Well it’s official- J’adore Tandoor! There’s nothing like a spicy, moist piece of Tandoori chicken. “Tandoor” refers to the clay oven that’s historically been used for baking and cooking all over Asia. Traditional tandoors can go up to as high as 900F degrees! Meat is marinated in spices and then slow-cooked in the tandoor, creating juicy and delicious meals! I don’t own a tandoor, but thought I’d still give Tandoori Chicken a shot. I was VERY pleased with the results!
Here’s what you’ll need:
6-7 pieces of skinless chicken (dark meat or white meat is fine)
1-2 tbspns olive oil (optional)
1 tbspn salt
1 tbpsn chili pepper (I used cayenne)
1-2 tbspns lemon juice
1 tbspn salt
6-7 tbspns plain non-fat yogurt (1tbspn per piece of chicken)
1 tbpsn minced ginger
1 tbspn ninced garlic
1 tbspn lemon/lime juice
1/2 tspn ground black pepper
1-2 tbspns red chili powder
1/2 tspn fenugreek powder
1/2 tspn garam masala powder
1 tbspn cumin
1 tspn coriander
dash of tumeric (too much will make the sauce bitter)
1/2 tspn red food coloring
Chopped veggies of your choice!
1. Using a knife, cut into each piece of chicken, creating small slits in the meat. Try to make the slits fairly deep- use cutting to the bone as a guideline (if applicable).
2. Rub the Spice Rub into the chicken, being sure to rub it into the slits you made. Set chicken aside in the fridge.
3. Mix your Tandoori Marinade in a deep bowl using the measurements above.
4. Rub the Tandoori Marinade into the chicken. Optional: Once all the chicken is covered in the Tandoori Marinade, sprinkle on a bit of the olive oil on top to coat the meat with the Tandoori Marinade.
5. Optional: If you have some time, set the chicken aside and let the Spice Rub and Tandoori Marinade penetrate into the meat. If you don’t have time to do this, that’s okay!
1. Pre-heat your oven to 450F degrees.
2. In a deep baking pan, add your chopped veggies to the bottom of the pan. (I used white onions & green and white asparagus!) Optional: Feel free to add a little water (1/4 cup should do it) to the pan to encourage steam for cooking.
3. Place your tandoori chicken on top of your veggies. The reason for this is so that the oil/sauce from the chicken can drip onto the veggies while cooking.
4. Cover pan with aluminum foil and put it in the oven. Let chicken cook for 20-30mins. You’ll know it’s done when you can poke chicken with a fork or knife and the juices run clear.
5. Optional: If you have a grill (eg. George Foreman Grill, panini press, or stove-top grill), you may want to remove the chicken once it’s cooked and sear/brown it on your stove top. This makes for a really nice finish!
1. Red food coloring?: You probably raised an eyebrow at this one. I was actually going to nix it from my dish, thinking it was unnecessary, but ended up finding it at a nearby Food Emporium. Read my lips: Don’t skip the food coloring!!! It definitely adds that ‘tandoori’ color that I’m used to, so I’m glad I kept it in.
2. Watch your salt: It’s tempting to throw in lots of salt into a recipe like this, but if you’re trying to be healthy (and especially if you’re cooking for a diabetic) try to keep your salt intake to a minimum. Plus, you’ve got all these great spices in the dish so you don’t need too much salt!
3. Cost: What I think makes Indian food complex is the number of spices and getting the amounts right. Buying each of these spices is definitely an investment, but I’ve made Indian food before so I had many of these spices on hand already. I’d encourage anyone to buy these spices and try out different Indian dishes, but I recognize that the many ingredients is a cost to consider.
4. Let it marinate: While I didn’t have time to marinate my chicken in the Spice Rub and Tandoori Marinade beforehand, I’d highly recommend doing so. Marinating the chicken in these sauces overnight would really bring out the flavors better. If not, no biggie; your leftovers will taste THAT much better!
Happy clean eating!