Tandoori chicken is a chicken recipe that is made by marinating chicken and cooking in tandoor. A tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven. This delicious recipe originated in the Indian subcontinent. Originally a Punjabi famous dish, it is a juicy and tender tandoori chicken recipe that is made by marinated chicken in roasted spices and cooked in the clay oven.
Tandoori chicken is such a famous dish on the menus of all Indian and Pakistani restaurants. Tandoori chicken has an irresistible aroma and delicious taste. The chicken is marinated in yogurt and all spices to make it mouth-watering.
Tandoori chicken has a unique red color that makes it more tempting. This dish can be served at lunch and dinner. You can also serve it in the evening as a snack with tea. Tandoori chicken is often presented at weddings, birthdays, social gatherings, and festive occasions.
By the time, people have switched to normal stoves, gas ovens, or grilled pans to make this dish at home using tandoori masala. Some people even marinate chicken with tandoori masala and then make BBQ at a charcoal stove.
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Origin of Tandoori Chicken
Historians mention that the evidence of the first version of tandoori chicken was found in Harrapa. However, the tandoori chicken that’s famous nowadays is attributed to Kundan Lal Gujral.
He was a Hindu from Punjab who opened a restaurant in Delhi after the partition of Pakistan and India. It is said that he prepared tandoori chicken in Peshawar for the first time in a cylindrical clay oven.
He made the oven himself at the shop he worked at. He made tandoori chicken has a bright orange color that was tempting and mouth-watering. It became really popular throughout the Middle East and South Asia. It also became famous in Western countries.
Tandoori Chicken Recipe
- 1 Whole Chicken (1500-1600 gm)
- 1 ½ tbsp Lime Juice
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 Red Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- ½ cup Greek or thick Yogurt
- 1 tbsp Ginger Paste
- 1 tbsp Garlic Paste
- ½ tsp Black Salt
- ½ tsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- Refined oil
- Clean and wash thechicken thoroughly
- Remove the skin fromthe chicken
- Make cuts on thechicken with a sharp knife
- Mix the ingredientsof the first marinade and apply to chicken
- Coat the chickenthoroughly and keep aside for one hour
- Prepare the second marinadeby mixing all the ingredients
- Keep the chicken inthe refrigerator for approximately 5 hours or overnight
- Take out the chickenfrom the refrigerator 45 minutes before cooking
- Use a skewer to fixthe chicken, preheat the chicken, and roast it at 180 degrees.
- You can also make iton the grill, tandoor, or air fryer if you don't have the oven
- Roast the chicken in the oven for 45minutes
- Baste the chickenwith refined oil after 5 minutes of placement
- Check it after 45 minutes if done
- You can cook it for afew more minutes if the chicken is not cooked perfectly
- Don't overcook thechicken or it may become hard and dry
- Place the tandoorichicken in the serving dish
- Heat charcoal andplace it in the dish kept on a steel bowl
- Add a bit of oil oncharcoal and immediately cover the lid
- Rest it for 10 minutes
- Remove the charcoal
- Garnish the chickenwith onion rings and lime wedges
- Delicious tandoorichicken is ready to serve
Types of Tandoori Chicken
There are a lot of versions of tandoori chicken invented by people. Here are some of the types of tandoori chicken which are famous in Pakistan and India.
Microwave tandoori chicken
This is a quick tandoori chicken recipe. In this recipe, chicken pieces are marinated in cream, yogurt, and spices. Now, cover the chicken and cook for 5 minutes in the microwave. Turn and again cook for 3 minutes. Uncover the chicken for 2 more minutes. Tandoori chicken is ready.
Tandoori chicken strips
Cut chicken in strips and marinate in yogurt and spices. Keep it in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Place the chicken in a grilled dish lined with foil pepper and cook in the oven until done. Serve it with mint Raita.
Tandoori chicken breasts
Take breasts and make cuts to absorb marination. Marinate in tandoori masala and yogurt and then bake in the oven until tender. Tandoori chicken breasts can be served with a tandoori sauce to add more flavor.
Grilled tandoori chicken
Take chicken pieces and marinate them with tandoori chicken masala, ginger garlic paste, yogurt, and lemon juice. Keep them aside for 2 to 3 hours. Heat the grilled pan and add some butter, put marinated pieces on the grill, and cook until golden.
What to serve with Tandoori Chicken?
Tandoori chicken is a scrumptious dish that will make any meal more appealing. You can make a perfect menu with tandoori chicken to make your guests inspire.
