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Make chicken tandoori better than any Indian restaurant - just watch me.
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Light up the tandoor and wait untill it's hot. I cook at about 400°F (sorry my tandoor came with a Farenheit scale). Pull the chickens out and stick them each one one seekh (the long skewers) so that they will be about 15cm above the flames. Stick a clean raw potato below each chicken so that they won't fall.

Let them cook in the covered tandoor for about 12 minutes or until the wing and thigh tips become black. Do not worry about carcinogenic effects, all research agrees that after even 15 minutes marination there is no risk. Pull them out and hang the skewers to let the meat drip for 5 minutes. Baste with clarified butter. Check with a knife that the meat is cooked through by cutting a hole in the thickest part. Put them back in the tandoor for 3 minutes or longer if the meat was not enough cooked.

Take the birds out and lay the skewers on a dish. Remove very carefully the red hot seekhs from the birds and serve.

The meat has an intense grilled and spicy taste with an incredibly juicy interior. Much better than the dry red mashmallow served in most Indian restaurants under the same name.

The best book about tandoori cooking is Tandoor: The Great Indian Barbecue, the work of a lifetime dedicated to researching the tandoor's technique, history and recipes. Warmly recommended, one of my favorites cookbooks ever.

Published 17/09/2006
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If you do this recipe at home please let me know how it worked for you by submitting a comment or send me a picture if you can. Thanks!



