This Tandoori Chicken Recipe is the Only One You Need

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The word "Tandoor" refers to a cylindrical clay oven used across Asia, so essentially anything cooked in it is termed as "Tandoori." Though I use a regular electric oven here, the recipe will yield the familiar, ever popular, restaurant style "Tandoori Chicken." The recipe can also be grilled and will be great for a flavor-packed barbecue season.

(Image: Neha Agarwal)

First Marinade Ingredients

Things You'll Need

  • 6 chicken drumsticks (skinless and bone in)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Dry Roasting Spices

Things You'll Need

  • 3 whole Kashmiri peppers or 1 tablespoon paprika (See Tip below)
  • 3 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1-1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Tip

  • Kashmiri Peppers are available in Indian stores. They are milder in flavor but add a wonderful red hue to any recipe. Alternatively use around 1 tablespoon of paprika. It wouldn't need dry roasting. Just whisk into the second marinade.

Second Marinade Ingredients

Things You'll Need

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoon grated onion
  • 1 cup yogurt (I used low-fat)
  • 2 green chilis, finely minced (Serrano or Thai peppers work well)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for basting

Tip

  • Ginger garlic paste is available in Indian grocery stores. But alternatively, you could use 1 ½ tablespoons each of finely minced garlic and ginger.

Marinating the Chicken

Step 1

Clean and wipe dry the chicken pieces. Make deep slashes into the meat, around 2 to 3 slashes per drumstick. Mix in with the ingredients from the first marinade list and keep refrigerated in a covered container for 30 to 45 minutes.

(Image: Anuvrat Manglik)

Step 2

Next, dry roast the spices in a heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Stir or shake often to avoid burning the spices. This will take around 4 to 5 minutes.

(Image: Anuvrat Manglik)

Step 3

Let the spices cool down a bit, and then grind in a spice mill or coffee grinder to a fine powder.

(Image: Anuvrat Manglik)

Step 4

Whisk in the spice mix with the second marinade ingredients in a bowl, to make a thick paste.

(Image: Anuvrat Manglik)

Step 5

Coat the chicken pieces with the above tandoori paste, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Tip

  • I usually marinate the chicken overnight, but not longer.

Roasting the Chicken

When ready to cook, preheat the oven at 375 Fahrenheit.

Step 1

Using vegetable oil, generously oil a baking tray well and place chicken pieces side by side. Drizzle a little of the vegetable oil over the chicken pieces as well. Roast the chicken for around 50 minutes. Baste and turn the chicken pieces during the roasting process.

(Image: Anuvrat Manglik)

Tip

  • Adjust cooking time for the size of chicken pieces. Also check with meat thermometer to make sure cooking process is done.

Step 2

For the last 5 minutes of roasting, turn on the broiler on and let the chicken roast for another 5 to 7 minutes. This helps in achieving that tandoori/barbecue effect in the oven.

Step 3

Serve immediately with lime wedges and sliced onions.

(Image: Neha Agarwal)

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