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Tandoori Chicken

Posted on December 19, 2011.


Tandoori is a method of cooking that originated in the Middle East. The word ´tandoori´ derives from the Hindi word ´tandoor´, a cylindrical clay oven used in cooking and baking. The heat for a tandoor was traditionally generated by a charcoal fire or wood fire, burning within the tandoor itself. The food was placed directly on the sides of the clay oven, thus exposing the food to both live-fire, radiant heat cooking, and hot-air, convection cooking.

When I was a child, my parents would take us to an authentic Indian restaurant that cooked their Tandoori on an open fire clay oven. I have loved this dish ever since. This version pre-bakes the chicken and finishes it over a hot gas or coal grill.


Whole chicken, cut in pieces
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
5 cloves garlic, smashed
2 inches ginger, minced
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of crushed red chili flakes
3 cups plain yogurt


Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Place chicken in deep roasting pan with lid (Dutch oven).

In a large skillet, heat oil and add onions, salt and pepper. Cook until softened, then add garlic and ginger and cook for about 2 minutes more.

Mix in spices and cook for no more than a minute; then add yogurt.

Pour mix over chicken, cover, and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Pre-heat grill, remove excess sauce, and char until crisp on all sides (about 15 minutes).


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Posted By: Chief Foodie Officer