The traditional way to make tandoori chicken is by marinating the meat with spices and yogurt and then cooking it in a tandoor – a clay oven heated by charcoal. It is one of the healthiest ways of eating chicken as it is not served with a rich sauce. These days, very few Indian households have a tandoor but roasting in a hot oven will provide similar results. The recipe is taken from the book Everyday Healthy Indian Cookery.
Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 35 minutes marinating
Cooking time: 45 minutes
800g skinless and boneless chicken thighs
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp peeled and grated fresh root ginger
6–8 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
400ml natural unsweetened yogurt, whisked
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tbsp sunflower or olive oil
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
1 tbsp melted butter
2 red onions, chopped into rings
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Using a sharp knife, make incisions in the chicken pieces
In a bowl large enough to hold the chicken, mix the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the ginger, half of the crushed garlic and the Kashmiri chilli powder. Add the chicken pieces and coat evenly with the spice mixture. Cover and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Mix together the yogurt, the remaining 1 tablespoon of ginger, the remaining garlic, garam masala, oil and fenugreek, if using.
Remove the chicken from the fridge and add the yogurt marinade. Coat the chicken well. Cover the bowl and return to the fridge for a further 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Place the chicken pieces in a roasting tin and cover with foil. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.
Baste with the melted butter and cook for a further 20–25 minutes, until the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the chicken.
Serve hot with onion rings and lemon wedges and Mint Raita.