Tandoori chicken

29 Jan

Tandoori chicken

I’ll often order tandoori chicken in Indian restaurants, but had never made it at home until recently. I wasn’t confident that my oven was up to the task, but it turned out beautifully. You do need to plan ahead, as the chicken should marinate for a day or so.

While you can easily buy tandoori masala (spice mix) at the supermarket, I made my own using the inspiring bag of spices my good friend Mary recently brought me from the Manama souks. I based my masala on this recipe from The Tiffin Box website

Tandoori chicken
(serves 4)

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 Tb sunflower oil
  • 3 Tb tandoori masala (store bought or see recipe below)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 12 chicken legs and thighs, skin removed
  • sliced red onion and fresh coriander, to serve
  1. Blend together the onion, garlic, lime juice, yogurt, sunflower oil, tandoori masala and salt until smooth, using a food processor or blender stick.
  2. Put the chicken pieces into a large ziplock bag and add the yogurt mixture. After sealing the bag, give the chicken a bit of a massage to ensure the chicken is fully coated. Leave it in the fridge overnight or until ready to cook.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a large roasting pan with foil, then lie a rack over (or in) the pan so that air can circulate under the chicken pieces.
  4. Oil the bars of the rack, then arrange the chicken pieces so they are not touching.
  5. After 30 minutes, turn the chicken and cook for another 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
  6. Arrange on a platter and scatter with sliced red onions and chopped coriander. Serve with naan bread.

Tandoori masala
(makes about a cup)

  • 5-6 long dried chillies
  • 1/4 cup whole coriander seeds
  • 1 Tb whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 Tb black peppercorns
  • 1/2 Tb whole cloves
  • 1/2 Tb whole green cardamom pods (include a black cardamom pod if you have one)
  • 1 tsp whole fenugreek seeds
  • 3-2″ sticks cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, grated
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 Tb paprika
  • 1 Tb smoked paprika
  1. Heat a heavy frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom pods, fenugreek seeds and cinnamon sticks, one by one, and dry roast for about a minute, or until they are fragrant.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
  4. Transfer to a spice grinder or mini chopper with the remaining spices. Blend to a smooth powder and store in an airtight jar.

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