105 Comments

  • #1
  • Comment by Per Schwensen
  • on: 06/01/2007
Wow, this looks nice ! We are trying it tomorrow although we don't have a tandoor. We had a small bottle of red food colouring but unfortunately it was only enough to make the chicken pink. And we also only had chicken legs, not whole chicken. Besides we put the chicken into the marinade tonight, but it is on the balcony at around zero degrees celsius so we hope it will not be overmarinated. We will cook it in the oven at max. temperature. Cheers from Samina and Per ! Ooops, I just remembered that I forgot to score the meat, oh well - never mind. It will be pink anyway, like an englishman that had too much sunshine on his body.
  • #2
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 14/01/2007
Good luck Per! Marinating time is much shorter with meat bought in the West as it is already very tender.
  • #3
  • Comment by Steve
  • on: 12/02/2007
Hey there, how much yoghurt did you use? It isn't specified.
  • #4
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 13/02/2007
Steve, you need to use no more than 2 cups (5 dl) yogurt, this will work even for 8 baby chickens.
  • #5
  • Comment by adrian
  • on: 02/03/2007
Follow the recipe and ingredients....add more red color than you
think...and.... I used a chicken roaster rack like the one that you use
to cook with the beer...preheat the stove to 400F...you are good to
go....hmmm....goooood....can't wait to do it for my friends....
  • #6
  • Comment by Pradeep
  • on: 04/04/2007
Wow, looking at it I feel like biting into the computer screen... can't wait to make it to impress my wife, this week end weather permitting... But please specify how much of the spices (cardmom,pepper, corriander seeds, cumin, cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon I should use... am not much of a cook and I am lost. Will keep you posted of the turn out. Can we find a tandoor in Toronto, Canada?
  • #7
  • Comment by sunil
  • on: 05/04/2007
Excellent work. But we have been doing this (Tandoor) since the Mughal times and not since WW2.Thanks and regards,Sunil
  • #8
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 05/04/2007
Sunil you are very right, the tandoor is ancient and doesn't date from WW2. However, the practice of cooking skewered marinated meat in the tandoor dates, according to tandoor historian Ranjit Rai, from WW2. If you have specific information to the contrary I would be most interested but in the meanwhile I have to stick to the well-resarched tandoor history in this book 'Tandoor: The Great Indian Barbecue'. Thanks!
  • #9
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 05/04/2007
Pradeep, the quantity of spices depends on your taste, but for the quantities above start with 4 cloves, 1 bay leaf, 7 cardamom pods, 2 tablespoons each cumin and coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon peppercorns and half a stick cinnamon. Let me know how it works and good luck!
  • #10
  • Comment by Paul
  • on: 09/05/2007
An option is to use cream or a mixture of cream and yoghurt. And or lime juice instead of lemon juice.What you should mention is that dieters have this with a salad and they are happy. Not eating bland food or missing out. I do it with cheap chicken wings to take into work for lunch.Nice web site
  • #11
  • Comment by madhu
  • on: 14/05/2007
How much salt is to be added, when it is to be added is not mentioned, and can lemon be substituted with vinegar?
  • #12
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 14/05/2007
How much salt is a personal matter but I'd go with a teaspoon of fine salt for the quantities mentioned. I would not use vinegar, the taste is too strong. If you like vinegar have a look at my Jerk Tandoori Chicken recipe.
  • #13
  • Comment by madhu
  • on: 15/05/2007
Oh thanks a lot, just like roasted duck, can a chicken be roasted and can it be crispy outside?
  • #14
  • Comment by s.a. lengade
  • on: 03/06/2007
