'Tandoor' as we all know is an oven made out of clay and the heat is generated by charcoal or wood-fire. The more sophisticated versions are now fitted with LPG gas and electricity rather than the traditional wood as fuel. The basic idea is to maintain a high heat at a constant level for the meat to cook fast and retain its juices and flavours at the same time.
In this recipe, I have attempted to show my readers, an easy way of making homemade tandoori masala powder. The advantage of making your own spice mix at home is that we can very well avoid the preservatives and also control the level of salt.
The secret for a good tandoori chicken lies in the way it has been marinated along with the right blend of yoghurt and spices. We need to keep yoghurt content as less as possible as it burns faster when cooked on direct flame. The spices used are all basic and available on your kitchen spice rack.
Tandoori Chicken is a dry preparation, where it is marinated first with lemon juice and salt in order to tenderise it for quick cooking and then marinated again with a blend of yoghurt and spices to enhance the flavours. It is then baked in a traditional tandoor which adds an extra smokey flavour to the meat.
Here we attempt to recreate the dish with a blend of homemade tandoori spice mix and homestyle cooking.
You can watch the video here:
Preparation Time: 4 hours for marination
Cooking Time: 20 - 30 minutes
- 1 kilogram Chicken (4-5 thigh pieces)
- 3 tablespoon tandoori masala powder (homemade)
- 2 tablespoon yoghurt
- 2 tablespoon ginger & garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon mustard oil
- Juice of 1 lime ( half lemon juice)
- Wash the chicken pieces and pat dry with a kitchen towel so that there is no extra moisture.
- Marinate with salt and lime juice for 1 hour.
- Then add ginger & garlic paste, yoghurt, tandoori masala powder and mustard oil to the chicken pieces. Mix well and marinate again for at least 3 hours. (You can also marinate overnight in a refrigerator)
- Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees C. Place the marinated chicken pieces on a baking tray and place the tray in the oven close to the top flame.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. After 20 minutes of baking, remove the tray and brush the chicken pieces with ghee or butter. Again bake for 5 minutes.
- Serve hot with mint chutney.
Tandoori Masala Powder
|Tandoori Masala Powder|
- 20 dry red chillies (long)
- 3 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
- 3-inch piece cinnamon
- 7 green cardamom
- 7 cloves
- 2 black cardamom
- 1 tablespoon kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
- 1 teaspoon black salt
- Heat a pan and dry roast first nine ingredients from the above list.
- Transfer the roasted spices to a grinding jar. Add kasoori methi and black salt and grind to a smooth fine powder.
- Pass the powder through a sieving mesh to make the powder finer.
- Store the powder in an air-tight container.
- Use 3 tablespoons of tandoori masala powder for 1 kilogram chicken.
- 1 cup chopped coriander leaves
- 1 cup chopped mint leaves
- 1 or 2 green chillies
- 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
- 1 or 2 tablespoon yoghurt
- Water for grinding
- Grind together coriander leaves, mint leaves, green chillies, ginger and salt to a smooth paste.
- Transfer the paste to a bowl and add yoghurt.
- Whisk till you get a smooth mint chutney. Adjust yoghurt according to your taste.
- To obtain a fine and smooth chutney as served in restaurants, pass the mint chutney through a muslin cloth.
- Serve chilled with hot Tandoori Chicken or Kababs