I’d like to provide you with 2 ways to make Tandoori Chicken. Both ways – dead easy!
Version 1 (using a ready-made packet mix)
Ingredients: Serves 3-4
Chicken pieces depend on preference. Can use 2 lbs chicken breast pieces cut into approximately 3 inch pieces, or 4-6 leg pieces or 8 drumsticks.
2 tsp of Tandoori Massala Spice Mix (Rajah brand found in most South Asian stores is the best one).
1 small pot plain non-fat yogurt
1 tsp each of ginger paste and garlic paste (readily available in most South Asian stores).
1. Wash, cut and drain the chicken and then allow to dry or pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Place the chicken in a bowl and add 2 tsp of the tandoori mix, along with 1 tsp of both the garlic and ginger paste.
3. Add the yogurt and mix ingredients well.
4. Place in fridge for 10 minutes while putting the grill on.
5. Place chicken pieces on the grill or skillet and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes turning over the chicken periodically.
Note: If you can’t make it to a South Asian store, Tesco or Whole Foods usually carry a wide selection of these products. If you can’t find ginger and garlic paste, make your own using a blender or cheese grater using 1 inch piece of ginger together with 4 cloves of garlic.
Version 2 (from scratch)
Ingredients: Serves 3-4. (All ingredients can be found in any Desi/South Asian store)
2 lbs chicken breast pieces cut into approximately 3 inch pieces, or 4-6 leg pieces or 8 drumsticks.
2 tsp tandoori paste, 2 tsp tandoori powder (or 1/2 tsp of chilli powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander).
1 pot plain non-fat yogurt
Mint Sauce (I’ve never been able to find this in the U.S so let’s make it optional)
Ginger & Garlic, Salt, Lemon
1. Cut the chicken pieces then wash and drain or pat dry.
2. Place the chicken in a bowl and mix together 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp tandoori paste, 2 tsp tandoori powder (or 1/2 tsp of chilli powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander), the juice of 1 lemon, 1 pot of plain non-fat yogurt, freshly grated ginger (using a cheese grater) and garlic. Use 3 garlic cloves and a small piece of ginger about an inch in size.
3. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 mins.
4. If you don’t have a lot of time, grill the chicken for 10-15 minutes, turning the pieces over periodically. Alternatively, if you have more time, cover in aluminium foil and bake for 50-60 mins on 375 degrees. Remove foil in the last 10 minutes and bake open face to allow for the juices to dry up a little. The chicken should be moist and not dry. If you do choose to bake rather than grill, make sure to pre-heat the oven beforehand.
5. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
Note: If making this dish for guests, I suggest using whole chicken breasts and leg quarters, estimate a piece per person and make a few extra just in case. You will need to use 2 small pots of yogurt and 1/4 tsp more of each spice if cooking for more people.
Recommendations: Enjoy with plain yogurt as a dip, and a substantial side salad. For ideas on salads, please check the starters page.
Recipe by Sabina Huq