Sunday, 23 January 2011

Tandoori murghi - tandoori-style chicken

I like my gadgets, I confess. My cupboards are packed with blowtorches, blenders, juicers and all kinds of random crap I will probably use once a year. But not even I have a tandoori oven in my kitchen. Thankfully this recipe from Madhur Jaffrey takes this into consideration and she uses chicken pieces rather than the whole bird in a very hot domestic oven.

Apart form the appetisers this was probably the easiest of all the meals I made on NYE 2010. It needs to marinade so make sure you allow enough time for that but once the marinade is complete you simply pop the dish into an extremely hot oven for 25 minutes and then serve. The chicken was moist, fragrant and bursting with taste. Not to mention a visual delight, with it's deep red colouring and lovely charred pockets from the heat. I'll definitely make this again, possibly with a plate of home-made fries for an Asian take on the traditional chicken and chips combo.

Tandoori style chicken

  • 1 kg chicken pieces (I bought a chicken and butchered it into breasts, thighs, drumsticks and wings)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 400ml natural yoghurt
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2cm piece fresh ginger
  • 1/2 hot green chili, sliced
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tblsp yellow food colouring
  • 1 tblsp red food colouring
  1. Cut slits into the chicken deep enough to reach the bone. On the breast cut half way through the flesh then arrange the pieces on a large dish or platter.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and 3/4 of the lemon juice and lightly rub all over the chicken pieces making sure to get inside the cuts and cover both sides. Set aside for 20 minutes.
  3. In a processor or blender combine the yoghurt, onion, garlic, ginger, chili and garam masala and then strain through a fine sieve into a bowl or jug.
  4. Mix the colouring in a much smaller bowl then brush over each of the chicken pieces until they are completely red. Mix any remaining lemon juice or colouring in with the chicken pieces and the marinade, making sure the chicken is completely covered by the sauce. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.  The longer the better (I gave mine 40 hours but 24 hours would be perfect)
  5. When you are ready to bake the chicken preheat the oven to the highest temperature. Remove the chicken pieces shaking off as much of the marinade as possible and arrange in a large shallow baking dish. Bake for 20 -25 mins - test the chicken with a fork to make sure it is completely cooked. If not bake until ready.

So there we have it. A complete Indian feast to celebrate the end of 2010, a year in which I made the leap into changing my life forever. Writing the meal up makes me realise once again how much I took on, although I fear it may be a perfectly normal family gathering for most Indian households! I hope it reads well and inspires you to try it. Happy New Year everyone.


  1. wow! I'm totally stealing this recipe... looks amazing x

  2. So easy! I can't believe that meal is now completely blogged. It was a marathon, that's for sure.

  3. This chicken dish looks amazing and healthy too!

  4. Yep. Very healthy...until you add the rest of the Indian dishes on this blog ;-)

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  6. Ooh my mum used to always make this Madhur Jaffrey dish for my birthday treat when I was little - although she never put the food dye in, so it didn't look nearly as pretty! x