Here is my version of the ‘king of kebabs’, AKA tandoori chicken, which you can make at home even if you do not have a tandoor. Last year I wrote about my memory of this wonderful dish which reminds me so much of my father. If you’re keen for the story, click here. If you’re simply keen for the recipe, scroll down!
1 kg whole chicken, with the skin on
Preparing the chicken for the first marinade:
- Skin the chicken & remove any excess fat & sinew. Also, remove the parson’s nose.
2. Remove the ends of the winglets on each side.
3. Trim the ends of the drumsticks.
4. Make a tiny slit between the thigh & the drumstick on each side, without cutting it fully.
5. Make three evenly spaced slits on each drumstick, lengthways.
6. Make three slits on each thigh, as well.
7. Make two slits along each breast, lengthways.
8. The chicken is now ready for the first marinade.
1. 2 tablespoons white vinegar
2. 1 teaspoon cooking salt
3. 1 1/2 teaspoons kashmiri chilli, ground
1.1 1/2 cup thick yoghurt
2. 1 tablespoon ground ginger
3. 1 tablespoon ground garlic
4. 2 tablespoons ground kashmiri chillies, soaked in oil
5. 2 teaspoons kebab garam masala
6. salt, to taste
1. Skin the chicken, remove any excess fat but leave some as it helps keep the bird moist. Prepare the chicken for the first marinade.
2. Prepare the chicken for the second marinade/tandoori masala by applying the white vinegar, salt and the chilli.
3. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
4. Prepare the second marinade by blending the yoghurt with the crushed ginger, crushed garlic, ground chillies with oil, garam masala, salt together to form a ‘tandoori masala’.
5. Remove the chicken from the fridge and apply the Tandoori Masala onto the marinated chicken.
6. Cover and place the marinated chicken in the fridge for about an hour.
7. Remove the chicken from the fridge, place a skewer through the chicken. place the chicken in an earthenware, or clay, pot and place this in a pre-heated oven, temp. 160C.
9. Cook in the oven for about 45 mins, or till the meat is cooked.
10. To caramelise the chicken, turn on the grill in the oven. Cook for about 5 mins, or till the meat is golden.
11. Serve the ‘king of kebabs’ with a mint and coriander chatni, sliced onions and a lemon wedge.
Mint and Coriander Chatni
1. 1 bunch fresh mint, roots removed and some of the thick stems taken off, washed
2. 1 big bunch fresh coriander, roots taken off, stem removed, washed
3. 4-5 small green chillies
4. 1 tablespoon pomegranate extract
5. salt, to taste
6. 1 red onion
7. lemon wedge
1. Grind all the ingredients, except for the red onion and lemon wedge, to a fine paste. Add salt, as required.
2. Refrigerate and serve with the hot chicken alongside the sliced red onion and lemon wedge.
A few things to remember:
1. Buy the chicken with the skin on as this keeps the meat moist, even if you are not marinating it the same day.
2. Remember to prepare the chicken for the second marinade by applying the first marinade. Do not add the first marinade to the second and apply it on to the bird altogether. This won’t save you time, also, the marinade will not stick to the chicken.
3. To get the red colour, soak the chillies in lukewarm water till they swell (balloon), then squeeze the chillies and crush in a food processor with some vegetable oil.
4. Cook the chicken at a temperature of 160- 170 C as this keeps the meat moist and allows the chicken to cook from the ‘inside – out’.
5. To caramelise the chicken, flash under a hot grill or do as I do here!
6. Add your choice of whole spices to the earthenware pot before placing the chicken in it. As the oven heats up, so do the spices and the smoked flavour permeates into the meat.
Anah Daata Sukhi Bhava!!!