When you think of Indian food, you probably think of fragrant spices, delicious sauces, and Tandoori chicken. Tandoori cuisine, named after the cylindrical tandoor ovens used to cook it, originated in India but has now spread worldwide, with Tandoori restaurants popping up everywhere.
But what makes Tandoori food so irresistible? The signature smoky flavor achieved through cooking in the tandoor oven, combined with marinated meats and vegetables, creates a dish that is both tasty and healthy.
If you are carving this delightful food but are tired of searching for “chicken tandoori near me” in the internet search bar, we have you covered. Keep reading to learn about the rich history behind this dish and a perfect easy-to-make ideal tandoori chicken.
What Is Tandoori Indian Cuisine?
Tandoori Indian Cuisine refers to dishes cooked in the tandoor or clay oven. The heat inside the tandoor can reach up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit, creating a smoky flavor and perfectly cooked meats and vegetables.
The origins of tandoori cuisine can be traced back to ancient India, where communities would gather around their community tandoor to cook food and socialize. The tandoor was originally used for bread-making, but people soon began using it for cooking meat and vegetables. It quickly became an iconic part of Indian cuisine.
Tandoori cuisine gained popularity in the Western world thanks to British colonization in India during the early 20th century. The dish rose to fame when Moti Mahal, a famous Indian restaurant in New Delhi, experimented with marinating chicken in yogurt and spices before cooking it in the tandoor.
Tandoori Indian Cuisine Recipe
For the Chicken:
- 1 Whole chicken cut into 8 pieces
- 1 cup Plain yogurt
- 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp Ginger paste
- 1 Tbsp Garlic paste
- 2 teaspoons Garam masala
- 1 teaspoon Ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Cumin powder
- ½ teaspoons Chili powder
- Salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable oil
- 1 Lime cut into wedges
- 1 Small red onion sliced
- Prepare the chicken by breaking it down into drumsticks, thighs, and breasts. It would be best to cut the breasts into two pieces so you will have eight pieces of chicken. Leave the skin and bones on the pieces.
- Make 3-4 slices across each piece of chicken and put aside.
- Make your yogurt marinade by combining the yogurt, ginger, garlic, turmeric, chili powder, lemon juice, cumin, and garam masala. Mix well until you distribute all of the ingredients in the yogurt.
- Liberally coat each piece of chicken with your yogurt sauce. You should completely cover each piece of chicken. Marinate the chicken for at least 6 hours. For the best results, marinate overnight.
- Preheat your oven or grill to 450 degrees F.
- Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and allow them to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
- If you use a grill, grease the grill grates with oil before putting the chicken on. Cook for at least 20 minutes, flipping the chicken once or until the chicken's juices are clear. If baking the chicken, grease your oven pan or casserole dish and bake the chicken for 15 minutes before finishing with 5 minutes of broiling.
- Remove from the heat and serve with the lime wedges and red onion slices.
Tips & Tricks for Tandoori Indian Cuisine Recipe
Marinating the chicken overnight will result in more flavorful and tender meat. The extra effort is worth it.
If you don’t feel like using different parts of a chicken, you can use drumsticks or thighs. The dark meat of a chicken makes the best tandoori Indian cuisine.
The spices in this recipe are what makes the flavor so incredible. Finding some of these spices in your grocery store may be difficult, but the effort is worth it.
You can substitute other types of meat for chicken. Beef, pork, goat, and fish are all delicious when cooked tandoori style.
Use fresh garlic, ginger, and lemon juice. Using dried or prepared ingredients may be tempting, but you will not get the same final product.
To ensure even cooking, cut the chicken into evenly sized pieces, about 2 inches thick.
Let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
Leftover tandoori chicken can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Reheat in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven or on a barbeque before serving.
This dish can also be served as a sandwich or wrap, paired with a salad, or added to a grain bowl.
To be super authentic, serve your tandoori chicken with chutney and some basmati rice. This combination is how Indians do it in their mother country.
Nutrition Information of Tandoori Indian Cuisine Recipe
One serving of tandoori chicken (about 4 ounces) has approximately 160 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 20 grams of protein. Tandoori chicken is an excellent source of lean protein and vitamins A and C from marinade ingredients such as yogurt and lemon juice. This dish is full of flavor but is part of a healthy diet.
Tandoori Indian cuisine is not only delicious but also a healthy and versatile option for any meal. Try this recipe and experience the smoky flavors of tandoori cooking in your kitchen.
This recipe is so good that you will skip your favorite Indian restaurant to cook at home.
What is your favorite thing to cook in tandoori style? Let us know in the comments below.
This was absolutely fantastic and easy to prepare.
My family loves this recipe
I have made this recipe several times and I love it.