- Mains: Add Chicken pulao, Zeera rice, mutton qorma, kofta anday, and nihari to the mains
- Bread: Plain tortilla, naan, or paratha will be a great choice to serve
- Vegetarians: Aalu bhaji, Masala Bharay karelay, Ghiya daal and Bhindi masala are perfect for vegetarians
- Appetizers: Fish cracker, peri bites, nuggets, and popcorn chicken can be added as appetizers
- Desserts: Serve fruit trifle, lab-e-Sheerin, chocolate mousse, and cupcakes in the dessert
Tips for cooking Tandoori Chicken
If you want to make a tandoori chicken restaurant-style, you must follow some tips to make your dish perfect and authentic. Here are some tips to make the tandoori chicken juicy and soft:
- Wash the chicken thoroughly to avoid any bad smell while cooking
- Take off the skin of the chicken to make it soft and tender
- Make smooth batter that is absorbable for the chicken
- Coat the batter thoroughly on chicken pieces to make it flavourful
- If you are using large chicken pieces, make cuts in the pieces slightly to absorb the marinade easily
- Use mustard oil in marination to provide it real essence of traditional tandoori chicken
- Use hung curd or thick curd to marinate the chicken
- Always cook it on medium heat
- If you cook the chicken on high heat, it will become golden-red very fast but will remain uncooked inside
- Use red food color in marination to give it an authentic reddish color after cooking
- You can also grill it on a charcoal stove to give it a perfect aroma and texture
- Always serve it piping hot otherwise it will lose its real flavor
Q: Is Tandoori chicken healthy?
A: Tandoori chicken is lean meat and cooked in less oil or without oil so it is considered healthy.
Q: What are the basic ingredients in tandoori chicken?
A: Authentic tandoori chicken recipe contains marinated chicken with yogurt, honey, and tandoori masala made of different spices
Q: What is tandoori masala made of?
A: Tandoori masala is a mix of different spices including coriander, turmeric, red chili, cumin, and red food color.
Q: What is a tandoor?
A: Tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven used in Pakistan and India to cook tortillas and other food dishes
Q: How to keep the tandoori chicken moist?
A: Coat the chicken with butter to make it juicy and moist. Don’t overcook because it may make the chicken hard and dry.
Q: What makes tandoori chicken red?
A: Red chili powder and cayenne pepper make the chicken turn reddish. However, this recipe also includes some red food coloring to provide it a perfect red color.
Q: What is the difference between tandoori and tikka?
A: Tandoori and tikka are quite the same, however, tikka is usually made of boneless chicken pieces and tandoori chicken is made of chicken with bones. Tandoori chicken was originally made in a clay oven while tikka can be made on a grill, baking oven, or BBQ stove.
Q: Is tandoori chicken good for weight loss?
A: Homemade tandoori chicken is always a good choice for weight loss, made with fewer spices and less oil. Yet, a restaurant made tandoori chicken is rich in salt and spices which are high in sodium and can’t be a healthy choice.
How to make Chicken Tandoori Recipe?
Take the chicken and clean it properly and wash. Remove the skin to make it soft and moist. Take a sharp knife and make cuts on the chicken to let it absorb all the marinade. Make the first marination with salt, lime juice, red chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
Mix it well and add it to the chicken. Mix and rub on the chicken properly. Keep the chicken on rest for around an hour. Now, prepare the second marinade by mixing yogurt with 1 tbsp garlic paste, 1 tbsp ginger paste, ½ tsp black salt, 1 tsp all spices powder, ½ tsp fenugreek leaves, and refined oil.
Mix it well and add the chicken with marinade.
Keep it in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 hours or you can keep it overnight for better absorption of the marinade. Take it out 45 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven and use a skewer to fix the chicken.
Place it in the oven and cook it for 5 minutes. Baste the chicken with refined oil and again cook it for 40 minutes or until tender. Always remember to not overcook the chicken as it will become dry.
When the chicken is done, place it in the serving dish. Heat charcoal on the stove and place it in a steel bowl or plate. Place it on the chicken and add a few drops of oil. Cover the lid immediately and rest it for 10 minutes.
Remove the charcoal bowl and garnish it with lime wedges and onion rings. Serve it hot with naan or plain rice. Scrumptious tandoori chicken is ready to serve. You can also make this tandoori chicken recipe by using an air fryer or conventional oven.
You can also make it on a grill pan or a normal pan in small pieces. Don’t forget to give charcoal smoke to provide it a perfect flavor.