Whole Tandoori Chicken

Glistening with toasted spices, Roopa Gulati's roast chicken is steeped in a cloak of garlic and ginger yogurt and filled with mint rice and sweet apricots
By Roopa Gulati
Whole Tandoori Chicken
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus marinating overnight
  • Effort: easy


  • 1.5 kg chicken, skinned
  • ' tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns, cracked
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the yogurt marinade

  • 150 ml Greek yogurt
  • 4 cm ginger, peeled and grated
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • ' tsp garam masala
  • ' tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground

For the mint rice

  • 75 g basmati rice
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 6 green cardamom, split
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 25 g dried apricots, finely chopped
  • handfuls mint leaves
  • 1 tsp sugar


1. Put the chicken in a roasting tin and using a sharp knife make 2 slashes across the breast, thighs, and drumsticks.

2. Combine the turmeric, chilli powder, cracked peppercorns, salt, vinegar, and oil in a small bowl and use to coat the chicken on all sides. Cover loosely with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes while you make the yogurt marinade.

3. For the yogurt marinade: whisk the yogurt in a bowl until smooth then stir in the ginger, garlic, green chillies, garam masala, and cumin. Spoon this mixture over the chicken until coated and cover with plastic wrap. Leave to marinate overnight in the fridge.

4. For the mint rice: cook the rice in boiling salted water for about 10 minutes before draining it in a colander. Spread the grains out onto a clean tea towel and leave to cool.

5. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Melt the butter in a small saucepan set over a low heat and add the cardamom pods. After about 30 seconds, tip in the spring onions and soften for 2-3 minutes before adding the apricots then cook for another minute.

6. Sprinkle the mint leaves with sugar and roughly chop. Add to the spring onion and apricot mixture along with the cooled, cooked rice.

7. Pour off any excess marinade from the chicken into a small bowl. Fill the chicken cavity with the mint rice and tie the legs with string.

8. Roast the chicken in a preheated oven for about 1 hour 20 minutes, spooning over a tablespoon or so of the marinade every 20 minutes; this helps to keep the chicken succulent as it cooks. If the chicken looks like it is browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil as it roasts. Pierce a thigh with a knife, the chicken is ready when the juices run clear and there are no traces of pink.

Recipe from Curry Lover's Cookbook

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