I have a big green egg (large ceramic egg shaped grill) and was using it as my tandoor, was wondering while making tandoori chicken is it necessary to cook on seekhs or can it be placed on a grill and cooked indirectly (which is what instruction manual suggests). What is advantage of cooking on iron skewers?
  • #15
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 04/06/2007
Mr. Lengade, the big iron skewers are used mainly because they offer a convenient way of lowering and maintaining meat down into the fire pit without burning oneself. They also become very hot and somewhat cook the meat from within, but that should not worry you. If you want to use the green egg - a lovely grill by the way - your main worry should be to increase the heat as much as you can. I don't think you can achieve 600°F+ with indirect heat, and if you fall back to direct heat you will burn your food. Low heat will dry your food out before it's cooked and too high will burn it. Maybe you find a solution!
  • #16
  • Comment by s.a. lengade
  • on: 06/06/2007
Thanks for the advice, I can get it to 700 farenheit, no problem, can I cook the same way as tandoor by placing the skewers into coal and closing lid, also cooking naan if you are familiar with the egg can I place dough against the side and if so how far from coals, and do I have to pretreat the ceramic with any coating. I appreciate any advice you can give. Thanks
  • #17
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 06/06/2007
Mr Lengade, although I have never used 'The Egg' my advice is to try to get the oven's sides to be as hot as possible, wet the raw naan a little and stick it against the sides. If it sticks, good. The process of curing is needed for terracotta tandoor ovens, I don't think ceramic would require that. If that doesn't work try to use a pizza tile placed flat inside the 'Egg' and just lay your naan on top of it. The idea is to have a very hot surface under the naan so that it will bubble in half a minute. Let me know how it works for you and good luck!
  • #18
  • Comment by Srinivas
  • on: 26/06/2007
This is very nice and wonderful!RegardsSrinivas
  • #19
  • Comment by pramod nabiyal
  • on: 27/06/2007
I am student of IHM Goa........It is lovely display of recipe. I would like to have some information on some of the most ancient recipe of tandoor, it would be very kind of you if you grant me a help, as it will help in my research work (any kind of help is welcomed).
  • #20
  • Comment by D the Chef
  • on: 19/07/2007
FX,You're my hero this week. Your website rocks. Your pics are incredible. I'm so inspired, I might just cook something fabulous tonight. I'd love to see some recipes for the slow cooker. Do you have one? they're awesome and such a help for the working professional. Thanks
  • #21
  • Comment by ShowMeTheCurry.com
  • on: 11/08/2007
Wow!  Beautiful pictures and a lovely recipe!
  • #22
  • Comment by vn
  • on: 20/08/2007
You can add un-ripe papaya (it has papain) to the marinade to tenderise the chicken quicker/more thoroughly.
  • #23
  • Comment by manisha samuel
  • on: 24/08/2007
Very good I like your dish I try this at my kitchen. I'm very happy. Thanks a lot for that wonderfull dish.
  • #24
  • Comment by Robert
  • on: 26/08/2007
Hello there, nice page, very soon I will try this recipe in my kitchen. What to do with the rest of the yoghurt marinade? in Indian restaurants they serve it together it seems
  • #25
  • Comment by kersey dhondy
  • on: 26/08/2007
Very interesting site, the tandoori chicken recipe excellent. I had once seen chicken legs prepared tandoori style in a pressure cooker. Could you possibly show it.
  • #26
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 29/08/2007
Robert, the marinade is a nice breeding ground for salmonella and you would definitely NOT serve it as a sauce. Rather use lemon wedges, chutney or raita. Some people use it to baste the chicken during mid cooking - I did this last week end to good effect.

