Tandoori chicken was one of the first Asian foods I tried to make in the early 1980s before I had travelled to India. At the time, using red food colouring was essential to produce something like the tandoori chicken seen in Indian restaurants. Since then, I have seen tasty chunks of chicken cooked on long skewers in tandoor ovens in India and saw no sign of red food colouring.
- spice grinder
- Large saucepan
- Large bowl
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder (for color)
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp ginger powder
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp nutmeg powder
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp rock salt (to taste)
- 1 kg free range chicken (whole or cut into pieces)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp Tandoori masala a mix of spices including cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, cayenne, and more
- ½ tbsp garlic (minced)
- ½ tbsp ginger root (minced)
- 1 tsp red chili powder adjust according to your spice preference
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp red food colouring (optional)
- tsp Salt (to taste)
- Chopped coriander
- Lemon wedges
- In a pan, dry roast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and fenugreek leaves until they become fragrant. Let them cool.
- Grind the roasted spices into a fine powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
- Wash the chicken pieces thoroughly and make 2-3 deep cuts in each piece to allow the marinade to penetrate.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, Tandoori masala, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, vegetable oil, and salt. Mix well to form a smooth marinade.
- Add the chicken pieces to the marinade, ensuring that each piece is evenly coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours, or preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to develop.
- Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C) or prepare a red-hot charcoal barbecue grill. If you have a tandoor oven, you can use that for a more authentic experience.
- Arrange the marinated chicken pieces on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil or place them on a wire rack set over a baking tray to allow the excess marinade to drip off.
- Bake/grill the chicken for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and slightly charred, flipping the pieces halfway through and basting with any leftover marinade.
- Once cooked, remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes.
- Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with lemon wedges, sliced onions, and mint chutney.