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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tandoori Chicken - Following Sanjeev Kapoor's Recipe

Tandoori Chicken 2

Sanjeev Kapoor 2

Picnik collage

I am sure it does not come as a suprise to most of my supportive bloggers that I would make time to comb through the cookery section of the nearest book shop when I was in India...and that I definitely did at the very first opportunity at the Bangalore Airport Crossword bookshop.I was prepared to find a dismal collection at the airport bookshop but what I wasn't prepared for was to find almost 90% of the cookbooks displayed on the 2 shelves by some guy called Sanjeev Kapoor. I was flummoxed by this Cookery Book Mafia King for his books come in all permutations - full A4 sized pictorial versions, smaller pocket sized condensed versions, compilations on Chicken, Vegetarian, Chinese(??), Cakes & Pastries... my head almost throbbed with disdain - for intuitive experience tells me that when something has attained such mammoth scale in commercialisation they usually lack sincerity or substance. The other well published author is a lady by the name of Tarla Dala but most of her publications appear to be mainly vegetarian recipes. Hence, as a result, despite my disdain, I still went ahead to purchase Sanjeev Kapoor's Tandoori Cooking @ Home.

I picked this because I have always liked food prepared the Tandoori way and also because during this trip, I have come to love assorted Tandoori vegetables - from mushrooms to cauliflower to potatoes...I have acquired the habit to order at least one tandoori vegetable dish at every meal and I really do want to learn how to do this. For those who are unfamiliar, Tandoori actually means well-marinated meat cooked over an intense open fire. Traditionally, burning coals are used to fire deeply-embedded clay Tandoors (ovens).These thickly insulated ovens only has one opening for heat to escape and hence are able to retain heat very well making them especially suitable for baking rotis, naan and parathas...

As I browsed through my newly acquired cook book, I wondered to what extent would I be able to replicate the taste of grilling in a coal fired Tandoor.

The first recipe I picked to experiment with is none other than the ubiquitous Tandoori Chicken. I had tried to make this before but because the instructions from the last recipe was vague, it did not turn out quite right. Hence, I am eager to give this a go to see if I would be more successful plus of course, I already have all the necessary spices.

I must say, the results are really pleasing. I was skeptical if I would be able to get some charring on my chicken but I did. I do not know if I should attribute this to the recipe or to my oven. (probably the latter) The taste was delicious and was not unlike the ones I had experienced at the restuarants. In addition, the chicken was tender - perhaps I could try to grill this longer in my oven the next time to toughen it a little more. I suspect the higher heat in the traditional Tandoor tends to cook the chicken through more easily.

Yes, I am pleased and I had to message L to tell him how GOOD it tasted. So I guess I was too quick to judge Sanjeev Kapoor... I will need to try a few more recipes to fully make sure that he is not just a gimmick...

Recipe (from Sanjeev Kapoor's Tandoori Cooking @ Home):
800g Chicken (I used Chicken Thigh meat.)
2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
3 tbsp Lemon juice
Salt to taste
1 cup Plain yogurt
2 tbsp ginger paste
2 tbsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp Mustard oil
Melted Butter for basting
1/2 tsp chaat masala

Method :

1. Make incisions with a sharp knife on the chicken meat.
2. Rub the mixture of 1 tsp chilli powder, one tbsp lemon juice and salt
over the chicken and set aside for half an hour.
3. In a separate bowl add yogurt, remaining chilli powder, salt, ginger paste, garlic paste and remaining lemon juice, garam masala powder and mustard oil
4. Rub the yogurt mixture over the chicken and marinate for 3 to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
5. Preheat oven to 200C. I used the rotisserie setting on my oven and placed a open rack near the top of the oven. Grill the chicken for 12 mins. Bast the chicken with butter and continue to grill for another 6mins.
6. Sprinkle with chaat masala and serve with Onion rings and lemon wedges.


Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Shirley, you seem to be travelling all over the place! And still, you find the time to cook, bake and blog (so well). I'm really in awe. Looks like Sanjeev's a legend, huh? ;) I have to agree the results do look really pleasing. The chicken is golden delicious!

WendyinKK said...

Pretty chicken good!!!

Hmmm.. wonder the usual red tandoori chicken is all colouring??? Any word from the author on that??

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi Wendy, you are exactly right. The red colour is all colouring. My Indian friends have told me that and an Indian Chef I met had also confirmed that.

San Antonio Personal injury lawyer said...

Ooh, this is one of my favorite indian dishes. Lovely recipe... Thanks.

vincent said...


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Zurin said...

oh like to try this...if u say its good ..Ive always wnted tt try making a tandoori but never did bcos I wasnt sure how it woulkd turn out esp when the always took off the skin of the chkn...Dry comes to mind...but since uv tried I ll try too. :)) it looks good!

yes as Ju said..u certainly have the time to work, travel cook and blog...amazing...and brilliantly too I mite add!!!

Zurin said...

oohhh I 4got to mention...I LOVEthat brass dish in the pic!!!...beautiful...i love brass as much as copper ~ maybe more....lovely ..i m guessing u got that for a song in India! its getting pretty xpensive here. N rare!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi Zurin, yes, indeed I got it from India for about S$10. These are brass, I also got another one in Bronze. That is more expensive about S$30. :) I am actually struggling to blog- it all started over the Christmas holiday break - but when you are crazy over something, I guess you will always find time...I am waiting to see if I can sustain this...

Trissa said...

The chicken looks sooo good! I am a big lover of indian food - can't wait to see what other recipes you try!

Irene's Footprints said...

Wow Shirley...
Got invitation from Petitchef above liao.

U are getting popular, I am amazed by all the ingredients you have. You have a wide collection of spices and props! You can be a food columists liao...dunno do chemist job. Haha...

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi Irene, no lah, not getting popular - it's a fluke thing and many people get invited by Petit Chef,I am sure. Actually Tandoori chicken require very few spices. You should have seen some other recipes! But I already have most of them as I was playing with Indian food a year ago. And oh, I cannot quit my chemist job... I will go hungry and will not have money to buy ingredients to cook and bake... :D

thecoffeesnob said...

Hi Shirley. This looks really good! I love anything Indian but always get put off from the really long ingredient list. This looks short and simple enough- thanks for sharing the recipe!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I really like tandoori baked dishes too-I've mostly had Tandoori chicken and fish occasionally. How much fun it must be to shop for the ingredients in India though! :D

Kathy said...

This does look good, I will look out for Mr Kapoor. I have been looking for those gorgeous dishes too. Kathy.

Anonymous said...

Hi, as an Indian an avid food lover and critic, I can say with certainty that despite the comemrsialisation that accompanies Sajneev Kapoor's name,m his recipes are always up to mark! He is the owner of a chain of restaurants in India by the name of Yellow Chilli (you must try it) and has launched a variety of packaged foods under his name/brand(you must try the vareity of chutneys, they are fantastic) .. so, trust me and keep trying his recipes, they do turn out good :)


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