Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Recipe: Tandoori Murg

Category Main course non-vegetarian dish
Region Northern India
Descriptive English Name Indian Barbecued Chicken
Served Hot with tandoori roti (Indian bread baked in an earthen pot) or steamed white rice
Serves 3
Cooking Time Several hours for marinating and then 40 minutes

Tandoori Murg (also called Tandoori Chicken) is whole chicken that is traditionally cooked in a tall and cylindrical brick or clay oven. The chicken is smoked over intense heat, usually at temperatures exceeding 500 degrees Fahrenheit. In the recipe below, we will be using a regular oven.

1 full chicken
Meat tenderizer
1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons red chili powder
1 tablespoon ginger powder
2 tablespoons coriander powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1/2 tablespoon garam masala (a mixture of multiple Indian aromatic spices available at any Indian store)
1 1/2 tablespoons salt (use less if tenderizer contains salt)
Onion rings
Lemon juice

- Clean the insides of the chicken. Remove the skin and make deep cuts all over the chicken with a knife. This helps the chicken absorb the marinade.

- Rub the chicken with the tenderizer and let it stand for an hour or so.

- The marinade: Place the yogurt in a deep bowl. If the yogurt is fairly thick or creamy in consistency you can add one cup of water. Add all the spices and mix well to form a uniform blend. Now coat the chicken with the marinade. Cover the bowl with a lid and let it stand for 6 hours in the refrigerator.

- Using a brush or spoon, coat the chicken with melted butter. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grill the chicken in the oven.

- Turn the chicken over when it takes on a brownish-red color (or darker if you prefer it well done). To check if the chicken is done, poke it with a fork. You will know that the meat is cooked if it separates easily from the bone.

- Cut the chicken into conventional pieces like drumstick, breast, and the like. Place the chicken pieces on a serving plate and top with onion rings. Finally, sprinkle some salt and lemon juice over it.

Smart Tips
- It is a good idea to allow the chicken to remain in the marinade for more than 6 hours. Marinating overnight can make some delicious tandoori chicken for lunch.

- You can use the same recipe to make Chicken Tikka. Just use small boneless pieces of chicken and push them through skewers.


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