Tandoori Chicken is one of the most popular dishes from northern India. It is grilled chicken rubbed with a blended spice marinade, identifiable by its red coloring. Tandoori is Indian style of BBQ. The marinade has garlic, salt, coriander, tamarind, cumin, ginger, lentils and oil.

Tandoor is an Indian style oven, which one cannot buy in an appliance store like you can with a traditional grill or oven. Basically, the tandoor is made entirely of clay and is 3-4 feet tall. Charcoal is placed in the bottom of the tandoor and allowed to burn for several hours. Then meat is placed on long skewers and cooked inside till roasted. Tandoor is also used to make kebabs and tandoori rotis.

It is not feasible to build or buy a tandoor. In fact, most homes in India do not have have one. Indian restaurants generally special order tandoors (from restaurant equipment sellers) which can cost upwards of thousands of dollars.

Photo by Bombay Dining PA

So, if you want to enjoy tandoori chicken at home, what do you do?

Here is a very simple tandoori chicken recipe that does not require any special equipment. The chicken retains its juices and is fully cooked from inside, while keeping a nice crispy bite on the outside. It has only 2 ingredients, but the cooking technique is very important. Once you follow this recipe, you will realize how simple and delicious this recipe is!

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Photo by Tandoori Mumbai

Prep Time: 5 mins; Cook Time: 45 mins
(Makes 4 servings)
4 pieces chicken leg quarters, skin removed
4 tablespoons tandoori paste
Thoroughly rub the tandoori paste over the chicken using your hands. Place in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to cook, pre heat broiler on low. Once the temperature is attained, place the chicken pieces on a oven safe broiling pan with a drip pan under it. No need to spray the pan.
Cook on Low Broil for 30 minutes, turning the chicken once. Then turn the broil to High and cook for another 15 minutes, turning once so that the chicken is crisp on both sides. You will see that the marinade will start to dry up and the chicken will start getting a crust.
Remove from oven and transfer to a plate. Serve immediately with sliced onions, quartered lemons, chopped cilantro and mint chutney.

To make the same recipe with salmon, rub the marinade on the fish and cook on High Broil for 8-10 minutes, turning once.

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