Tandoori chicken masala is a spice blend used to marinate chicken before cooking it in a tandoor, which is a traditional Indian clay oven. The spice blend typically includes a mixture of aromatic spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, along with garlic, ginger, and chili powder.
To prepare tandoori chicken, the chicken is first marinated in a mixture of yogurt and tandoori chicken masala for several hours to overnight to infuse it with the spices and tenderize the meat. It is then typically grilled in a tandoor oven, although it can also be cooked on a grill or in a conventional oven.
Tandoori chicken is a popular dish in Indian cuisine, and is often served with a side of rice or naan bread, along with mint chutney or raita. It is known for its distinctive red color, which comes from the use of red food coloring or a natural dye called annatto, which is derived from the seeds of the achiote tree.
Ingredients for Tandoori Chicken masala
- 1 kg chicken
- 1 cup yogurt
- 2 tablespoons tandoori masala powder
- 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- Lemon juice
- Oil for basting
Instructions for Tandoori Chicken masala
- Clean and wash the chicken and make deep incisions on it.
- In a bowl, mix yogurt, tandoori masala powder, ginger garlic paste, red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, turmeric powder, salt, and lemon juice. Mix well.
- Marinate the chicken with the mixture, making sure to coat it well. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 200°C.
- Place the chicken on a baking tray and baste it with oil. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
- Serve hot with some lemon wedges and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Note: If you don’t have a tandoor oven, you can use a regular oven
- Tandoori chicken can be served as a main dish, accompanied by rice, naan bread, or other Indian side dishes. It can be garnished with fresh coriander leaves, chopped onions, or lemon wedges.
- It can be served as an appetizer, either on its own or as part of a platter. It can be skewered and served with a dipping sauce, such as mint chutney or tamarind sauce.
- Tandoori chicken can be used as an ingredient in a curry, along with other vegetables and spices. It can be cooked in a tomato-based sauce or a creamy coconut sauce, depending on the recipe.
Tips and variations
- Tandoori chicken is traditionally made with bone-in chicken pieces, such as drumsticks or thighs, as they stay moist and tender during the cooking process.
- For maximum flavor, marinate the chicken in the tandoori chicken masala and yogurt mixture for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
- While tandoori chicken is traditionally cooked in a tandoor oven, you can also grill it on an outdoor grill or broil it in the oven for similar results.
- Tandoori chicken masala typically includes a mix of spices, but you can adjust the quantities or add your own favorite spices to customize the flavor to your liking.
- Make it vegetarian: You can use the same tandoori chicken masala to marinate vegetables such as cauliflower, paneer, or tofu for a vegetarian version of the dish.
- Make it creamy: For a creamier version, you can add a few tablespoons of heavy cream or coconut cream to the marinade.
- What is the origin of tandoori chicken?
Tandoori chicken originated in the Indian subcontinent, specifically in the Punjab region, where it was traditionally cooked in a clay tandoor oven.
- Is tandoori chicken healthy?
Tandoori chicken can be a healthy option, especially if you use skinless chicken and bake it instead of frying or grilling. It is high in protein and contains a variety of spices that have health benefits.
- How spicy is tandoori chicken?
The level of spiciness in tandoori chicken can vary depending on the recipe and the amount of chili powder used. Some recipes are mild, while others are quite spicy.
- What is the difference between tandoori chicken and butter chicken?
Tandoori chicken is marinated in a spice blend and then grilled or baked, while butter chicken is a creamy tomato-based curry made with boneless chicken that is usually cooked on the stovetop.