Tandoori chicken

Recreate the unique and authentic taste from the tandoor oven with Parpeet Basi and John Torodes smooth marinated chicken
By John Torode
Tandoori chicken
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 5 hrs marinating
  • Effort: easy


  • 150 g yogurt
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp ground fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp salt, plus extra to taste
  • 75 ml mustard seed oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • up to 4 tsp tandoori masala powder, (alternatively substitute with paprika), to taste
  • 1 kg chicken, on the bone, in large pieces, skinless

To serve

  • chopped coriander
  • raita


1. Put the yogurt into a muslin cloth and hang it over a bowl for 10 minutes to remove any excess liquid.

2. Put the lemon juice, ginger, garlic, fenugreek, salt, mustard seed oil, garam masala, cumin, coriander and chilli powder in a large non-reactive dish and stir to combine. Add tandoori masala powder (or paprika) and more salt to taste.

3. Add the chicken to the dish and massage the marinade into the meat. Mix in the yogurt and rub the marinade in a little more. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for 4-5 hours or overnight. Remove the chicken from the fridge about an hour before cooking to bring it back to room temperature.

4. For best results, cook the chicken in an authentic tandoor oven by skewering the meat and following manufacturers instructions. Alternatively use a normal oven: preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6 and set a shelf in the top third of the oven where it is most hot.

5. Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off any excess and place the chicken pieces on a baking tray. Discard the leftover marinade. Place the tray in the top part of the oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. You will know it is done as the juices should run clear when the chicken is pierced in the thickest part with a skewer and the flesh should remain springy to the touch.

6. Serve the chicken hot, sprinkled with chopped coriander and raita on the side.

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