Tandoori Chicken is an iconic North Indian dish. It gets its name from the way it is cooked - in a tandoori or clay oven. Tandoori Chicken is a very quick and easy recipe to make. It has a delicious, smokey-spicy flavour. Just pop the spices, coconut cream and lime juice into a bowl, mix and add the chicken. This recipe cooks perfectly in a conventional oven and by making your own spice mix you forgo the red food dye that most restaurants use to get the orange/red hue to their Tandoori Chicken. Tandoori Spice Mix recipe link. Below you will find the recipe for my refreshing Indian Green Chutney recipe. Use it as a dipping sauce for your chicken and to cool the palate if needed.
* Please click on the green icon next to the ingredients listed below for extra details and helpful information.
Use paper towels to dry the chicken. Using a sharp knife, cut 1cm deep diagonal slashes into the chicken so the marinade can seep in.
Add the tandoori spices to a large bowl (Tandoori Spice Mix recipe is here) with the coconut cream and lime juice. Mix well.
Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and use your hands to coat well (the warmth of your hands will help the coconut cream liquify for better coating). Let the chicken sit in the marinade for 1 - 2 hours in the fridge but can be left overnight for a hotter flavour. (I've even just let it marinate while the oven preheats and the chicken was perfect, just not as spicy).
Make the Green Chutney ahead. Add all the chutney ingredients to a mini bowl of a food processor. Blend for only a few seconds, just until the leaves are chopped finely and all the ingredients are combined well. Place in the fridge to allow the flavours to come out before serving. The Green Chutney will keep stored in the fridge for up to 5 days (makes 3/4 cup/175ml).
Preheat oven to a hot 200c (fan-forced). Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Place the chicken pieces onto the prepared tray (the marinade will be thick as chilling makes it firm), leaving space between each piece. Use the back of a spoon to smooth the thick marinade evenly over the chicken pieces.
Add the tray to the oven only once it's preheated to 200c (the high heat will help the marinade cook onto the chicken without too much running off). Bake for 45 minutes or until tender. Don't allow the chicken to dry out but the coating should be lovely and golden brown with some dark bits.
Serve with the Green Chutney as a dipping sauce on the side, lime wedges and some fresh herbs.
Choose grass fed, free-range chicken and organic if available. Chicken is a meat that gets injected with hormones to plumb it up, shop carefully. A good source of protein.
I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. When purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.
A lime is a green citrus fruit. There are several species of the lime tree. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and calcium and are used to add flavour to foods and beverages.
Tandoori spice mix is used to marinate chicken for the very popular Indian dish, Tandoori Chicken. This spice mix consists of, smoked paprika, garam masala, coriander, cumin, ginger, chilli, turmeric, garlic, salt and pepper. My recipe for Tandoori Spice Mix is HERE. Link to my Tandoori Chicken recipe.
Peppermint is one of the easiest and hardest herbs to grown. Studies have uncovered a variety of health benefits. Mint leave oil is used as a digestive aid, to relieve pain, it has anticancer properties and can help with allergies.
Coriander is also know as cilantro. The fresh chopped green leaves in large amounts are a good source of vitamin C. The fresh leaves are an ingredient in many Indian, Thai, and Mexican dishes. They are usually tossed through just before serving as the heat can diminish the flavour. The dried fruits are known as coriander seeds, the seeds have a lemony citrus flavour when crushed. The word coriander in food preparation may only be referring to the ground seeds not the plant.
You will be able to find a recipe for cultured coconut yoghurt online using grass fed gelatin or tapioca starch for thickening. If purchasing a commercial yoghurt, read labels as many use vegetable gums and additives. Coconut yoghurt can be made in a yoghurt maker or a Thermomix machine. If you can tolerate some dairy natural organic Greek yoghurt can be used in it's place.
The olive fruit of the olive tree is pressed and crushed to released the oil. Healthy fats like olive oil are essential for brain function and to transport vitamins and minerals throughout our bodies. This is a delicious oil to drizzled over salads and vegetables.
The lemon is a citrus fruit which makes it high in vitamin C. Lemons have a distinctive sour taste which makes it a key ingredient in drinks and foods. The pulp and rind (zest) are also used in cooking and baking.
Maple syrup is an earthy, sweet tasting amber liquid that is produced by boiling down the sap of maple trees. Use organic 100% maple syrup which is a natural food sweetener, not a flavoured maple syrup. Pure maple syrup contains a decent amount of some minerals, especially manganese and zinc, some traces of potassium and calcium but it does contain a whole bunch of sugar. I try to reduced the amount of sweetness in each recipe to the lowest possible without compromising taste. Feel free to adjust to your liking. I use maple syrup in place of raw honey when I don't want the strong honey flavour coming through in a recipe. I have paleo cookies and desserts in my cookbook made from whole food ingredients with natural sugars but please don’t overindulge. Use as a treat only for special occasions.
Garam masala is an Indian blend of ground and toasted spices. Garam means "hot" and masala is "a mixture of spices". It can be used on its own or mixed with other seasonings. There is no single garam masala recipe, rather the ingredients change according to the region and cook. In Northern India, it will be aromatic and mild, while in the south of Indian the spice mix is hotter (it may include cayenne). Typical ingredients are cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, black peppercorns, coriander and nutmeg. I purchase 'Simply Organic' or Frontier Co-Op organic brands, both don't contain any fillers.
Cumin is a medium - hot spice which blends well in curries and is the main spice in the Middle Eastern dip, hummus. It is being studied for potential anti-oxidant and anticancer effects.
Ginger root is widely used as a spice but also for medicinal purposes. It is a hot spice which you will find in many commercial curry powders. It's often used to prevent motion sickness and nausea. Some studies have shown joint swelling in people suffering with arthritis experience less pain and swelling when taken daily. I like to use fresh minced ginger in my meals and dry ground ginger in baked goods.
Garlic is a close relative to the onion and has been used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. In most of my recipes I use minced garlic as I find it distributes better throughout the dish. When in a hurry I use organic minced garlic which I purchase in glass jars and store in the fridge. When garlic powder is needed for a particular recipe, I use 'Simply Organic' brand. Why is garlic so good for us? It is an immune booster, antibiotic, good for the heart, cancer fighter and it's also knew as a weight loss aid (appetite suppressant).
Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.