Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken


Tandoori chicken is an incredibly popular Indian cuisine. It is the first choice of all calorie conscious people and brings in sheer delight to all non-veg lovers. The dish is believed to be originated in Punjab, but it has many references that it dates back to the Mughal era. It got its name from the tandoor clay oven which is using to make Indian flatbreads like naan and roti. Skinless chicken thighs and legs get deep marination in tenderizing yogurt mixtures and spices along with lemon juice for that extra tangy taste.

Though made in tandoor clay oven in traditional style, you don’t need a tandoor oven to prepare tandoori chicken; instead, it can be made over a grill or in an oven containing a broiler.

The tandoori chicken is rich in protein and fats and contains no carbohydrates at all. The nutritional benefits of the dish depend a lot on its preparation method. If marinated for long, during cooking much oil will not be absorbed into the chicken pieces and can enjoy even while you are on a diet.

Tandoori Chicken

Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 30-50 minutes | Serves: 4

Marination time: 1 hour to 6 hour

Tandoori Chicken

  • Chicken legs, whole – 4
  • Vegetable oil – 3 tablespoon
  • Coriander, grounded – 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin, grounded – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric, grounded – 1 teaspoon
  • Cayenne – 1 teaspoon
  • Garam Masala – 1 tablespoon
  • Sweet paprika – 1 tablespoon
  • Plain yogurt – 1 cup
  • Lemon juice – 2 tablespoons
  • Garlic cloves, minced – 4
  • Fresh ginger, minced – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon (to taste)

Cooking directions:

  1.  Keep the pan over medium heat and add some oil. When the oil becomes hot, add ground coriander, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, paprika, garam masala and stir often so that it doesn’t get burnt. Allow it to cool completely.
  2. Add the cooled spice mixture to yogurt along with ginger, garlic and lemon juice.  Whisk thoroughly until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Make 3 to 4 deep cuts in the leg pieces and coat the chicken with marinade so that it gets absorbed to the chicken pieces well. Cover it and refrigerate for at least an hour. You can keep it overnight also but not more than 8 hours.
  4. Prepare your grill in such a way that one side is hot and the other side cold. If you are using charcoal, add coal to one side and skip adding coal to the other side. It will keep the temperature down on the other side. If you use a gas grill, turn on one of the burners. By using tongs, wipe the grill with a napkin soaked in cooking oil.
  5. Take the marinated chicken pieces and place on the hot side of the grill. Cover it and cook for 3 minutes. When the chicken becomes brown, flip it to the other side and cook.
  6. Once done, transfer chicken pieces to the cold side of the grill and cook for 20-40 minutes or longer as per the size of the pieces and temperature of the grill.
  7. When the juices run clear, the cooking is over. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  8. Serve hot or at room temperature with Indian flatbread or rice.

Nutritional value:

Calories: 540 | Total Fats: 43g | Net Carbs: 3g | Protein: 32g | Cholesterol: 130 mg | Sodium: 360 mg | Potassium: 413 mg | Sugars: 2g.

Cooking Tips:

 When placing the chicken pieces on the grill, shake off excess marinade otherwise chicken will turn gloppy.

 To avoid chicken sticking to the grill, glaze it with enough oil.

 In case you don’t have a grill, you can pan fry the chicken add some coal to the pan and cover it with a lid to seal in flavor.

Cleaning tips:

 Don’t clean the grill grates when it’s still warm. Clear off large pieces of food but don’t wipe the blackness on the grate as it protects the grill while cooking.

 Clean the outer part of the grill by scrubbing but gently wipe the inner portion to remove any excess food particle left there.