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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tandoori Chicken

The Tandoori Masala composition can vary a lot. The first time I made it, I started with a basic recipe I found online. Then I adjusted the formula to my taste in subsequent meals. Some recipes call for fenugreek or mace. Some ask for cloves. Some ask for powdered herbs, some for seeds. Some recipes ask for powdered ginger and garlic, some for fresh. In my opinion, it’s better to make a fresh mix each time and not store it, as the fragrance can fade over time. I also prefer to use fresh ginger and garlic. But it all depends on the time you have and ingredient availability. The end result is always delicious.

Tandoori Chicken

2 lb chicken pieces of your choice with skin and visible fat removed
1/2 Tandoori Masala recipe
1 cup yogurt (preferably regular)
1 tablespoon oil

1 lime or lemon juice
Sea salt to taste
½ teaspoon chili or cayenne pepper powder

Tandoori Masala Ingredients:
2 tablespoons cumin seeds or 1 ½ tablespoons cumin powder
2 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds or 2 tablespoons coriander powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garlic powder or 3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ginger powder or 1 tablespoon grated ginger
½ to 1 tsp red chili or cayenne pepper powder
¼ tsp clove powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp orange or red food coloring (optional)

To make the tandoori masala, if using seeds, dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds in a pan on a low flame, till they begin to release their aroma. Remove from fire and cool. Grind seeds in a grinder. Add all ingredients and mix well.

Make slits in the chicken pieces with a knife. Mix lime, salt and chili pepper in a small bowl. Rub the lime mixture into the chicken slits. Combine yogurt and tandoori masala in a bowl. Mix well. Add the yogurt mix to a large plastic bag or a glass bowl. Add the chicken to the mix and toss well, making sure all the pieces are well coated. Drizzle the oil and toss. Marinate in the fridge for 6 to 24 hours.
Preheat the grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Spray oil in the chicken pieces and quickly sear both sides of the chicken. Reduce heat and cover the grill. Cook until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear.
Or you can cook the chicken in the oven: preheat broiler. Cover a baking pan with foil and spray the foil with cooking spray. Lay chicken on greased foil and spray with more cooking spray. Broil until it starts browning and turn. Brown the other side. Lower temperature to 350 F. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or done.
Top with onion slices while grilling.
Garnish cilantro and lemon wedges.

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