Tandoori chicken often forms the main dish of Indian cuisine, as it has since the time of the Moguls. It is usually complemented by some well-prepared naan and it can benefit from a spread of great chutney, for a sweeter tint to this spicy dish. Served with a cold Indian beer, this recipe makes for an outstanding Sunday afternoon barbecue, Indian style.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the spices together well then pour on the lime juice and stir until well blended.
- Remove the skin from the chicken. Then, make a deep slice in each piece to make inlets for the sauce. Then add the chicken to the bowl and move them around until they are well covered with the sauce. Be sure to cover well and allow the meat to marinade for a couple of hours at room temperature.
- If you are not fortunate enough to have a genuine tandoor, an ordinary oven will do. Avoid using a small convection oven. Gas ovens will produce a better result for this recipe, since they help sear the meat. An outdoor BBQ is another excellent alternative. Normally, you try to suppress the high flames, but here that will be an advantage.
- Pre-heat the oven to 475°F (245°C). If you have a broil section, even better.
- Sear the meat to close the slits and seal in the juices. Then, continue to cook for about 35 additional minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time.
For longer marinade periods, such as 12-24 hours, it is advisable to seal every thing in a large plastic bag and place it into the refrigerator. Chicken left at room temperature for too long can spoil, resulting in unsafe organisms growing in the meat.
As a simpler alternative to the mixture, eliminate the separate spices and simply pick up some garam masala. Or, to spice up your Tandoori Chicken even more, add a little cayenne pepper.
To put a little extra tang into the sauce, try a teaspoon of crushed ginger and a 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric. To make the sauce more gooey, to spread easier and stick better, add a tablespoon of yogurt or a 1/4 teaspoon of corn starch.
Don't limit yourself to chicken; other meats - such as lamb or pork - could be cooked this way.
Mention Tandoori and everyone immediately thinks of Tandoori Chicken. All well and good, but there is a little more to the story than that. A 'tandoor' is a round, clay oven that gives the recipe its name. They have been used in Northern India for centuries. Reaching a temperature of as much as 900°F (480°C) tandoor ovens can effectively sear the outside while the inside remains tender and juicy. So, how exactly is that done? Read on...