Kersey, I can't see how you can get edible tandoori chicken in a pressure cooker, it is about the most different cooking appliance you can find from the tandoor. Use a regular oven and clay Romertopf instead.
  • #27
  • Comment by AYAZ
  • on: 07/09/2007
I'm pure veg & was very happy to look at this tandoori. But this image was only to look at and not eat, only this time
  • #28
  • Comment by B. Srikant
  • on: 10/09/2007
I have read your book, it is nice, here I would like to know that The great Indian Barbique book has any additions on other cuisine?  What is the price of this book (tandoor) and how to get it. Please mail me, i want this book. Bcoz I am a hotel management student.   
  • #29
  • Comment by Diky Mint
  • on: 10/09/2007
What a great tandoori recipe. I try my hand at cooking a lot of indian meals, this was the best I have made and a great hit with the wife. I cooked it on a hot barbecue (the type with a lid) about 15cm above the coals. It worked Great. Thanks for the recipe...
  • #30
  • Comment by Indrani Bhattacherjee
  • on: 14/09/2007
A delicious, satisfying recipe that the whole family will enjoy.
  • #31
  • Comment by avi vasistha
  • on: 24/09/2007
Sounds just right , I cook a lot I am going to try it but I am looking to get a tandoor in Canada.
  • #32
  • Comment by The food coloring brigade
  • on: 02/10/2007
Food coloring? Tandoori chicken is made with tandoori masala, which contains the spices you added and CHILI POWDER, thats where the red color is coming from... NOT FOOD COLORING.
  • #33
  • Comment by Sonia Sarin
  • on: 09/10/2007
I know of a restaurant in Calcutta that does not use food coloring. I know for certain they use some chile which they grind and use it to give red color to the chicken. I live in Las Vegas and I am Indian settled here. I would have loved to cook tandoori chicken but I do not want to put food color. Please tell me what chili I should buy here to give the exact color so that I can also start cooking the tandoori chicken. PS: I am definitely going to buy your book.
  • #34
  • Comment by Joseph Maqbool
  • on: 11/10/2007
Very good presentation. How I wish if I could have some popular dishes presented in a similar manner.
  • #35
  • Comment by subhayan Biswas
  • on: 20/10/2007
For some time I have been trying to cook Tandoori chicken, but struggle to get the right taste, which we usually find in the restaurants. Your pics are great, so I am inspired again. Red coloring is the hidden secret that I never got trough pouring high amount of red chilli. Thanks a lot. I will try again and hope to get a better result here.
  • #36
  • Comment by Anu
  • on: 28/10/2007
I have been away from India for 25 years and have spent forever searching for a recipe for Tandoori chicken, I, to the day, have not found a recipe that is close to the taste of Tandoori chicken sold in Indian restaurants. This recipe looks promising and would be trying it out tonight, wish me luck :) Regards
  • #37
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 29/10/2007
Thank you for your comments! The red coloring is seen as a heresy by tandoori chicken purists, but here in the West it is a trademark of that dish.
  • #38
  • Comment by Sol
  • on: 01/11/2007
Hi, nice recipe, but... I don't understand how can the marinade be breeding ground for salmonella if it doesn't touch the raw chicken.
  • #39
  • Comment by Ebey Philip
  • on: 13/11/2007
Very good collection of recipes..........gonna try the tandori tonight.
  • #40
  • Comment by Chai
  • on: 13/12/2007
Good work there mate. I am just about to finish building my own terracotta tandoor... The food colour that I always happen to find turns the food pink instead of red although its called post box red.... What's the exact name of the color you  use, if you don't mind? Also what's 'curing' that you've mentioned for terracotta oven that you  have mentioned... could you  pls elaborate?  Tks. Cheers, Chai.
  • #41
  • Comment by David
  • on: 14/12/2007
A couple of changes I made. Maybe the purists won't be happy but I liked the results.  Use the same cuts of chicken (thighs are my preference), otherwise you end up with overcooked breasts or undercooked dark meat.  Leave the skin on, slash it several times and increase the marinating time by a couple of hours...much of the fat is rendered out resulting in a crisp skin and moist meat.  Skip the food coloring and use plenty of degi mirch (closest thing would be paprika) for color.
  • #42
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 15/12/2007
Interesting - I plan a few experiences in tandoori chicken of my own and will report back. In my tandoor leaving the skins result in huge flames due to the fat dripping down on the burner.
  • #43
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 15/12/2007
Amazing Chai, I would be very pleased to see pictures of your homemade tandoor and wish you the very best of luck with it! For the coloring you don't put enough of it, that's why you get pink instead of red. But purists recommend using either chili powder or give up red altogether and use curcuma for yellow.
  • #44
  • Comment by David
  • on: 15/12/2007
With regard to flames with skin on, I use a kamado... similar to a tandoor and keep the seekh away from coals or make a drip pan from heavy foil.
  • #45
  • Comment by Chai
  • on: 17/12/2007
Hi there fx,Pleased to tell you that the Tandoori chicken turned out fantastic and so did the Murgh malai tikka and the naans too.The terracotta pots are holding well......so far so good, I guess. Mail me and I will send the pics in reply. I got a different colour which I happened to find which is made in India and it turned out fine colourwise while tastewise it was lipsmacking tandoor....I used drumsticks for the Tandoori chick and diced thigh fillets for the murgh malai tikka.Cheers,Chai.
  • #46
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 18/12/2007
Thank you Chai, it sounds like you have had great fun with your tandoor. Please do mail me the pics! How did you fare with the naans? Did they stick or fall down the beast?
