minutes, turning once. Brush some more of the marinade mixture onto the other side, when turned.
  4. You will probably notice a lot of liquid released during the cooking process. This can be mopped up with paper towel, or allowed to evaporate in the oven (open the oven door for a few seconds periodically to allow steam to escape).
  5. Make a deep cut in the fleshiest part of chicken to ensure it is completely cooked (no raw meat). Cook for a further few minutes if in any doubt, and re-check.
  6. Brush some butter ghee or oil onto the tandoori chicken to enhance appearance.
  7. You can freeze the tandoori chicken, or store in the fridge for a few days.

NOTES

  • Always keep raw chicken away from other ingredients, and thoroughly clean everything that has been in contact with it.
  • This recipe can be simply scaled up or  down as required.
  • The food colouring is optional, but gives a more attractive appearance.
  • Tandoori chicken is especially delicious when cooked on a BBQ.
  • As a starter course, serve with sliced  onions, salad, mint raita, and an essential wedge of lemon.
Plate of Tandoori Chicken, Special Fried Rice, and Raita

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