Tandoori-style chicken

Tandoori-style chicken

By
From
I Love India
Makes
8 pieces
Photographer
Martin Poole

Tandoori chicken is my all-time favourite dish to order in an Indian restaurant. Flavourful, light, moist and delicious, all I need with it is some Minted Yogurt Chutney, crisp red onions marinated in seasoned lemon juice and Naan. Most people love tandoori chicken, especially when made with some kind of charcoal which adds its delicious smokiness to the flavours. This is a truly delicious way to eat chicken, whether it is sunny or not. There are no tricks except a long marinating time (and not over-cooking the chicken!) so that the flavours can seep deep into the flesh and the chicken becomes really juicy. I have used Kashmiri chilli powder to get some of that intense red colour in my chicken as opposed to food colouring, but you can leave it all out and just eat it without the red colour. The flavours speak for themselves.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the chicken

Quantity Ingredient
8 skinless chicken thighs, legs, or both
a slice unsalted butter, melted
a little paprika or kashmiri chilli powder
1 teaspoon chaat masala
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek

For the marinade

Quantity Ingredient
21/2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus lemon wedges, to serve
1 rounded teaspoon salt
120g full-fat plain yogurt
4 large garlic cloves
1 indian green finger chilli, deseeded, (optional)
15g roughly chopped root ginger, (peeled weight)
11/2-2 teaspoons kashmiri chilli powder, or paprika, (for colour)
1 rounded teaspoon ground cumin
1 rounded teaspoon see method for ingredients, (fresh if possible)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Method

  1. Slash each piece of chicken 3 times down to the bone at the thickest parts of the flesh. Place in a bowl and marinate in about half the lemon juice and half the salt for 30 minutes if possible.
  2. Blend together all the ingredients for the marinade (except the lemon wedges) until smooth (add the extra lemon and salt if you didn’t marinate it as above). Add to the chicken and leave to marinate for as long as possible – preferably overnight, covered in the fridge – but at least for 3–4 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes or so before cooking. Preheat the barbecue to a medium-high heat, or preheat your oven grill to a fan-assisted high setting and line a baking sheet with foil.
  4. Place the chicken on the barbecue and cook, turning often and moving around to prevent burning and hot spots, until charred and cooked through, 20–22 minutes, turning often. Or place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet under the grill, and grill until charred on both sides and cooked through; it should take the same amount of time. If it is cooked but not very brown, move closer to the grill bars for a few minutes at the end of cooking time.
  5. Baste with the butter – mixed with the paprika or Kashmiri chilli powder, if you like -– sprinkle over the chaat masala and ground fenugreek, and serve with lemon wedges and Minted Yogurt Chutney.
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