Authentic Tandoori Chicken with Garlic Naan Recipe

April 13, 2012 by

Tandoori chicken

Some recipes say this ingredient isn’t used in authentic marinades and that the colour is from the chili powder and turmeric, or that it’s unnecessary (since it doesn’t add any flavour) but when you add it to the mix it’s what gives the chicken that gorgeous flame red hue that can’t be achieved any other way. You should be able to find it at indian grocers, and I would highly recommend you seek it out. A packet cost me only 50c, so it was well worth it.

This recipe came from the SBS program Food Safari, but I have added my own method.

Serves 6 with sides

  • 1kg chicken thighs
  • 200g natural yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated finely
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, grated finely
  • 1 tablespoon tandoori paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon tandoori colour powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, ground
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 4 extra long metal skewers
  • 1 pair rubber gloves!

Begin this recipe 2 days before.

Mix all the ingredients except for the chicken together in a glass or stainless steel bowl (to prevent staining). Cover and rest in the fridge overnight.

Authentic Tandoori Chicken Marinade

Trim the chicken thighs but keep them whole. Add them to the marinade and with your rubber gloves on, massage the marinade into the chicken, ensuring they are all well coated. Marinate in the fridge overnight.

Take the chicken out of the fridge half an hour before you need to cook it, but keep it covered. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius (fan forced). Thread the thighs onto the skewers.

Tandoori chicken marinade

Lay the skewers vertically across a baking tray so they are not touching the bottom of the pan or each other, which allows the air to circulate. Roast for 20-25 minutes. This will ensure perfectly cooked chicken that can be eaten with a fork only.

Preheat your barbeque and flame grill the chicken for 3 minutes per side until lightly charred.

Serve on a platter with naan bread and your other favourite sides. You can remove the chicken from the skewers and cut it into smaller pieces for individual servings.

You can also make this into Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) with my authentic sauce.

I use this River Cottage naan bread recipe but I make it a garlic naan. You need:

  • 50g butter, just beyond softened (when mixed with the garlic, it should look like creamed honey)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon black cumin / nigella seeds

You can find black cumin at Indian grocers. I add a generous sprinkle of the black cumin when I am rolling out my naan.

Mix the garlic and butter together. Just before cooking the naan over the flame on the barbeque I brush them liberally with the garlic mix, and again when I flip them. Cook with the hood down until they puff up, then turn and cook until browned.

Both recipes reheat well, so if you have less than 6 people, just keep the leftovers for lunch!





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