  • #47
  • Comment by misty
  • on: 06/02/2008
Hi, I haven't tried your tandoori yet, but very tempting. I want to know your website address. also I was checking other recipes, what does "dl" mean? Can you please use american metric system for measurement?
  • #48
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 06/02/2008
Misty, 'dl' stands for a tenth of a liter, so about a tenth of a quart or about a small half cup. Thanks.
  • #49
  • Comment by Jalick Dsouza
  • on: 07/02/2008
Looks nice. I need to try it out. Thanks!
  • #50
  • Comment by Arun
  • on: 10/02/2008
Hi fx, very nice pictures. One thing that may help those new to Indian cooking would be the proportions of the spices used. I made a couple of changes based on some other recipes I found on the web: for the initial marination, I used about a tsp of Kashmiri mirch (available in Indian stores in the US) in addition to the lemon juice. Also used a bit of it in the final marinade; the red food color was a nice touch, thanks! I tried using my baking oven at its highest setting as I do not have a tandoor; tasted wonderful, but the outside was not as dry and crisp as I would have liked. One other thing; some comments here suggest using red chilli powder to get the color. I think it'll take far too much of it to get the bright red color associated with this dish, especially considering that you need to add it to the white yogurt!
  • #51
  • Comment by Kris
  • on: 12/02/2008
Thanks for the wonderful recipe and tips.  I attempted chicken tandoori in my Ronco Showtime Rotisserie on Sunday and I think that is an acceptable way for someone who doesn't have access to the traditional cooker.  I did, however, leave on the skin and I will have to make it again using your technique.  How convenient that chicken is sale priced at the local grocery this week!I did make a gravy from the leftover marinade by simmering it on top of the stove to reduce the liquid which, I'm sure, kills the bacteria.  Also, I wonder what effect the lemon juice has on living things?Also, I am wondering if achiote might lend the proper red color to the dish naturally without adding a dissonant flavor.  I will try that, too, and report back.
  • #52
  • Comment by Kris
  • on: 12/02/2008
Forgot to say that my marinade did not contain yogurt (combination of 'I forgot' and one recipe I consulted did not include it) and I added it after reducing the marinade.
  • #53
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 12/02/2008
Good luck with the chicken tandoori Jalick!
  • #54
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 12/02/2008
Arun, if you have a terracotta dish you can heat it in the oven before adding the skewered chicken. The terracotta will store some heat to balance the temperature absorbed by the cold chicken. Not really a tandoor but an affordable solution. As for the spices each chef has its own mix, but I'd rather use turmeric to turn the chicken yellow than add a gallon of red chili powder for the color. Have fun!
  • #55
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 12/02/2008
Kris, the lemon juice and yogurt are essential to precook/tenderize the chicken during marination. Making a gravy with the marinade is not really recommended but if you do you are right to cook it long and hard to kill off as many bacterias as you can. Don't keep the chicken skin on, it insulates somewhat the flesh and provokes flares up when the fat melts. I don't know about achiote, but you can opt for a more traditional yellow color using turmeric powder. But in the West most people associate this dish with the red food colouring usually employed. Not very natural nor traditional, I admit!
  • #56
  • Comment by Nasihah
  • on: 03/03/2008
Wow! what can I say? simply superb. I can now make my own tandoori. Can I use lamb instead?
  • #57
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 04/03/2008
Nasihah, yes you can cook lamb in a tandoor, there are many recipes that follow a similar process mostly. Have a look at my Tandoor Roasted Leg of Lamb for instance. Thanks for visiting!
  • #58
  • Comment by Heena
  • on: 04/03/2008
HiI must say that this is the best site I have ever known trust me the chicken tandoori recipe is the most delicious n the best.I couldn't even find the recipe for it on any indian site.And the way all the pictures have been displayed for all the recipes is too amazing :)I am so happy that I can make such yummy recipes without much difficulty.   Great site and lots of your efforts show on the site
  • #59
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 04/03/2008
Heena thanks a lot for your appreciation! In fact my article has been translated in Urdu in various forums, I think this is praise from Caesar!
  • #60
  • Comment by GunnCat
  • on: 15/03/2008
Very interesting. Have you considered annatto seeds for the coloring rather than food color? Might work well.
  • #61
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 16/03/2008
Jim, there is no reason why it shouldn't work with annatto seeds but I've never seen them here in Europe and haven't tried. Let me know how it works if you do!
  • #62
  • Comment by Dueep J. Singh
  • on: 11/04/2008
To all those who have the patience to stroll, I mean scroll down to the very end. This essential food coloring is a natural product called Ratanjot. All ye expatriates out there, do remember to ask your friend neighborhood barbeque man to give you some. A touch of ratanjot give it the deep red colour. As for the red chillies, they are called Kashmiri chillies and boy are they yummy, dark red and HOT. So one handles them with care, even though the ultimate presentation of an original Kashmiri dish is something to laud.
  • #63
  • Comment by Dueep J.Singh
  • on: 11/04/2008
SO, all right this recipe is yum. Let me be altruistic and give you a traditional tandoori recipe called Boti kabab. Boti is the original persian word for piece. Bota. My ancestors fronm the Northwest used the word Chukh and this was broiled on hot coals in the winter.

