Tandoori chicken is a highly popular Indian dish made of yogurt and Indian spices. It is traditionally cooked at high temperatures in a tandoor (clay oven), and it is still prepared that way in most restaurants in Malaysia. However, it can also be prepared on a traditional grill or for me who does not have a grill yet, I just baked it in the oven.
While in Malaysia, I hardly cooked. Firstly my mom is the cook at home and I avoid being in the kitchen with her cos when I am there I just want it my way. And yeah...mom wants it her way too. So, too many cooks spoils the broth...absolutely.
The other reason, I don't cook as much in Malaysia is that food is just everywhere. People are just eating out all the time and the varieties are amazing. Malaysia has 3 major races - Malay, Chinese and Indian and if you add all other food influences, we are definitely a melting pot of food...literally! If I want tandoori chicken I will just go to a nearby Indian Muslim restaurant (mamak) and there I will have a lovely tandoori chicken freshly prepared for me.
Now, I don't have the luxury of going out and just take out "authentic" Asian food in USA, so when I found a packet of tandoori spices in my kitchen, I was thrilled with the opportunity to make tandoori chicken the fast and simple way.
The tandoori spices are a complex mix of spice with garlic, ginger, cumin, cayenne pepper, coriander, ground cardamon, cloves, black pepper and even turmeric. But for the simple way, just get a ready made tandoori spice pack. And I only the needed the chicken and yogurt.
Simple ingredients :
1. A packet of Tandoori Spices. I used Nestle's Chicken Tandoori Mix.
2. About 1 lb of chicken. I used 3-4 chicken drumstick and 3-4 chicken tenders.
3. 1 Plain yogurt (6oz)
4. One lime - sliced for garnishing
5. One whole onion
Simple steps :
1. Mix tandoori spices with yogurt till well blended. Marinade with chicken for 1 hour.
2. You grill this but since I do not have a grill yet I made a grill out of my oven. To make handling of the chicken easier, I used bamboo skewers on the chicken before transporting it to the oven.
3. Bake at 350F for 30 - 45 minutes.
4. Garnish with Lime and onions. Squeeze lime on chicken before serving for the extra tangy taste.
To make a complete Malaysian style Tandoori meal, I made Nasi Briyani (rice with spices) to accompany my delicious tandoori chicken. Oh yeah, the briyani mix was from a ready made packet too. Now, that's what I call a fast and simple meal :)