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Tandoori Chicken

tandoori-chicken

Whether you are absolutely in love with Indian food or are just starting your relationship with it, this is for you my dear. And even if you have no clue about Indian food or are totally intimidated by it, trust me this will make you fall in love. All in all you all are in for an absolutely delicious and easy treat.

Today I am sharing with you all one of the most loved dish of Indian cuisine, ‘Tandoori Chicken”. Lately I have received lots of email asking me couple of question regarding my preference and views on Indian food, so before I start my recipe today let me try to answer some of the question I am asked repeatedly. Here we go…

1 – Why I don’t do more Indian recipes on my blog?

The recipes I share on my blog are what we eat in our home, as you all may have notice that my cooking style is very global and my family enjoys different cuisine. So whatever I cook I share here. From empanadas to samosas, you will find recipes from different part of the world.

2 – Do I don’t like Indian cuisine?

I love Indian cuisine; I grew up eating mostly Indian/Asian and Middle-Eastern cuisine. Trust me, the aromas of the exotic spices and ingredients turns me on…LOL. Also most of my recipes get some form of influence from my love of spices….. One thing I have learned is that food has no boundaries.

3 – Is Indian food very difficult to make?

Not at all, I strongly feel that no cuisine is difficult; all you need is to feel comfortable and familiar with its basics. Once you get to know more about the spices and technique used in cooking Indian dishes, trust me Indian food is as simple as any other food. You are always free to shoot me an email in case you have any question and I’ll try to answer it to the best of my knowledge.

tandoori-chicken1

OK now back to Tandoori Chicken, I have to say Tandoori Chicken is truly a jewel of Indian Cuisine. Loved by all, it can be found in almost every region of India. Tandoori Chicken gets its name from the Ovens called ‘Tandoor’ they are cooked in. These tandoors are large drum like oven made from clay, heated with charcoal or wood they can reach a very high temperature up to 800-1000° F. This high temperature helps in cooking the surface of the meat very fast and hence sealing all the juices inside.

The marinade here also plays a very important role, yogurt and all the spices gives the chicken the most amazing flavor. You can use lamb, pork, tofu or vegetables whatever you like in the place of chicken with this marinate and cook it.  Although most of the spices used for this recipe are pretty common but the Garam  Masala (aromatic spice mix), is something you can easily buy from most of the grocery store if you don’t already have it. In India you can find many variations for the recipe for this (garam-masala) spice mix.

If you don’t want to buy Garam Masala, just make the spice blend at home, I have shared the recipe for it the way I make it in the recipe box.

So go ahead and try this recipe, I am sure you will be making it more.

Note – The deep red color which tandoori chicken has is due to the addition of food color or saffron, it is completely optional to do this. This is done solely for it’s look and has absolutely not effect on the taste. So you if don’t like you can completely omit this step

Tandoori Chicken

Ingredients

  • Chicken – 2lbs I use leg pieces cut in halves.
  • Oil – 1- 2 Tbsp. for basting.
  • Lime juice for sprinkling before serving.
  • Marinade –
  • Yogurt – 1 cup.
  • Ganger paste – 1 tsp.
  • Garlic paste – 1 tsp.
  • Garam masala powder – ½ tsp.
  • Paprika – 1 tsp.
  • Cumin powder – 1tsp
  • Lime juice – 2 Tbsp.
  • Chickpea flour – 2 Tbsp. (Use corn-flour incase chickpea flour is not available)
  • Mustard powder – 1 tsp. (if you don’t find this, use regular mustard instead)
  • Oil – 1 Tbsp.
  • Salt – 1 ½ tsp. or as per taste.
  • Saffron/ food color – Optional, just enough to add a red touch.
  • For Garam Masala-
  • Cumin – 1 tsp.
  • Black peppercorns – 1 tsp.
  • Cloves – 1 tsp.
  • Cardamom green – 1tsp
  • Cinnamon – 1 1-2 inch stick.
  • Bay leaf – 2

Instructions

  1. Clean and dry chicken pieces; make incisions on the pieces with sharp knife. This helps the marinade to go all the way inside the chicken. Keep aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients of the marinade and marinate the chicken pieces for 4-6 hours.
  3. Once ready to cook, preheat the oven to 500°F or the highest. Line the baking sheet with foil and place a cooling rack over it. Now carefully put the chicken on the cooling rack. Bake for 15- 20 minutes; turn them over in the mid-way of cooking. The cooling rack helps in avoiding the contact of chicken with the dripping juices, keeping it crispy on the surface. Keep basting as needed.
  4. If you want you can also broil or grill it.
  5. Serve hot with sprinkle of lime juice… Enjoy!!
  6. Garam Masala-
  7. Put all the ingredients in a spice blender, Make a fine powder and use as needed. Store in an air-tight container.
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