Method The term Tandoori can make many good cooks go weak on their knees simply because the tandoor is a deceivingly simple clay cylindrical oven that many think is hard to lay their hands on. With electrical ovens making way into every kitchen tandoor sure is one hard gadget to work on. The hot furnace of the tandoor can scare a novice and is best left to the expertise of its makers. However, that should not discourage one from devouring the ever famous tandoori chicken. Ask any carnivore and they would swear by the buttery and smooth melt-in-your-mouth chicken cooked in tandoor. A piquant dish, Punjabis savour it with sarson ka saag (mustard greens), makke di roti (maize flour roti), and lassi and down south its savoured as it is. The dish looks like it involves a lot of hard work but except for the marinade and resting time this dish does not require much tending.
In a small deep bowl add all the ingredients and seasoning except chicken & cloves.
Mix the ingredients and seasoning well till you get a reddish paste.
Apply the paste all over the chicken.
You could cut down the chicken or use it full.
Pierce the cloves inside the chicken preferably underneath the skin to extract as much flavour as possible.
Coat the chicken well with the marinade and let it sit in the fridge wrapped in a cling film for 2 hrs.
You could leave it overnight too and the result would only be better.
For the marinade to seep inside the meat make some gashes on the chicken, this will help the yogurt mix penetrate the meat well.
For tandoori chicken:
Remove the meat after two hours or next day.
Preheat your oven to 250 degree Centigrade.
Place the dip tray beneath and place the chicken on the wired rack and place it in the oven.
Some electric ovens come with the grilling rods so you could pierce the chicken through that or just follow step-3.
Let it cook at 200 degree for 30-35 minutes.
You could cut a piece of the leg to check if it`s done or not. Once the leg is not pink your chicken is done.
Remove and rub the butter on the hot chicken, glazing it for that extra shine, serve hot with wedges of lemon and accompaniments.
1) Though pomegranate powder is not required for this dish however there are no hard and fast rules to not using it. Pomegranate powder is only believed to make the meat more tender.
2) You could use vinegar in case you do not have lemon juice.
3) If using a full chicken weighing more than a kilo, you could increase the ingredients accordingly.
3) To create the tandoor effect at home you could do this:
a) take an iron bucket or any iron box with a wide opening.
b) Add some coal or some wood, filling only half the bucket
c) place a wire rack which can be bought from a hard ware store. Make sure it`s slightly bigger than the the opening of your box or bucket.
d) Burn the coal or wood and let it burn till the fire reduces but does not go off completely.
e) You could either place the chicken on the rack and let it cook or hang the skewer from the rack inwards.
f) You could add oregano or rosemary sprigs to the burning blocks this would impart more flavour to the chicken instead of the charred wood smell.
g) Keep checking for 30-40 minutes ensuring the heat is neither too much to burn the meat nor too less to delay the cooking.