What’s for supper?

In honor of our dear friends who left this morning on their way to move to India, we’re having Tandoori Chicken, salad, yogurt sauce and saffron rice tonight. I’ve never made Tandoori seasoning from scratch, but I’m willing to give it a try. Here’s the best recipe I found. Otherwise, I’d recommend finding a jar of Tandoori paste and following the mixing-it-with-yogurt easy recipe to marinate the chicken and give it that amazing orange color. (The Tandoori mixes in a jar that I’ve tried have been great. Highly recommend.)

If you haven’t tried Tandoori before and don’t know much about Indian food, give it a try. It’s Indian food for beginners and is fantabulous. Plan to serve it with a simple yogurt/cucumber sauce. They complement each other amazingly well. Enjoy. (We’ll only marinade ours about six hours.)

Classic tandoori chicken from India is marinated in yogurt, lemon juice, and plenty of spices, then grilled or broiled. Plan ahead. This recipe needs to marinate at least 8 hours or overnight.

Prep Time: 8 hours, 45 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3-pound) chicken, cut into serving pieces, skinned and trimmed of all visible fat
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or malt vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and grated or crushed ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish
  • Slices of cucumber, red (Spanish) onion, tomato and lemon, for garnish

Preparation:

Prick the flesh of the chicken all over with a fork. Then, using a sharp knife, cut slashes in the flesh to allow the marinade to penetrate. Place the chicken in a nonreactive large, shallow dish. 

In a nonreactive bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice or vinegar, garlic, ginger, cumin, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, cardamom, cloves, black pepper and salt. Stir until well-mixed, then pour the mixture over the chicken and rub it into the flesh, turning the chicken several times. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. (Do not marinate for longer than 2 days.) Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking. 

The chicken may be grilled or roasted. If using a charcoal grill, prepare a fire for direct-heat cooking. Position the grill rack 5 inches from the fire. Allow the coals to burn until white ash covers them and the heat is moderate. 

Remove the chicken from the marinade, pressing lightly to extract excess marinade, and brush with oil. Place the chicken pieces on a well-oiled grill rack and; grill, covered, with the vents open, turning 3 or 4 times, 45 minutes or until the juices run clear when a piece is pierced near the bone with a knife. 

If roasting, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan, brush with oil, and cook, turning once, 25 to 30 minutes until the juices run clear when a piece is pierced near the bone with a knife. 

Serve with sprigs of cilantro and slices of cucumber, red onion, tomato and lemon. 

Yield: 4 servings 

Per serving (without cucumber, red onion, tomato or lemon, for garnish): 303 calories, 33 percent calories from fat, 45 grams protein, 3 grams carbohydrates, .54 gram total fiber, 11 grams total fat, 124 milligrams cholesterol, 707 milligrams sodium. 

Source: Savoring India by Julie Sahni (Williams-Sonoma/Oxmoor)
 

Cucumber Sauce
1/2 med. cucumber peeled, seeded & chopped fine
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cumin (optional)
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
 
Stir all ingredients together and serve.

 

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