The secret is to buy a chicken of weight no more than 3lb (1kg 250g). If you buy portions, ensure that these are from small chickens.
For a main course, double the quantities of everything (including the marinade).
Preparation time: 25 minutes. Serves four (starters).
1 whole chicken or portions
2 cups tandoori marinade
Quarter chicken if using a whole one, and remove the skin. Make deep slits into the skin right down to the bone, four into each leg portion and two into each breast portion. Wash, and drain well or wipe off excess moisture with kitchen paper.
Now put the chicken into the bowl containing the marinade and mix thoroughly making sure that the marinade goes into the slits.
Cover and refrigerate for at least six hours but preferably overnight. The chicken may be kept in the marinade for up to three days without spoiling.
Preheat oven to maximum temperature.
Shake off excess marinade from the chicken and place on a rack in a shallow baking tray. Bake near the top of the oven for about 20 minutes. Test with a fork to make sure the chicken is cooked, when the flesh comes away from the bone easily.
Serve immediately, sizzling if preferred, with a green salad, lemon wedges, and yoghurt mint sauce (recipe page 16).
(Picture shows here not original)
- 500 gm (or 3-4 palm size slices) of king fish/surmai/iswon or pomfret
- 1/2 tsp tamarind paste or 1 marble size tamarind dissolved in 1 tbsp water
- 1 medium size onion sliced
- 1 green chilli (optional) * see notes
- 1 tsp vinegar (option) * see notes
- 2 tbsp oil for frying
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander for garnishing (optional)
For the masala
- 6-7 long dry red chillies (Bedgi) * see notes
- 5 peppercorns (kali mirch)
- 2 cloves (laung)
- 1/2 inch cinnamon stick (dalchini)
- 1 pod of cardamom (elaichi)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
- 1/2 tsp cumin (jeera)
- 1/2 tsp mustard (rai)
- 1/2 inch ginger
- 6 flakes of garlic (Indian) with skin
- 3 tbsp coconut milk powder or 3-4 tbsp grated coconut (optional) *see notes
- 1/2 onion (optional) * seet notes
1. Wash & drain the fish on a colander. Using a little water grind all the ingredients mentioned in ‘For the masala‘ to a fine paste. Reserve the masala water from the mixer jar.
2. In a large pan or wok heat the oil & fry the sliced onion till golden brown. Add the green chilli (optional) and fry till it turns translucent. Add the ground masala paste & fry on a slow flame till the oil leaves the sides of the pan.
3. Add the reserved masala water, salt to taste, tamarind juice, vinegar (optional) and bring the gravy to a boil. Add the fish pieces gently and carefully cover them with gravy. Cover & cook on a medium flame for about 2-3 minutes.
4. Turn off the flame, garnish with chopped coriander & serve hot with rice
1. I skipped the green chilli & vinegar and adjusted the tamarind juice as per my taste.
2. The original recipe asked for 10 long chillies and 10 peppercorns. I reduced these quantities as I prefer moderately spicy curries. However, you can add the extra chillies by deseeding them. Instead of doing this I added the coconut milk powder & onion (mentioned as optional items above) as they help in increasing the quantity of gravy.
3. If you are using very large slices of Surmai fish wash them carefully as they break easily.
- 1 kg chicken
- 1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter) * see notes
- 2 tsp sugar
- a few curry leaves
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
For the marinade
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup thick curds (yogurt)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- salt to taste
For the masala
- 10 Kashmiri chillies * see notes
- 8 Kumti/Bedgi chillies
- 12 peppercorns (kali mirch)
- 1 tbsp coriander (dhania)
- 1/2 tsp cumin (jeera)
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek (methi) *see notes
- 12 garlic flakes with skin
- 1/2 tsp tamarind paste or 1 marble size tamarind soaked in 2 tbsp water
1. Cut the chicken into medium size pieces, wash & drain on a colander. Marinate it with the ingredients mentioned under ‘For the marinade‘ and refrigerate for 4 hours or more (I marinated it for 1 hour)
2. Heat a tawa or non stick pan & dry roast the chillies, peppercorns, fenugreek, coriander & cumin seeds. Take care to see that the chillies don’t burn otherwise they will let out a bitter taste. Using a little water grind all these ingredients along with the garlic & tamarind to a fine paste. Retain the masala water from the mixie.
3. Heat 1/4 cup of ghee in a wide thick bottomed pan and add the marinated chicken pieces and cook over an open flame till the pieces are almost cooked. Transfer the pieces to a vessel and the liquid (gravy) to another bowl.
4. In the same pan add the remaining ghee and fry the ground masala for 5-6 minutes or till the raw smell vanishes and the oil leaves the sides of the pan.
5. Add the fried chicken pieces 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid & salt to taste (remember that the marinade already had salt – so go easy on the salt). Cook on a medium high flame till the masala dries up. Add the sugar & mix.
6. Garnish with curry leaves & chopped coriander leaves & turn off the flame
7. Serve hot as an appetizer or as a side dish with rice
1. You can use upto 1 cup of ghee for this dish, however I have halved it for health reason
2. If you wish increase the Kashmiri chillies upto 30 chillies – note that Kashmiri chillies are great for their colour but are less spicy. You can use a blend of Bedgi (medium spicy) or Harekala (very spicy) for the desired level of spice. See pictures of all 3 varieties of chillies here
3. Increase the Fenugreek seeds (Methi) upto 1/2 tsp if you prefer the chicken slightly more bitter.
Yummy! How can you go wrong with this dessert? Everybody likes these! I used frozen vanilla yogurt and store-bought soft bakery cookies. They were great.
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
2 cookies (any kind of cookies)
1. Get one cookie and get the ice cream and put the scoop of ice cream on the one cookie.
2 Then get the other cookie and put them together.
3 Now you are done.
5 So simple isn’t it!