Tandoori Chicken or Lamb

This is a recipe for something approximating that red-dyed chicken in the restaurant. I adapted this recipe from about 5 I found on the Internet. Like most who live in this country, I have no tandoor oven, so I do this on the barbecue.

This doesn’t come out with the same red color as in the restaurant where this may be done by rub rather than by marinade, but this dish does come out colored and tasty. The color can be controlled to a great extent by the red food coloring and tumeric.


Serves 8.


  1 tsp paprika
  1 tsp red pepper
  1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  1 tsp cayenne pepper
  2 tsp cumin, freshly ground
  2 tsp coriander, freshly ground
  2 tsp garam masala
  2 tsp garlic powder
  1 tsp ginger root, fresh minced
  jalapeño spice (optional)
  1 tsp kosher salt
  2 tbsp lemon juice
  1 cup plain, unsweetened yogurt
  1 tsp ground tumeric
  red food coloring
  chicken or lamb
for 8 persons


1. Skin, defat and wash the chicken. Make some slits in the meat to allow the marinade’s coloring to penetrate. Set aside or dry.

2. In a large bowl, prepare and place all the ingredients in the above list. Fresh-ground spices are more potent; if you aren’t grinding your own cumin and coriander, then you may need to use more than what is listed here.

3. Using a pastry brush or a flexible scraper, daub all surfaces of the meat with marinade. Put all the meat into the marinade and set aside for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. (See first image.)

4. Preheat grill to appropriate temperature for cooking chicken. Chicken cooks at a lower temperature for longer than other meats in order to cook all the way through. Lamb can be cooked on skewers for a shorter period of time. Turn the meat over and over and over so that it cooks gradually on all sides. (See second image.)

5. Remove meat from heat and serve with masala or other curry dish, naan and rice.