Boti Kabab  Servings 4-5

Ingredients

Amount Ingredients
1.5 lbs Boned Leg of lamb
2 cloves Chopped Garlic
2 tbsp Chopped Coriander Leaves
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
4 tbsp Curd
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Oil
6 Green Cardamoms
1 Cinnamon Stick
2-3 Dried Red Chili
1 tbsp Coriander Seeds

Preparation

    * Grind the green cardamoms, cinnamon, red chili and coriander seeds into a fine mix. Keep aside.
    * Wash the meat and dry it. Prick all over with a sharp knife and cut into 1 ½ inch cubes.
    * Put the garlic, coriander leaves, lemon juice and yogurt into a liquidiser or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the salt, turmeric and the ground ingredients.
    * Put the meat into a bowl and add the liquidised ingredients.
    * Mix throughly, cover and leave to marinate for 6-8 hours (or overnight in the refrigerator).
    * Preheat grill to high. Line the grill pan with a piece of aluminium foil (this will reflect heat and also keep your grill pan clean).
    * Thread meat onto skewers leaving about ¼-inch gap between each piece.
    * Mix any remaining marinade with the oil and keep aside.
    * Place the skewers on the prepared grill and pan and grill the kababs for 2-3 minutes.
    * Turn the skewers over and grill for a further 2-3 minutes.
    * Reduce heat to medium. Brush the kababs with the oil/marinade mixture and grill for 6-8 minutes.
    * Turn the skewers over and brush the kababs with the remaining oil/marinade mixture. Grill for a further 6-8 minutes.
    * Garnish with thinly sliced onion rings, crisp lettuce leaves and wedges of cucumber.
We kids asked our father to fry the rest of the unbarbecued meat in the leftover sauce for dinner. This boti kababs were just hors d'oeuvres!


  • #64
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 11/04/2008
Dueep, thanks for sharing this information! Do you know how the ratanjot is made? Is this a natural product, maybe a cousin of the Kashmiri chili?
  • #65
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 11/04/2008
Dueep, the marination time you give is for Western 'pre-tenderized' meat, or for Indian meat? You indicate cooking times for a grill, is that the same if using a tandoor? I'm considering trying this on Sunday.
Thanks!
  • #66
  • Comment by Lawrence Spencer
  • on: 09/05/2008
Can I use a regular oven instead of a tandoori? I may have missed some of your instructions due to the fact I have just been called in to work...((shucks))). Hopefully I will review and find the listing of ingredients for the tandoori rcipe. It looks absolutely scrumtious.

Lawrence
  • #67
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 11/05/2008
Lawrence, thanks for visiting! The oven is called a 'tandoor', the word tandoori being the adjective. Well, if your oven can become really seriously hot, you might want to use some clay dish and rest the chicken on a skewer on the preheated clay dish so that it can give the chicken some of its stored heat. But you really need an enormous amount of heat to get the chicken  slightly blackened on the edges without burning the meat!
  • #68
  • Comment by Raj
  • on: 28/05/2008
A very detailed and good one.. :)
  • #69
  • Comment by Kishor Buch
  • on: 12/06/2008
In just one word EXCELLENT!!! You have explained so well that I have decided to buy a domestic clay tandoor instead of BBQ and try master's knowledge.

K Buch
  • #70
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 12/06/2008
Kishor good luck with your future tandoor!
  • #71
  • Comment by tasleem ahmed
  • on: 24/06/2008
your reciIn just one word EXCELLENT!
  • #72
  • Comment by Saurabh
  • on: 03/07/2008
My wife made this chicken tandoor some time back and it turned out excellent. Earlier she had issues with the 'pre-tenderized' meat but your tips were great. I love the collection of recepies and hope to make some thing interesting for my wife soon.
  • #73
  • Comment by Tanashah
  • on: 03/07/2008
This is one of the best tandoori chicken recipes online. I usually marinate chicken similarly with two differences -
Use thickened plain yoghurt : Tie up the yoghurt in a muslin or a thin cotton cloth and hang up to drip for at least 3 hours. Use the thickened yoghurt.

