You cannot claim an authentic tandoori chicken recipe when you don’t have a tandoori oven, but you can approximate it certainly.
I’ve tried several, and found most rather awful, but this one seemed to work pretty darn well. The flavorings were clear but not overpowering.
I think a grill works great as an alternative to a tandoori oven, although still you can’t approximate the temperatures needed.
While the spice list is daunting (I had everything on hand myself), an alternative of Garam Masala would work as a substitute–it’s basically the same spices just already mixed.
I did alter the recipe myself substituting greek yogurt for the coconut milk which is not authentic anyway and was a way to create a dairy-free substitute.
The longer you marinate, the better it will be.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sunflower oil, divided
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 1/2 cups)
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/3 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
- 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
- 2 Tbsp greek yogurt
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
In a medium (10-inch) skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, and all the spices (including the salt) and stir well to combine. Turn the heat to low and cook until the onion is translucent, about ten minutes.
Combine the onion mixture, yogurt, and lime juice in a blender or small food processor. Blend for a full minute until smooth. You should have about 1/2 cup of marinade.
Cover the chicken with the marinade and transfer to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or longer.Actually several hours is best, even over night. Slit through the skin if using chicken pieces with skin. This will allow the marinade to get deeper into the meat. In the meantime, preheat a grill or broiler.
Grill or broil the chicken until cooked through, 8-10 minutes per side for breasts and 3-4 minutes per side for thighs. Serve immediately. Go for as high a heat as you can.
NOTES: Use garam masala in place of the herbs. Substitute regular yogurt or coconut milk for the liquid. This is supposed to be a paste. I place my chicken in a plastic bag, spoon in the marinade and then shut and massage the pieces until they are well covered.
SOURCE: Serious Eats as adapted by Sherry Peyton
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