Tandoori Chicken

Arose really early to get this going, it was done by breakfast time and my non-Paleo family lapped them all up, save 1, which I will have for lunch today :)

Tandoori chicken is an extremely popular dish. I think it’s fair to say it’s probably one of the most ordered dishes at any Indian restaurant. It’s typically marinated with yogurt and spices and then baked in a tandoor aka a clay oven. My tandoori chicken is made with freshly ground spices and coconut milk. You can’t taste any coconut in this dish – it just helps tenderize the chicken the way that yogurt would.

Tandoori chicken is usually made with skinless chicken. Thankfully, as my aversion to chicken skin wouldn’t catch me trying it with skin on!  I used drumsticks as I hadn’t had them in a while, but any cut of chicken will do.  I know most people typically cook with the skin on because it keeps the chicken from drying out. Not to worry – the coconut milk will keep this chicken nice and juicy.
If you’ve ever eaten tandoori chicken before, you’re aware of its signature red color. Well, that’s food colouring.  No amount of paprika can get you that shade of red. Chilli powder will work, but that will make the chicken inedibly hot and too spicy.  To get a reddish hue, you can make a couple deep incisions on each drumstick and then with a spoon, add a mixture of paprika, salt and lime. Do this before adding the marinade and you’ll get a redder colouring than you would otherwise. Additionally, this will help get more flavour into the chicken.
When you blend your marinade, it should have some texture. You don’t want a completely smooth paste. Texture will make your chicken look a little more authentic and you’ll be able to better taste some of the individual flavours in the marinade. Once the chicken is well coated, add two tablespoons of Olive oil on it.  (Mustard oil is generally  used as this will give the chicken a nice sheen and add a touch of tanginess to the dish).
When you take a bite of this chicken, you’ll see that it’s just as good if not better than what you’ll get in any restaurant.   :)
  • 8-12 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
  • Spice Paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • ½ lime, juice
  • Tandoori marinade
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 inches ginger, roughly chopped
  • ½ lime, juice
  • 4 tblsp of Coconut milk, use cream from the top of the can
  • 1 tblsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tblsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 5 cloves (whole)
  • 1 tsp salt, adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp Paprika, adjust to taste
  • ½ tsp Cayenne powder, adjust according to taste
  • 2 tbs Olive Oil or Mustard Oil
Here’s How
  • Rinse chicken and remove skin. With a sharp knife, make 2 deep incisions in each drumstick and cut tendon on drumstick.
  • Make a spice paste by combining salt, paprika and lime juice in a small bowl.
  •  Rub the paste into the cuts in chicken.
  • While the chicken is absorbing the flavors from the spice paste, coarsely grind your coriander, cumin, fennel, cardamom and cloves in a spice grinder.

  • In a blender, add garlic, ginger, lime juice, coconut milk, salt, paprika, cayenne and the freshly ground spices. Blend together and add mixture to the chicken.
  • Place the chicken in refrigerator to marinate for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before putting in oven.
  • Place the drumsticks on a wire rack sitting on top of a foil lined oven pan.
  • Preheat oven to 220 degrees celcius on the convection setting and cook for 20 minutes or until done.
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    Prava Singh

    A Mom, daughter, wife, sister, aunt and friend experiencing life through an evolutionary body with a revolutionary mind... A recent past former Type 2 insulin dependent and hypertensive walking time-bomb for 13.5 years, I have made positive lifestyle changes that has aided and abetted my health status for my overall betterment. Passionate about all things food, with a proud Indian heritage, I regularly blog my culinary attempts that have worked for me in my endeavours to break the shackles of food addictions and food slavery. Passionate about people too, my decision to share these endeavours is driven by informing others that a lifestyle change through food is indeed possible. I have indeed survived high school and survived life too in the most interesting and thought-provoking ways. Having lost over 50kgs of excess weight in just under a year, I have reclaimed my life and am thoroughly enjoying the journey.

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