Succulent roasted chicken prepared with a
smoky-sweet yoghurt marinade

When marinated chicken is grilled in a tandoor, it transforms into ‘Tandoori Chicken’. A tandoor is a clay oven and, according to local legend, was brought to the region from Persia. The Indians made it their own by combining local spices with their favourite meats to create classics like this Tandoori Chicken. This preparation is believed to have been invented in Peshawar in the 1930s, at the peak of its glory, when favoured by royalty.

Preparation Times: 5 Min
Cooking Time:  45Min
Serves:4
Taste: Medium

Ingredients:

  • 6 whole chicken legs, skin removed
  • 6 Tbsp thick plain yoghurt or Greek yoghurt
  • 7 Tbsp cream
  • 2½ tsp ginger paste
  • 2½ tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 or 2 drops of orange food Colouring
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp oil for basting
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200ºC.
  • Wash chicken, then prick it all over with a fork or use a sharp knife, cut slashes in the flesh, for the marinade to soak into.

  • In a bowl, whisk the yoghurt, then add cream, ginger paste, garlic paste, garam masala powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, orange food colouring, salt, lemon juice and 2 Tbsp oil. Mix well.

  • Add chicken to the yoghurt marinade and rub it well into the chicken flesh with your hands. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours (for best results, marinate overnight).

  • Line a baking tray with a foil to catch any drips, then lay a wire rack on the top of the foiled tray. Arrange the chicken on the wire rack, spacing them evenly.

  • Roast the chicken in the centre of the oven (keep the door closed as the oven can lose its heat, so no peeking), then turn the chicken once basting with oil after 30 mins of cooking time and the roast for another 20 mins or until the chicken is cooked through. 

  • To check if the chicken is cooked, slice one piece close to the bone, it should no longer be pink on the inside and the juices should run clear (there can be variations in the temperature of the oven, so the time of cooking will differ accordingly).

  • Serve with lemon wedges and Green Chutney

Ruby's Tip: The Tandoori Chicken can also be grilled. Grease the grill with some oil to stop the chicken sticking. Grill on medium heat, turning and basting with oil frequently. It will take 20–25 minutes to cook.