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Tandoori Murgh

Roast chicken with tandoori marinade



Traditional Indian barbecue started a long time ago during the rule of the "mogul" empire in India. Being one of the very popular delicacies Indian barbecue has survived many years of perfection.  Try this recipe for your next BBQ.

India's version of barbecued chicken is the world famous, bright red "Tandoori chicken". Tenderized in a yogurt marinade, seasoned with ginger, garlic and a few spices, it gets its red color from saffron and red food color.  The traditional Indian clay oven is called the "Tandoor". 

One Chicken whole (approximately 3 lbs.)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Red chili powder
4 -6 tablespoons Lemon juice
1/4 cup, melted Butter for basting
For the marinade:
6 -8 Tablespoons Yogurt
2 Tablespoons Heavy cream
3 teaspoons Ginger paste
3 teaspoons Garlic Paste
Quick Tip: Use ready-to-use ginger and garlic paste, now available in your neighborhood grocery store.
1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
1 -2 teaspoons Garam masala (Curry Powder can also be used)
a teaspoon Saffron (optional if unavailable)
Red and Orange color few drops each

1. Clean the chicken. Remove the skin. 

Quick Tip: Skinning the chicken becomes very easy when you use a kitchen towel to pull the skin apart

And make deep incisions to the bone with a knife, (approximately 2 to 3 inches apart on the entire chicken). Make a paste of the salt, red chili powder and lemon juice and rub over the chicken evenly. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Please wash your hands thoroughly.

2. Whisk the yogurt in a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Rub this marinade over the chicken. Keep aside for 4 hours. The more you keep it for marinating the better. We suggest that you marinate the chicken the night before.

3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the chicken, breasts down, on a shallow roasting pan.

 Quick Tip: Always line the pan with a heavy foil to collect the drippings, so that cleaning is a breeze. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove. Baste the chicken with the melted butter and the marinade drippings that have accumulated in the pan.

4. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue roasting the chicken for another 40 minutes. Remove the chicken and baste with butter. 

At this point you have pre-cooked  your Tandoori Chicken. Refrigerate and take it to your BBQ the next day. 

5. Grill on a hot open grill for another 10 minutes till golden brown. Grilling on an outdoor grill will add flavor and give perfection to the recipe; although you may serve the Tandoori Murgh without the grilling.

6.  Serve with freshly cut lemon wedges, Onion Salat, Mint Chutney and Naan.



The traditional Indian clay oven is called the "Tandoor". A Tandoor is a clay pot usually sunken neck deep in the ground. Charcoal is put on the flat bottom of the pot.     Top

The heat generated by the hot charcoal in and on the sides of the clay pot is used for cooking. Long iron rods, long enough to reach the bottom of the pot, are used in the cooking process. 

It is probably the most versatile kitchen equipment in the Indian kitchen. Barbecues, breads, daal, gravies made in them acquire a unique taste, very different from the food cooked on the regular kitchen oven.

The tandoor cooks by a combination of heat from smoldering embers in the bottom and heat which has been retained by the thick, clay walls and is re-radiated as you cook. The intense heat cooks meat very quickly and seals in the juices, producing the distinctive and succulent results which characterize Tandoori food. 

You will not find "tandoors" in Indian homes /  kitchens today. Most use the gas or the electric oven. Nowadays Tandoors are found mainly in restaurants, although a new outdoor tandoor is available for the outdoors.    Top



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