I like it red, but since my kids eat it too, I don't put the red food colour ( it is a synthetic chemical after all with suspect health effects). Instead, I get concentrated red beet root juice and add that as coloring. You can get it from organic food stores, whole foods in the US.

tastes great even on aregular coal grill!
Add mustard oil to the marinade for more authentic flavor.
  • #74
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 06/07/2008
Saurabh, thanks for your visit and glad my recipe worked for your wife!
  • #75
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 06/07/2008
Tanashah, thanks for the tip about the hung curd and concentrated beetroot, definitely sounds healthier than food coloring.
  • #76
  • Comment by nancy
  • on: 24/07/2008
What happened to the rest of the recipe? the marinade part is missing
  • #77
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 25/07/2008
Nancy, FXcuisine.com caught the Chinese flu yesterday but now all articles are back online!
  • #78
  • Comment by litz
  • on: 03/08/2008
I totally disagree with the recipe of tandoori chicken!
  • #79
  • Comment by S Singh
  • on: 06/08/2008
Thankyou so much for this lovely demonstration of tandoori chicken. Great pics all the way.
  • #80
  • Comment by IMAN
  • on: 19/09/2008
Can I use safran and turmeric except food color
thanks for this recipe? Best wishes from Tehran
  • #81
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 19/09/2008
Iman, thanks for visiting my site. Of course you can use turmeric to color your tandoori chicken, some people in India even think that's the only proper way to do it! I would not use saffron though, it is too expensive and delicate, better use it in some of your delicious Persian rices!
  • #82
  • Comment by Guruvar
  • on: 31/10/2008
AFAIK - for people who dont want to use artificial food colour, I have seen recipes calling for Annato seed powder and beetroot powder instead. Hope that helps.
  • FX's answer→ Guruvar thanks for your tips!

  • #84
  • Comment by John
  • on: 23/11/2008
Great recipe and pictures. I am cooking the tandoori chicken tonight as a result. I have been trying to get the book Tandoor - The Great Indian Barbeque for a while now but it is out of print and the only books available are used and at a very high premium. How do I get this wonderful book?
  • FX's answer→ John, you can get this book on Amazon.com I believe.

  • #86
  • Comment by Rohan
  • on: 03/01/2009
The red color in chicken tandoori traditionally comes from using degi mirch. Its a kind of chilli that adds lovely deep red color to dishes without being too hot. Even the mild chilli may prove too hot for someone uninitiated to indian cooking but for others I would suggest substituting the food coloring with degi mirch.
  • FX's answer→ Rohan thanks I'll try this.

  • #88
  • Comment by Scott Lee
  • on: 26/01/2009
Can I just say that the colour of the meat is secondary to the taste and that we in the West only expect the meat to be red because that is how it has (for some time now) been served to us in restaurants.

If it didn't have the colour but the same great taste i'm certain that very few westerners would mind it not being bright red.

I don't know anybody that doesn't eat Indian food for any other reason than the flavour, because after all, isn't that what good food is all about? ;)

Great Recipe. Thank You :)
  • FX's answer→ Aye Scott, but color is very much part of the taste as it is subjectively experienced by the human brain. Have you ever tried crystal pepsi, back in the days when they thought they could sell Pepsi that looked like mineral water? It "tasted" a whole lot different from the regular product, unless you would drink it with your eyes closed of course. An eye-opening experience!

  • #90
  • Comment by Tahmina
  • on: 13/04/2009
How should I tweak this recipe/marination time if I want to use it as a marinate for chicken breasts only?
  • FX's answer→ Marinate only one hour for western-style chicken breast, or twice longer at least if freshly-killed like in India.

I love this recipe. Except I rather do it without the red paint. I like the golden brown skin instead. I dont have a tandoor, but I did it in a Tambor, wich is common in latin america, and it turned out decent.
  • FX's answer→ Thanks, this tambor sounds very intriguing, how is it built?

