Chicken Tandoori


Tandoori chicken is a very spicy roast chicken recipe. Whose origins date back to the Mongol Empire. Although this dish has had a very important evolution until it became the red and crispy chicken of today.


History of Chicken Tandoori

In the Mongolian version, chicken tandoori was a roast chicken, marinated with yogurt and spices. With the use of yogurt and spices, a double benefit was obtained. The acidity of the yogurt helped preserve the meat. And the seasonings gave it an exceptional flavor.
But, the current version of Chicken Tandoori is very crispy. Chicken acquires this crispy texture when cooked in a clay oven called a "tandoor". This oven is generally used to cook bread. The tandoor reaches very high temperatures. That seal the meat on the outside, and keep the inside juicy. This cooking together with its striking red color gives the famous look to Chicken Tandoori.
This new cooking method was introduced in Punjab. By Chef Kundan Lal Gujral, before the separation from British India. Gujral, was a pioneer cooking chickens in the tandoor, which was only used to make bread naans.
Today it is usually associated only with Indian cuisine. Although it is also a popular dish in Pakistan. The origin of the current version is before the partition of 1947. Where Punjab was divided into two parts, leaving a part of the territory within Pakistan and another within India. Thus, it is a dish that both countries share.

Seasonings for Chicken Tandoori

The recommended seasoning for this chicken is Tandoori Masala. Tandoori Masala is not a condiment itself. More properly, it is a mixture of different condiments. Nor is there a precise formula for its preparation. There are many variations, even familiar to make the Tandoori Masala.
The main seasonings it contains are: garam masala, ginger powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, cardamom, garlic powder, onion powder, and coriander powder. Cayenne pepper gives chicken tandoori its characteristic red color.
There are people who prefer a more intense red color and add vegetable coloring or paprika powder in abundant quantities. It all depends on the visual taste of each person because these ingredients do not alter the flavor of the chicken. We add two tablespoons of tomato paste to accentuate the red color.

Technique for cooking Chicken Tandoori

As we explained before, this chicken has as one of its main characteristics, the fact that it is very crunchy. This is because it is cooked in the tandoor oven. Yet, most people do not have such an oven available at home.
But “tandoor style” cooking can be simulated with a traditional oven. For this, it is necessary to preheat the oven to most temperature at least half an hour before introducing the chicken. Cook it at most temperature for ten minutes. And then lower the temperature to the least and cook it for another hour, so that the meat cooks well inside. This will give you a chicken that is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.


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