Tandoori Chicken

Rachel Allen's sumptuously spiced tasty chicken can be cooked on a barbecue, grill or in the oven
By Rachel Allen
Tandoori Chicken
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus up to 24 hrs marinating
  • Effort: easy


For the marinade

  • 1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 12 red chillies, roughly sliced (I like to leave the seeds in for a bit of heat!)
  • 2.5 cm piece ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250 ml plain yogurt
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp garam masala

  • 1 chicken, about 1.5-2.25kg, jointed and skinned or about 6 large chicken breasts or legs, or both

To serve

  • 6 limes, or lemon wedges
  • tomatoes, raita

Tips and Suggestions

I love this recipe. It's great cooked on the barbecue, or on a grill pan, or in a really hot oven (as hot as it will go), or of course the traditional way -- in a tandoor oven. It really is best if it has 24 hours to marinate, but even 2 or 3 hours will be good. I love having some of the leftovers in a sandwich in pitta bread with Tomato Raita.


1. To make the marinade; in a food processor or blender, blend the onion, garlic, chillies, ginger and salt, then add the yogurt, lemon juice and garam masala and blend to a fine purée.

2. Cut deep slits into the chicken about 4cm long- this will allow the marinade to penetrate further into the meat.

3. Toss the chicken pieces in the marinade, rubbing it into the meat with your hands. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours, or even better, overnight.

4. When you are ready to cook the chicken; remove the pieces from the marinade, but don't wipe it all off, just whatever is clinging to the meat.

5. Preheat a barbecue or grill until very hot or preheat the oven to 240C/gas 9.

6. Place the chicken on the hot barbecue or grill to cook on both sides until completely cooked - about 10-15 minutes on each side, depending on the heat of the barbecue. Or place the pieces in a roasting tin in the oven and cook for 10 - 20 minutes, until cooked through.

7. To serve; arrange the chicken pieces on a serving plate and garnish with the lemon or lime wedges. Serve with tomato raita.

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