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Tandoori ChickenThe tandoor was brought into Delhi after India's partition in 1947 when the Hindu refugees from the North-West and the Punjab came with their tandoors.   A barbecue grill is a good substitute, however it may be grilled in a gas or electric oven but it will lose some of the taste of its distinctive lingering hint of charcoal. Served with Chili Chutney.


Ingredients:  4 servings

1 kg chicken legs, each cut to two across the joint

Few drops red and yellow food coloring (about 3 drops yellow to 1 drop red)

For the marinade

1 onion, quartered

4 garlic cloves, sliced

2 cm. fresh root ginger, peeled, crushed

1 red chili, seeds removed, cut to 4, or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup yogurt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon ground white pepper



1. Preheat oven to 250 Cº (450 Fº)

2. Remove the skin of the chicken pieces and make various 2 cm deep slits all over.

3. Mix the yellow and red food coloring and brush chicken pieces.  Leave for 10 minutes.

To prepare marinade: 

1. Place the onion, garlic, ginger, and red chili in a food processor and pulse till fine.  Remove to a bowl.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.

3.Place the chicken pieces in the marinade and leave to marinate for a minimum of 2 hours at room temperature or preferably overnight covered in the refrigerator.  Bring out to room temperature one hour before grilling.

4. Place a grill on a baking pan and place the chickens on top.  (Extra marinade may be frozen and used again).

5. Grill chicken piece for 35 minutes or till cooked through.  (Pieces should look char-grilled).


Serve hot garnished with sliced lemon and tomatoes; Serve accompanied with rice and mint and yogurt chutney and

chili chutney.

To reduce calories: 

Use skinless boneless breasts of chicken, each cut to two.  Use low fat yogurt.  Follow preparation as above but bake breasts for about 15 minutes or till cooked through.

© 2005 Cooking Courses Marlene Matar