a) For the Tikka
- 400g chicken
- 30g ginger-garlic paste
- 30g Tandoori masala
- 125g yoghurt
- 1tsp food coloring
- salt and pepper to taste
b) For the Sauce
- 1tbsp ghee
- 1 bay leaf
- 30g ginger-garlic paste
- 150g tomato purée
- 20g Tandoori masala
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1tsp garam masala
- 100mL cream
- salt, to taste
- Pickled onions
- Cilantro [Coriander] leaves
- Clean the chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- Chop the coriander [cilantro] leaves for the garnish.
i) Tandoori Chicken
In a large bowl, place the chicken pieces, yoghurt, and the tandoori masala. Mix well, preferably using your hands. Let marinate for 8 hours [or whatever time that’s comfortable for you].
ii) Tandoori Sauce
- In a saucepan, add ghee. Once melted, toss in one bay leaf. Let it fry for a whole minute. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
- Now add the ginger-garlic paste, and sauté. Stir in the leftover tandoori marinade, tomato purée and 1tsp each of paprika and garam masala powder, and sauté until the fat oozes from the purée.
- Slowly pour in chicken stock/water. Reduce until thick but pouring.
- Switch off the flame. Pour in the cream and stir lightly until mixed.
Adjust the seasoning.
- Grill the chicken on a charcoal grill for maximum smoky flavor. Remember to baste the chicken with the Tandoori Sauce.
- If using a grill pan, grill the marinated chicken until just done
turning every 5 minutes.
- Alternatively, grill in an oven for 15 minutes, turning after 5 minutes. Remove from the pan/ oven, and set aside to cool.
Place the chicken tikkas on a platter/plate. Sprinkle over chopped coriander leaves. Serve with mint chutney, pickled onions and a wedge of lime/lemon.
- Marinating the chicken for 8 hours [overnight] in the tandoori masala yields a wickedly delicious flavor. If you’re short on time, at least marinate for an hour.
- The Tandoori spice blend I use is pretty mild, hence the addition of more paprika. Check for the level of heat in your Tandoori blend before adding any extra chilli/paprika.
- I prefer using both fresh tomatoes as well as tomato purée/paste – both impart very different flavors.
- Turn it into a curry! Add the grilled chicken tikkas to the Tandoori Sauce to make it a Chicken Tikka Masala. Serve with Garlic Naan, butter roti, or steamed rice.
- This Tandoori Sauce can also be used for vegetables. Remember to substitute the chicken stock with a vegetable stock. Add paneer [cottage cheese], potatoes, even cauliflower and broccoli for a cool vegetable Tikka Masala.
What Wine to Pair with?
A medium-bodied Rosé. Or Pinot Noir [if you’re using a spicier tandoori blend.]