(Indian, Pakistani yogurt-marinated and broiled chicken)
Tandoori murgh is the famous chicken dish from the Punjab region of northern India and eastern Pakistan. In the original version, whole chickens are marinated, skewered and quickly roasted in a fiery hot clay oven called a tandoor.
The tandoor oven is then used to make naan bread, which is served alongside the tandoori chicken. This recipe allows you to make a reasonable facsimile of the dish at home without the benefit of a tandoor. The yogurt marinade not only gives the chicken incomparable flavor, it tenderizes the meat as well.
Indian immigrants have made tandoori chicken a popular food in Singapore.
4 to 6 servings
- Chicken, cut into serving pieces, skin removed -- 3 to 4 pounds
- Yogurt -- 1/2 cup
- Lemon juice -- 1/3 cup
- Garlic, minced -- 3 cloves
- Ginger, minced -- 1 tablespoon
- Salt -- 2 teaspoons
- Ground cumin -- 1 teaspoon
- Ground cardamom -- 1 teaspoon
- Cayenne pepper -- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
- Prick the chicken pieces all over with a fork and slash the meat diagonally about 1/4-inch deep in a few places.
- In a large bowl, mix remaining ingredients together to make the marinade. Add the chicken to the yogurt marinade and refrigerate to marinate for at least 8 hours. The longer you marinate, the more flavorful and tender the chicken will be.
- Set oven to broil. Wipe excess marinade off the chicken pieces and brush them with some oil.
- Broil the chicken on a rack, turning occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Get coals white hot. Wipe excess marinade off the chicken pieces and brush them with some oil.
- Set the grill about 5 inches from the coals. Brush grill with oil. Grill the chicken for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once or twice, and brushing with marinade toward end of cooking time.
- Finish the chicken in hot (400°F) oven if necessary.
Tandoori chicken is served with grilled onion slices, lemon wedges and onion chutney.
- Tandoori Machhli: Substitute whole, cleaned fish for the chicken and adjust marinating and cooking time down accordingly.
- Three drops of yellow and one drop of red food coloring can be added to the marinade to give restaurant-like orange glow. Definitely not necessary though.