Tandoori Chicken (or Lamb)

This is my second recipe for that red-dyed chicken in the restaurant. It is very much closer in appearance to what you get in the restaurant while my first recipe is tastier and juicier than this one.

Garnish with thin-sliced onion and bell pepper, perhaps on a bed of thin-shredded cabbage.


1. Remove skin from chicken legs. Wash and trim meat. Prick the chicken all over with fork or thin skewer. Make diagonal slashes all over the meat.

2. Mix the marinade consisting of all of the above ingredients in a large bowl that you can cover. Plunge the chicken into the bowl and mix around to ensure that the marinade penetrates the slits and covers the surface of every piece of chicken. Cover and marinate at least ½ hour and up to one day in the refrigerator. If you’re going to leave more than a couple of hours, however, do not use the meat tenderizer.

5. Take the chicken from the refrigerator an hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature. The chicken is now ready to be either roasted in the oven or broiled over an electric or charcoal grill.



Serves 8.


8 legs chicken (including drumsticks and thighs)
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 ½ tsp meat tenderizer, unseasoned (optional)
1 tbsp red food coloring
2 tbsp yellow food coloring
1 cup yogurt plain
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp ginger root, freshly minced
1 tsp cumin seeds, freshly roasted and ground
½ tsp cardamom, ground
½ tsp red pepper, ground (or cayenne)
1 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil

Roasting methods


Start heating the oven to 500-550° or on broil. Take the chicken legs out of the marinade. Shake and scrape lightly to rid it of excess marinade. Place them on a wire rack in a shallow roasting pan. Set the pan in the middle level of the oven, and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through. (This may take a lot less time than that at such a high temperature, so be watchful.) There is no need to baste while the chicken pieces are roasting, because the enclosed environment keeps the chicken from drying excessively.


Fire the coals well in advance (about 1½ hours before you are ready to begin cooking), so that a white ash forms over the surface of the coal. This is when the coal is at its hottest. Place the grill at least 5 inches away from the heat, and rub generously with oil. Place the chicken pieces, slashed side up, over the grill and brush them with ghee or oil. Let chicken cook without turning for 10 minutes. Turn, baste the other side, and cook for 10 minutes. Continue to cook, turning and basting the chicken every 10 minutes, until it is done. The cooking time for grilling will vary widely.