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13 June, 2014

The best tandoori chicken

Posted in : Non-Vegetarian on by : srilakshminair Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I woke up pretty early today. At 7. I know what you’re thinking, that’s not very early…but I was too excited at the thought that I’m going to make Tandoori Chicken today, and I just couldn’t sleep. Its something I haven’t made in quite some time, and I’ve been thinking of making it for a couple of days now. Besides, whenever I talk about Tandoori Chicken, my husband and I would just salivate, and dream about eating it, so I thought, why don’t I just make it. Tandoori chicken is chicken thighs or legs marinated for hours in yogurt, lemon juice, salt and spices, basted with butter, and cooked in a hot clay oven, which adds a flavor that no other method can provide. And I always recommend making things from scratch. I prefer making the tandoori masala just the way I like it, at home. Sure, its a little harder than using ready-made tandoori masala from a store, but the end result is worth the effort. You will know the difference when you taste it. Plus, its way more healthier making it at home. When I eat tandoori chicken, I want it to taste like I’m eating it from a small roadside eatery in Punjab. But for that, I will need a tandoor, which i don’t have. Even if I did, I wouldn’t use it inside my house for obvious reasons…So let me show you how to make delicious tandoori chicken, right at home, without a tandoor.

You will need the following ingredients:

Chicken thighs / legs (Skinless) 8-11 pieces; approximately 2 lbs

Thick yogurt 2 cups

Fresh ginger-garlic paste 2 1/2 tablespoons

Fresh lemon juice 6-7 tablespoons

Coriander powder 2 tablespoons

Kashmiri red chilli powder 2-3 tablespoons

Turmeric powder a pinch

Cumin powder 1 teaspoon

Kasuri methi (Dried fenugreek leaves) 4-5 tablespoons

Unsalted butter / Canola oil / Vegetable oil (For basting)

Salt 3 tablespoons


Wash the chicken, and with a clean towel, dab off any excess water from the chicken. Take a small, sharp knife, and score the chicken, so that the marinade will penetrate deeper into the chicken, and it will also help the inside of the chicken get cooked faster. In a large mixing bowl, add the chicken, yogurt, lemon juice, Kashmiri chili powder, Coriander powder, a pinch of turmeric, and salt. Turmeric is not really needed here, but I always add a pinch, because of its medicinal properties. Crush the dried methi leaves with your palms, to make sure that the earthy flavors and oils in the leaves are released, and add it into the bowl. Pour about 7-8 tablespoons of oil. Mix everything together with your hands (You can always use a big spoon, or a spatula, but mixing with hands gives me a kind of…satisfaction). Refrigerate overnight, and let the lemon juice, the salt, and the yogurt tenderize the chicken.


Last night, before going to bed I left the chicken to marinate in the fridge, so I’m going to take it out of the fridge now. Take a large flat pan, enough to hold the chicken in a single layer. Take a lump of coal (about 3 inches), and with tongs show it to an open flame until its red hot. Put the coal in a small steel tumbler, and pour some clarified butter/ghee on it, and it will start to smoke…

Easy Tandoori Chicken at home

Close the lid, and let it just sit there for 5 minutes. Take an iron grill pan, apply some cooking spray, or smear oil on the pan, and heat the pan. When its hot, place the chicken on the pan, and let it cook…

Best Tandoori chicken

When the chicken is partially cooked, increase the flame to high heat, apply oil or butter on the chicken, and let the chicken get charred, only moving the chicken every 15 minutes or so…

Authentic tandoori chicken recipe

Now, your pan is going to get really really messy…um, so after eating the tandoori chicken you can burn your calories by cleaning it up…

Now, as you can see, my chicken is really fleshy, so once its really charred, I’m going to smoke it one more time just to make sure the flavor goes deep into the chicken.  You don’t have to do it twice if your chicken is not as fleshy as mine…So burn a lump of coal, put it in a steel tumbler, cover with lid, and open after 5 minutes…

Easy tandoori chicken recipe

Look at this! Isn’t this the most wonderful thing ever invented?. Its so beautiful…excuse me for a second….I think I’m going to cry…

Ok! I’m back.  Sorry I didn’t put up a presentation photo…I was too busy eating the chicken. Serve this delicious chicken hot, with naan, paratha or fried rice, and weep tears of joy, and contentment…







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