Tandoori-Style Chickens

Tandoori-Style Chickens
Invented almost 100 years ago on the Indian subcontinent, tandoori chicken is now universally popular right around the world. Seasoned with a dazzling array of spices, this tender tandoori chicken can also form the basis of other popular dishes like kati rolls and samosas.

The tandoori marinade used starts with fragrant toasted coriander, cumin, peppercorns and cloves, which are ground until smooth add ground turmeric, Kashmiri chilli, ground cinnamon, saffron, ginger, garlic and vinegar. mix this into Greek-style yoghurt. Yoghurt is perfect for marinating meats because it has a natural acidity. Work the spices into the chicken to get as much flavour as possible. Stuff tomatoes into the cavity of each chicken and bake until charred.

Tandoori-Style Chickens Recipe

Serves 8


2 tsp each coriander seeds, cumin seeds and peppercorns

4 whole cloves

2 tsp each ground turmeric, Kashmiri chilli and ground cinnamon

¼ tsp saffron threads

2 tbsp grated ginger

8 cloves garlic, crushed

¼ cup malt vinegar

½ cup Greek-style yoghurt

2 Roma tomatoes

2 x 1.4 kg whole chickens

2 tbsp ghee, melted


Heat a small frying pan over medium heat, add the coriander, cumin, peppercorns and cloves, and toast for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Place in a spice grinder and grind until smooth. Place in a bowl. Add the remaining spices, saffron, ginger, garlic, vinegar, yoghurt and 1 tbsp salt flakes; mix to combine.

Stuff a tomato into the cavity of each chicken. Tie the legs to secure. Rub the marinade over each chicken, place in a non-reactive container, cover and refrigerate for 6 hours (preferably overnight) to marinate.

Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Place the chickens in a deep-sided roasting tray. Add 2 cups of water to the base of the pan.

Cover loosely with foil and roast for 50 minutes. Uncover and cook for a further 30 minutes, basting with pan juices.

For a charred, tandoori-style chicken, turn the grill to high. Brush the chicken with ghee. Turn the chicken breast-side down, place under the grill for 6-8 minutes or until charred. Carefully turn and grill for a further 6-8 minutes, or until charred. Slice to serve.

Smart Tips:

To freeze: Roast two chickens, one to serve and one to freeze. You can freeze the chicken whole, cut the chicken into portions, or shred the meat and store in an airtight container with any pan juices for 1 month.

To thaw: Place containers in the refrigerator for a few hours until thawed.

To reheat: For a whole chicken and portioned chicken, preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Place the thawed chicken in a deep-sided roasting tray. Add ½ cup water to the base of the pan. Cover tightly with foil and reheat for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is 70°C internally.


Use this as a master recipe to make Tandoori-Style Chicken & Paneer Samosa or Tandoori-Style Chicken Kati Roll:

Tandoori-Style Chicken & Paneer Samosa

To make these samosas tender tandoori chicken, paneer and a dazzling array of spices are bundled up inside pastry pockets that are fried to perfection, and topped with a bright and tangy green chutney. What more could you want from a snack?

Tandoori-Style Chicken Kati Rolls

Originating in Kolkata, kati rolls are a street-food dish consisting of a filling wrapped in Indian flatbread. With crispy flavour-packed potatoes, charred tandoori chicken and served with tangy yoghurt and herbs, this dish is fun to put together and a great family dinner option.


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