  • #94
  • Comment by Joan
  • on: 08/05/2009
I use annatto powder/seeds for natural colouring, but since this is tandoori, you can use turmeric powder or a piece of turmeric root. Just add either to the marinade. For a quick tandoori chicken: One chicken cut into pieces, 200 gms of thick (greek-style yoghurt) with equal amounts of ginger and garlic, a small red onion, salt and pepper to taste, and curry powder. Marinade for a few hours, grill on 180 C for about 30 minutes, then turn over. Serve over rice, scooping the sauce - yummy.
But, I love Francois' more authentic, and I am sure, yummier than my short-cut recipe. Can't wait to try it.
  • #95
  • Comment by Luba
  • on: 15/10/2009
1 whole chicken  - cut into small pieces with the bone left on and the skin removed
11/4 cups plain yogurt
2 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 tablespoon ginger, garlic, green chilly paste (approx 1 large clove garlic, 1 green chilly and 1/4 oz ginger ground together in a pestle and mortar, or chopped finely)
3/4 tablespoon garam masala (don't add too much)
11/2 tablespoons Tandoori masala
1 teaspoon red chilly powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds, ground in a pestle and mortar (optional)
salt to taste (1/5th tablespoon?)

  • FX's answer→ ?

  • #97
  • Comment by Esme
  • on: 20/12/2009
As i have misplaced my old recipe, and my husband wants Tandoori chicken for xmas, i will be trying out your Tandoori recipe, it sounds perfect.
Thank you.   Happy Xmas.
Esme.
  • #98
  • Comment by antonio
  • on: 21/02/2010
lo esplicas bien, pero el color rojo de la salsa se hace con chiles rojos en polvo, no con colorante...  NO HAY QUE USAR COLORANTES!!!
  • FX's answer→ Si, tienes razon Antonio.

  • #100
  • Comment by Jay
  • on: 19/04/2010
Hello!
(I’m your 100th commenter! YAY! and P.S. I've read all of your other comments and your recipe...it is wonderful!)
Your very knowledgeable in all the subjects you write about which is wonderful!    
I have been reading through your recipe, and I have also been looking at two other recipes and I have a few questions.  I hope they are not too much of a bother and that you do not feel that they challenge your expertise because that is not my aim.  I simply want to create the best tandoori recipe possible for my in-laws who are coming to dinner and find it hilarious that I do not know how to make Indian food despite being Indian!  (I know it’s a bit comical actually since i know to make their ethnic food very well but seem to fall short on mine!)
I was wondering about recipes that call for the addition of gharam masala or chart masala as well as adding curry powder, paprika, dry mango powder (I assume this may give it the tangy taste that some people have come to like about tandoori), or dry fenu greek leaves.  Do you think any of these spices would further enhance or deduct from the authentic tandoori taste?  Also I have a question regarding the quantity of the spices you included in your comment: does that apply to just one chicken? Or more?  
Thank you for reading my comment.  It means a lot!
  • #101
  • Comment by Shane
  • on: 20/04/2010
Hi...recipe looks great and not too complicated...i love tandoori chicken but have never made it before but live off the restaurants for it. However i would like to give it a go but dont have a tandoor oven...whats the next best to get the authentic flavour and the heat required?
  • #102
  • Comment by mark wilkinson
  • on: 18/12/2010
hi thank you for the recipe.but i cant believe no one has asked how much pepper corns or how much of any spice has to be used for the moetar and pestle,do i just put a handfull of everything and hope for the best.some spices are more overpowering than others.do i use 4 cardomoms and 8 pepper corns or 8 cardomoms and 4 pepper corns.please let everyone know....
thank you
  • FX's answer→ Thanks I'll look into it.

  • #104
  • Comment by Sunita Maharaj-Vidal
  • on: 01/07/2011
Great recipe.... I am doing a bunch of chicken for the 4th of July celebrations.  I don't have a decent grill nor do I have a tandoor, however, I am going to bake it in a regular oven !!!
Can't wait.
  • #105
  • Comment by anupama pai
  • on: 24/08/2011
Today evening just went on the net and asked for Indian whole chicken marinate and got this recepie.My whole family loved it .thank you for the lovely recpie.

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