Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Tandoori Chicken for the whole family

This is highly inauthentic I'm sure but I couldn't really find anything which felt right to me.  I certainly didn't want to include artificial colourings (as many restaurants and recipes do) to get the red colour which is why I've included red pepper and paprika into this recipe.

It might look like a lot of ingredients but it's not that difficult or long winded.  Also chicken legs are fantastically thifty cuts and so you can pick them up for not much cash at all.  I did feel a bit cautious about writing a recipe which has to be started the night before but actually if you think about it, it's a good idea for the busy mum, tot's in bed, a quick 10 minute job before you sit down and relax and tea is sorted for tomorrow.  Result!

Tandoori Chicken - makes 5 pieces.  This served two adults and a toddler with leftovers for at least one lunch.


1kg chicken legs
150g Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp Lemon juice
3 Cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp Grated ginger
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 small dried red chilli (I used quite a hot one but you could vary the type and number by how hot you like it.)
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 cardamoms
A few grinds of black pepper
1/2 red pepper
1 tsp Garam masala
1 tbsp mild, sweet paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp Mild flavourless oil, e.g. rapeseed oil


Don't fear the number of spices!

Skin the chicken and put a few deep slashes into the meat.

Heat a frying pan on a hob and add the coriander, cumin and chilli and heat, stirring until fragrant (don't burn).  Take the little shells off the cardamom pods and crush the seeds in a pestle and mortar with the toasted seeds and chilli.  Mix the crushed spices with all of the other ingredients apart from the chicken and oil and blend them together.  Seeing as my food processor has now gone to silicon heaven, I used a stick blender and a jug which worked a treat.

Pour the marinade over the chicken, cover, refrigerate and marinade overnight.  When you're ready to cook, take the chicken out of the fridge and put into a clean tray shaking off any loose marinade.  Drizzle with the oil, heat up the oven to 200oC / 400F and cook for 30-40 mins.  Mine were done in 30 but my oven is pretty fierce and the legs were quite small.

I've not tried it but traditionally a tandoor (which is the oven in which these are normally cooked) is closer to a barbecue in lots of ways so it might be worth trying these on the grill too.  Alternatively, could be a bit messy but I have read that chimeneas can be used to act like a tandoor.  I love the fact that tandoors are now so in demand in middle England that chimenea's are being pressed into service. There's something so terribly British about taking a Mexican invention to cook Indian food in a British back garden (no doubt in relentless drizzle emphasising our stoic nature!)

Anyway, I digress.  My son loved this, as did his Dad.  Not really all that spicy but flavoursome and why not serve with some vegetable curry on the side or have some spicy pickles for the adults?

Great with mint raita, naan bread, rice.  Even great cold which is why I've put this into the lunch box category.

I took the meat off the leg for my son but I know lots of people give their kids chicken drumsticks from a very young age so it might be a way to adapt it for the youngsters in your brood.

If you like the look of this recipe, it might also be worth thinking about making my chicken tikka.  Even less effort!

I've linked this up to the fridge raiding Nigella event below because trust me, this is delicious cold!


The links to the two fabulous hosts are here and here.

I've also linked this up here and to this:

BWS tips button


  1. I DO trust you and I could kill one of those chicken legs, scoffed right at the fridge one evening! THANKS for your entry - GREAT fridge raid snack! Karen

    1. No problemo! Savouries are my fridge raiding weakness... Oops!

  2. Wow, I think you've probably broken the record for the fastest ever Forever Nigella entry and how appropriate - I can definitely imagine dipping into the fridge to eat some of this when noone is looking! Thanks for taking part in Forever Nigella! x

    1. Ha ha ha... My current personal situations have meant I've been able to spend a bit more time on this kind of thing (an upside to a down situation!) Sorry I didn't get to speak to you at Britmums but well done again on winning!

  3. This is a fantastic meal! I've pinned this for future reference. I'd love for you to share this on my Marvelous Mondays party.

    Also, I am now following you via GFC. I cannot wait to see what else you have to share!


  4. I love this recipe! I'm always on the hunt for toddler approved meals!! I'm now following you via GFC & can't wait to dig through your family friendly recipes!

    I'd love to invite you to share this dish at Mom's Test Meal Mondays! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

  5. This looks delicious. What a fun and different way to spice up having chicken for dinner.

    I would love for you to share this with my readers at Mealtime Monday!


  6. Thanks for stopping by and sharing on Marvelous Mondays!

  7. Thanks so much for linking to Foodie Friday! I'm featuring this on tomorrow's linky. I'm always looking for kid friendly foods!

  8. Love this and it would go perfectly with my Veg curry link up!

    1. Yeah, I love a thali style meal with lots of different curry items to dip into.

  9. This looks really yummy too! Thanks for linking it in. Cheers


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